On my second to last day of work, my former boss posed a question that got me thinking about this topic: What is something that you have changed your mind about in the last year?
While I was doing my undergrad at the University of Cincinnati, I never really understood the value-add of majors like Marketing or Graphic Design. I was focused only on the things that made business sense to me: numbers and logic. Recently, however, I’ve come to realize that this line of thinking was limiting the impact that I could make. In my previous role, there was a huge emphasis on the user experience and they were able to quantify the impact that these activities had on the business. There it was: numbers and logic showing that these disciplines did, in fact, have the impact that I had been so dubious about.
After reading Chris Hendrixson’s The Design Era Is Coming (a PCamp 2018 speaker) it became clear that I had been looking at design from the wrong perspective. His line about culture-shifting technology becoming more and more ubiquitous rung true. It seemed that most of our competition was able to build a lot of the same systems or technology that we could. The true difference was making the process so quick and easy for the customer that they had no reason to go anywhere else. In his post, Mr. Hendrixson speaks to how this shift in the value of design has been going on for some time, especially among tech companies and Unicorns. The degree to which design agencies were being acquired and incorporated into product design was astounding to me. My previous perspective had been that of someone looking at the past; the ‘Engineering Era’ to use Mr. Hendrixson’s parlance. The future and, arguably, the present encompass the ‘Design Era’.
I would challenge you to also think about something that you have changed your mind about in the past year. Changing your mind about something for which you had strong beliefs can be a key catalyst for professional or personal growth. With ProductCamp Cincinnati coming up in less than a month, I’m excited at the prospect of having my current mindset challenged. I hope that you will come out on September 15th so that we can challenge each other and grow together.