Lesson #10: Embrace the “others.”
—Katie Koch, Class of 2011
When I started working with my team, I assumed all the other designers had the same skill set as me. I assumed the non-designers had nothing to offer to my practice. As you work it’s easy to get lost in the game of comparing yourself to everyone around you. “Does he work faster than I do?” “Does she ‘get it’ more than me?” “Who invited legal to this meeting?” Our flaw as designers is we’ve been specifically trained to evaluate scenarios and behavior.
What I learned by paying attention to the people around me is that everyone can bring value to the design process, regardless of his or her background or current position. Variety is what makes a team tick, and the ability to harness those different perspectives into the design process is what makes the difference between a designer and a design leader.
Katie Koch is a Senior User Experience Designer at American Express Serve, New York City, NY, USA.