Your cheat sheet for learning from 15 design leaders

published12 months ago
3 min read

Well Reader, another season of my interview podcast has wrapped up.

In 12 interviews I spoke to 15 design leaders about the way they get their work done, and I personally learned a ton from these conversations.

There is just so much value in learning how your peers do things. Learning from the challenges they've faced, the projects they've worked on... for me it truly does feel like a cheat code for progressing in my design career. And I hope that by listening to IMD episodes you get that growth too!

What I learned from design leaders in season 3 of Inside Marketing Design

I like to end every season by reflecting on what I took away from my conversations with folks at other tech companies and share some of the changes I'm implementing in my work as a result. You can listen to my reflections in full in the last episode of the season, but one key change I'm making next year is outsourcing more design work.

There were several periods this year where as a Brand Studio team we were severely underresourced. We couldn't get everything done that we needed to because we didn't have enough designers on board to help, and we lacked the right systems to make things easier. Perhaps it stuck out to me because this challenge was on my mind a lot as I conducted interviews this season, but I was surprised at just how many of the companies I interviewed work with an agency (or multiple!) for outsourcing design work despite having an in-house marketing design team.

Hearing this from so many folks helped me change my perspective on the matter, and I'm happy to say that next year we'll be working with an agency that was actually recommended by one of this seasons' guests. I feel so hopeful about the space that having this extra resource will open up!

That's just one of many mindset shifts or ideas that got sparked for me during this season. I've shared all my takeaways, including notes on the trends I spotted of what's happening across multiple companies in the last episode which you can watch on YouTube below or search in your favorite podcast player to listen to.

video preview

Thanks for joining me for another season, and even if you didn't listen to any other episodes; I hope this last one can serve as a cheat sheet for you about what design leaders across the industry are thinking about and working on!

Stickers on laptops?

Shocked and appalled to discover from the poll in last weeks issue that 70% of respondents are denying themselves the self-expression and fun of covering their laptop with stickers 😅

Just kidding. I do understand the folks would want to keep their laptop in a much more re-sellable condition (or who just prefer clean lines to chaos). But I'll keep on stickering 😎 (see last weeks issue for a pic of my new laptop!)

The current state of the design industry

For our last episode of the Design Life podcast for the year, Femke and I spoke about the state of the design industry and the ways it's changed recently. Listen in to hear what we're excited about right now, what's concerning us, and what we see coming in the future of our industry. Things get a bit real in this episode, and it's not always positive. But we love being designers and working in this industry, and we felt like it was important to discuss!

Listen in and share your thoughts

This issue is going out a day late because last week, after nearly 3 years of dodging it, I caught COVID 🥲 I'm very grateful to have had only a mild case and am feeling lots better now, but it did delay my trip back to New Zealand for Christmas by about a week. I'll be heading there on Saturday, so next weeks issue (the last of the year!) will be coming to you from down under.

Happy holidays!

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