Design collaboration is clearly a learned skill, and I’m having to find a new way to teach it. A couple thoughts from today that are still jangling around in my head.

First, designers should be responsible for their own research. This means user research, of course, but just as important…

Starting on some CSS refactor/redesign work today. Noticing how nice it is to have files well-named and organized. Name your CSS files the same as your JS components to make things easy to find. Keep CSS files short and focused with only the classes relevant to that component. …

It’s a daily refrain that companies are fighting harder than ever to attract talented people. It’s also known that organizations are purposefully designed to be resilient if those people might leave.

So, individual talent is critical to the success of the organization working dutifully to devalue individual talent.

How do you reconcile that contradiction?

The thesis concludes that perhaps high status leaders get so much support and unquestioning obedience that no one is brave enough to challenge the decisions in the organisation or project, and a project where the leader is unchallenged no longer benefits from the diversity of views, skills and talents that an engaged and communicative team can provide.

We are (all) the champions: The effect of status in the implementation of innovations

Design doesn’t get a seat at the table, it doesn’t even earn it. You build your seat at the table yourself.

First thing, there is no table.

Unless there is, and then you’re just gunning to be in more meetings, which is probably not the point of your job.

Second, you can’t argue your way to a seat.

You build your own seat by being an invaluable resource for those you see as already being “at the table”.

How you achieve that depends on you and your organization.

Eventually, “they” will realize that they’re consulting you anyway, and you’ll find yourself one day sitting at that table, simply because everyone realizes it’s smarter to have you in the room when decisions are being made.

Originally published at on December 5, 2016.

I work at a large and growing company. We have a startup mentality, but a fairly mature product. We don’t tell startup stories about “boosting landing page conversion by 300%.” We make small, incremental improvements and measure them over time. Our systems aren’t broken, they’re pretty smooth already. …

Tim Barkow

Design leader, product & user experience.

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