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September 28, 2020
201: Being the only designer on the team

In this episode of Design Life we discuss being a solo designer, the only designer on a team or even in an entire company. This topic was requested by a listener who was looking for our insights on how to embrace the opportunity and overcome the challenges that come with being a solo designer. While the responsibility and experience can lead to a great challenge it can be an isolating role and feeling connected to the design community at large can be a struggle. We speak about how you can keep growing as a solo designer while encouraging your team to take design seriously.

key takeaways

There are both positives and negatives to being the only designer on the team. Being the only designer means you will learn how to direct other people to give you useful feedback by asking the right questions. Include a list of specific questions when asking for feedback from non designers, this will help guide them in their feedback.

Reach out to the wider design community online. Join virtual meetups and stay up to date with news about software advances and tricks of the trade. You might miss catching up with fellow designers, find your community outside the office.

Find someone in your company who has an interest, or seems to have good taste when it comes to design. They could be an engineer working on the same project or in another team. Ask them for specific feedback.

If you are just starting out, consider whether joining an established design team might be a better move for your career than taking a job where you’re the sole member of the team. Joining a design team will mean you have other designers who can really help you to grow. Appreciate your team, consider their constructive feedback.

show timestamps

01.20 – Catch up
07.11 – Being a solo designer
12.46 – Having a sense of belonging in your team
15.34 – Joining the design community
17.12 – setting the tone as a solo designer
19.24 – Bringing together designers in your company

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