Perception and the Design Community

In this video I discuss the idea of how we as designers (or whatever your skill set is) can get caught up in working towards building a perception of ourselves that we want others to have. We can often (well I know I can) get caught up in gauging our successes of others in our community, especially those who write books, speak, and are regarded highly in the community. By no means am I trying to minimize the achievements of others, or say that we shouldn’t be mindful of how others perceive us, but if we focus to much on how other perceive us, or trying replicate their successes can be very damaging.

I read a great article related to this earlier in the week by Elisabeth Hubert titled “Are You “Good Enough” at Being a UX Designer?” it is definitely worth a read, no matter what kind of design or development you do.

Also a quick thanks to the lovely Whitney Hess for reminding me of what I love to do. I haven’t been posting as much as I like as of late, I have been finishing up a rather large project, and it is eating a lot of my time. As it finishes this month you can expect that I will be posting more, including some case studies of recent projects I have finished up, in an effort to share what I learned.

Thanks for being awesome.

~ Aaron I

10. December 2010 by Aaron Irizarry
Categories: Design/Development, User Experience | Tags: , , , | 15 comments

Comments (15)

  1. “To thine own self be true.”
    - Polonius, in Hamlet, Bill Shakespeare

  2. You inspire me on a regular basis, so I’m glad I could return the favor :)

  3. Great talk! Many times we forget who we are because we try to look through other people’s eye. Do not get judged by others. Be honest and hard working. Everybody is talented in something or the other.

    • Thanks for commenting Praveen, and yes you are right, everyone does have their own unique talents and abilities, and if we are focusing on what others do better than us, we may miss out on developing those talents.

  4. It took me a long time to realize I don’t work for my company, I don’t work for the industry, I don’t work for my clients, I work for the person at the keyboard who arrived at an nGen built product.

    If they can easily accomplish what they showed up to do then we did our job.

    Even knowing this I still get distracted with what others think. We are lucky to work in an amazing industry with crazy characters and inspirational leaders. But you can’t measure yourself by what they do. Be motivated by them to be the best at what you do. Then go out and motivate others.

    Thanks for the video Aaron! You’ve got me motivated!

    • Carl,
      Thanks for watching the vid, and commenting.

      I love the approach of working for those who will end up using what we build, their satisfaction should be the true gauge of our success.

  5. I actually learnt this lesson from having a personal blog. I got a lot of nice comments, but I got a lot of rude comments, even a few stalkers (who rang up my house, etc.)

    I think ultimately I was always glad that the people who were appreciative enough that I ignored those who were not. I knew if they didn’t like me, they didn’t have to read my blog.

    I think especially in this industry, I don’t hide a lot of my views. Even when they are controversial and while if I kept my mouth shut I could probably be doing better for myself, it’s worth the loss to be true to myself. Though saying that, the last few months I have been trying to find a way of projecting who I am better in the industry but so far not quite getting there.

    Awesome video and well said.

  6. Ah, this couldn’t be more true. Very well said and I appreciate this post.

  7. I also agree with you Aaron, you can not be the best and though there are people put there who are better designers you can still be a great designer for yourself. I used to put myself down as a designer and would say i cant design what he has design or what so ever but as I started to look at design from my point of view I started to become better.

    Great video!

  8. Great topic Aaron!

    I agree with you completely – it is very easy to get caught up in gauging your success in the design community with those who are highly talented, well known and respected for what they do. But at the end of the day we should all count ourselves very lucky that we get to do the job we love and are passionate about for a living. Don’t get me wrong, i’m sure we’d all like a little recognition every now and then, but as long as we are happy doing what we do that should be all that really matters :)

  9. Your video meant a lot to me. I appreciate you speaking
    from your heart. Really amazing stuff. This def spoke to me. Have a
    wonderful holiday.

  10. Nice post. One thing it made me think of: When we think of
    the way we want others to perceive us, is that just a reflection of
    the way we want to perceive ourselves? And if so, isn’t that worth
    striving for?

  11. Definitely dig your honesty/transparency. Very refreshing!
    Thanks, and I look forward to future videos ;)

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