Have you ever sat at work, looked around the room and grinned because you love your job so much? If you’re a UX Pro or a designer, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you’ve done this more than once (a day).
I was sitting in my office this morning, chatting with another designer about why my favorite Doctor is absolutely David Tennant, when I noticed that a new Slack app update was available. (Yes, I’m that control freak that doesn’t allow automatic app updates.) I clicked on the update details and started cracking up.
“You have got to see these update notes, they’re freaking hilarious!”
My co-worker pulled up the details, and laughed as well.
I looked to my right, and 2 other designers were having a debate about a complex interaction piece in a new product we’re designing. They were both so passionate about their stances that things got a little heated, but once they’d both gotten their ideas out, they smiled at each other and started tweaking the design.
Across from me there were 2 people talking about a new app they had just downloaded, and discussing how they were going to integrate some of the sweet UI elements and gestures into our next mobile design.
To my left another duo of designers were looking over the latest InVision Inside Design blog post, and talking excitedly about how we could apply some of the tips that were highlighted to majorly improve our workflows. (If you haven’t subscribed to receive InVision’s blog updates yet, you should definitely get on it. All of the content is amazing. The Inside Design posts are a direct view into how major design companies around the world make their magic happen.)
In the middle of this bubble of creative madness, one of my coworkers looked up, grinned and said, “Can you imagine what would happen if we tried to have ANY of these conversations with non-designers? My husband totally doesn’t get how exciting this stuff is.”
Another couple of coworkers chimed in with comments and stories about how their friends and family members pick on them constantly about geeking out about things.
Being part of a cohesive, functional design team is a feeling like no other. You’re constantly surrounded by “your people” in a place where rabid excitement about new tech and design trends is not only permitted, but encouraged.
The Design Community Rocks
The design community as a whole is just generally incredible. We’re paving the way to the future. We’re makers and creators and visionaries. We’re new kids and folks who have been rocking the industry for decades. We’re a diverse group, tied together by a common thread: We LOVE all things design.
I recently joined a Slack group made up of thousands of designers. I’d been in the group for about 15 minutes, when someone mentioned that they had run into a wall while searching for a tool to perform a specific task. Within about six seconds there was a crew of 15 people sharing various tool resources and detailed success stories. They were explaining pros and cons, things to look out for, and giving tips. What other industry is made up of a group of people who are that invested in helping their peers succeed?
Two years ago I spoke at my first conference. I was completely terrified when I jumped up on that stage, I’m pretty sure I blacked out for the first 8 minutes of the presentation. I finally got in the zone and realized that people were legitimately interested in the topic I was talking about. After the session, attendees walked up to thank me, and several told me they were excited to take the things I’d discussed back to their teams to apply them immediately. They didn’t HAVE to come up to talk to me afterward, but they did. Why? Because the design community is made up of amazing people. Now I submit proposals all over the place, and speak at design conferences on an annual basis. Peer support can be life changing.
Network It Up
Want to network with like minded people? Twitter and LinkedIn are great places to start. If you’re a UX pro, you’ve got to check out the new User Experience Slack group as well.
The User Experience Community on Slack
This is a fairly new, curated group of UX pros who love to share thoughts and ideas and tools and tricks. The best part is that the group is getting HUGE! They even have killer AMA sessions on a regular basis. Sign up, you’ll meet tons of amazing folks.
Get A J-O-B
Are you looking to enter the design scene, or maybe just hoping to change up your environment with a new company? There are some fabulous designer job search tools out there.
Smashing Magazine Job Board
A job board chock full of design and UX job opportunities.
UX Mag Job Board
This is another rocking UX job board.
This entire site is dedicated to helping you find UX jobs.
To those of you who are just now entering the business, I want to welcome you to the most amazing community on earth. To those of you who have been around the block, I want to thank you for paving the way for the next generation of talent.
Thank you, designers, for making me proud on a daily basis to be a part of this incredible community.
Now get back to designing amazing things!