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Working in a growing company, you might have broad of responsibilities, from design prototypes to collaborating with subject matter expert, to communicate and influence the value of UX Design.

In the best environments, it’s a mix of creativity and invention, with a problem solving to synthesis what’s going on in the product space. Not only thinking inside the box, but also holistically take a look of something from multiple angles.

What is long-term thinking actually? And how it can help you to grow? The higher you go and the more experience you have, the longer you need to think about your perspective…

  1. UX intern will do what work need to be done today.
  2. UX freshie will think how to finish work today and prepare for tomorrow.
  3. UX junior will think how to survive a week ahead and thanks god it’s Friday.
  4. UX mid-level start work independently and report work 1 on 1 on monthly basis.
  5. UX senior have to create ongoing end-to-end project every quarterly 3 – 6 months from research, synthesis, design, and measuring.
  6. UX manager will have to think the entire year ahead and break it down actionable step for the team.
  7. UX leader have to think not only this year, but also the next 1, 2, 3 years trend ahead.
  8. UX head will not only think in terms of years, but also provide direction for the entire UX maturity in the organisation, it can take 1, 2, 3 or even 5 – 10 years. 
  9. Chief Design Officer, as the company growing and scaling, not only think in terms of interval but also the complexity, connection, communication, put everything into his / her shoulder – a clear, bold and consistent vision in every moment of time.

Now it doesn’t mean that if you are UX intern or newbies, you can’t think about the next 5-10 years design plan. But as you grow and become wiser and smarter you will see and make decision not as a spur moment. In fact the further you think ahead, the further you will go!

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For example, one junior told me about funny idea for the project he create, but he was scared if it is not workable.. I said, “I give you the freedom to do and execute it, if it works it will be good for you, but if it is not work, just said I give you permission.”

That project become successful and he got many attentions. So happy for him!!

He only look at what give happiness at that time, “To do something unique for my UX project.” But we have to think further, “It shows creativity and innovation for his skills, it opens the door for his contribution to the company, and it also build trust between us.”

So for UX Designer / any other professionals out there, starting from now onwards, if you want to make impact, if you want to contribute more, if you want to grow your business / career / results, etc. Think deeply, how can you create UX value for the long-term? Not only just doing your job, but also…

  1. What improvement can I do even before my boss asked?
  2. What problems can I find even before my users / team complain?
  3. What innovation opportunity I can create for this company to grow?
  4. How do I want to grow myself in this company for the next 2, 3, 5 years?
  5. How can my UX projects have long-term usage and retention in the market?
  6. Why do I have to make more and more people understand the value of UX nowadays?
  7. Who can help me to grow my skill, responsibility, and results? and more…

But Deby, How if it just give me a lot works but they don’t appreciate? How if I was being overlook? How if they complain that I was too proactive, energetic, aggressive, etc.?

Growing yourself UX long-term, you can grow vertically in terms of title, promotion, salary, bonuses, awards and all other external factors. But in case you don’t get it, you are growing yourself internally as well – growing skills, experience, wisdom, maturity and perspective.

External factors such as title, salary, awards, recognition, appreciation, etc. are not permanent, it can change anytime. But your internal UX achievement gonna stay with you forever. So always, always, always, do the best you can for own long-term future.

Last time, I worked directly with CEO as the design leader, leading many designers with different skills, background, and personality. One day, CEO asked me to go for lunch after meeting… “Deby, I want to build 100-years old company. How can I make them happen with design?”

Ha?? I was not prepared, “Hmmm… If we continuously looking at what done well and what can be improved until all of our products become the leader in the market. We will thrive in the next 10, 20, 30 years ahead. We have to continuously learning, create innovation, and see the future of design. Because user-behaviour are evolving and attention-span are getting shorter so we need to build innovation, create opportunities, and attract top talents.” 

In my mind I was thinking, “Are we gonna even stay alive in the next 100 years? Haha..”

He didn’t have any motive, but I immediately understand. Why he is a CEO and why I am his employee. He was planning for next 100 years ahead, and I was so happy with a delicious food in front of me and forget about tomorrow!! 🤦

As a leader, we also have to guide and help people to build vision, to understand UX long-term, and making smarter decision on day to day basis. I do really hope that my story can open your perspective so you can think further ahead.

Do you have any questions bothering you? Ask me any questions!! Send me message or put into comment. You might get answer. 🙂

Think how can we make design impact for the long-term. the longer you build UX vision, the further you will go, and the more results you will achieve.

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