Why I Became a Design Manager

产品设计 2015-01-20

At the start of 2015, I officially became a Design Manager at Optimizely
. I transitioned from an individual contributor, product design role into a leadership role. For the entirety of my career up to this point, I had never planned on going into management. Doing hands-on, nitty-gritty design and coding work seemed so much more exciting and fulfilling. Management sounded more like a necessary evil than an interesting challenge. But since then, my thinking has changed. So why did I become a Design Manager?

When I joined Optimizely in September of 2012, the design team was just 2 people. I made it 3 in early 2013 when my role moved from engineering to design. And at the end of 2014, we were 16. (As of this writing we’re at 21!). So we’ve seen tremendous growth, and I’ve been present for all of it. And throughout this time, there had only been 1 manager for the entire team, which was not healthy for my manager or the team. The possibility of managing had been floated by me in mid-2014, but I wasn’t interested. I had been a Product Designer for less than a year and wasn’t ready to move on yet. I felt like I had just started hitting my stride as a designer, and wanted to continue honing my craft. I recognized the need for another manager, but I didn’t want it to be me.

As more designers joined Optimizely, I began taking on more managerial tasks. I also saw more issues rising within the team that our manager didn’t always have time to address. So in short, the importance of this role became more apparent, and the day-to-day work of the role became more real to me.

But the real turning point came when my manager went on vacation. In his absence, I was the go-to person for all of the team’s needs. I suspended most of my design work for this period, and really got a taste of what it would be like to work as a full-time manager. I started asking myself, “What if this was my full-time role? Would I enjoy it?” I went back and forth in my head quite a bit. The idea of leaving behind design and code was both scary and saddening. I had so much I was still looking forward to building! Plus, as we all know, change is hard.

But the team has more needs than our lone manager can handle. And I care deeply about the team, so for the greater good I decided it was time to step up. I realized that by helping my team be as great as possible, I would have a bigger impact on the company. And by working closer with engineering managers and PMs, I would have a bigger impact on the product. I’d be getting out of the weeds of day-to-day design to work on the product from a higher perspective across individuals and teams. The impact is less direct, but broader. All of this sounded tremendously exciting to me, and more impactful than individual contributor work.

I also realized the things I love about design (problem solving, ideating, etc.) would still be present in my new role. But instead of applying those skills to concrete visual interfaces, I would apply them to abstract team and personnel issues. I’d be using the design process to solve a different set of problems.

So when my manager got back from vacation, I told him my decision and we started transitioning me into a managerial role. As of the start of 2015, I’ve been managing full time and loving it. I’m still a bit sad to leave design work behind, and worry about my skills atrophying, but I look forward to the new challenges that await. It was a difficult decision that took me a long time to come around to, but I’m excited to make the team, product, and company as great as possible.

责编内容by:Jeff Zych (源链)。感谢您的支持!


设计的可供性 – Weekly NO.40 ElemeUED Weekly:设计类阅读推荐周刊,饿了么UED 陪你一起读 : ) 这是我们第 40 次为你推荐优质文章,往期推荐可点击查看目录...
想转行做互联网?这可能是最靠谱的三个建议... 近几年来,互联网行业涌入了大批原属于传统行业的新人。 一方面是因为传统行业正处于“失势”地位,处于其中很容易看到自己职业生涯的天花板;另一方...
AR 正变革现有的人机交互,未来微信也将采用 3D 头像... 苹果AR应用演示 雷锋网按:PostAR 是一个可创建、分享 AR 内容的平台,该平台创始人兼 CEO Michael Park 日前在外媒 V...
快速融入团队的五个步骤 当项目经理来到一个组建已久的团队时,项目经理是一个名副其实的空降兵。团队常常会本能的排斥一个新人,尤其是一个来指指点点,告诉我们这里不对,那里也不对的讨厌鬼。可...
上汽大通智能选配器“蜘蛛智选”的开发故事:三个月一次大升级,小迭代天天有... 自2004年腾讯上市后,萌萌的企鹅形象就与中国本土的互联网行业产生了浓厚的关联印象。 国内互联网发展至今,苏宁的狮子、阿里的天猫、京东的机器狗、百...