A podcast about navigating the
opportunities and challenges of design leadership
with Jesse James Garrett and Peter Merholz

REcent Episodes

16 – How can a designer grow in their career without becoming a manager? (and more)

Jesse and Peter return from their hiatus and dig into a few emerging trends we’ve seen in product design teams, including (00:25) the rise of the senior individual contributor, (13:44) the increasingly tangled relationship between design, engineering, and product management, and (35:37) what it takes to lay the foundation for lasting change.

15: Mailbag—Funding models; from output to impact; personal safety and security

In which Jesse and Peter answer questions on funding models, shifting from output to impact, demonstrating value, and the challenges of being a design leader right now.

Questions addressed:

(01:00) “How does a good business fund design activity?”

(09:28) “How can one handle being a good lead designer, when in the company where you work, the majority of product owners don’t understand their role.”

(12:43) “[How can] design influence their orgs to move from an artifact/output-based model of design to a practice/impact one?”

(16:40) “How [can] a design team better frame their unique value inside an organization that is crowded out by engineering voices and investment. How can I articulate the value that the design team creates as being as critical as sound software engineering?”

(26:34) “How can I help my team feel secure and supported when my own world is adrift on stormy seas,” and “How to help my designers feel safe and secure in rocky times.”

14: “If your team’s work isn’t good, you didn’t set clear expectations,” and other Design Leadership Truisms

In which Peter shares some of his Design Leadership Truisms (inspired by the work of Jenny Holzer), and Jesse reacts.

Truisms discussed:
(03:29) “People are not their job titles.”

(04:50) “If your team’s work isn’t good, you didn’t set clear expectations.”

(08:32) “Bad design is a result of context, not individual aptitude.”

(09:14) “If you focus on the organization, quality will take care of itself.”

(17:11) “You cannot calculate an ROI for design.”

(20:01) “If you haven’t pissed someone off, you are not doing your job right.”

(24:19) “For someone who talks a lot about empathy. You show little for your colleagues.”

(26:55) “Introversion inhibits design’s ultimate impact.”