2019 or rather the past 8 months of this year has been a life lesson in doing and patience, WOW it been a blast and have grown in so many ways and learned a lot of things about my career. I have felt like a teenager in puberty, a bit confused at times on why I have been doing what I have been doing.

There is a great feeling of being consistent in working on your thing, and I have been privileged enough to be in a position where I had the opportunity to explore how I really want to serve humanity over the next few years.

NOT a UX Designer

I have played in the UX designer role over the past few years helping teams design flows, sketches and prototypes or storyboards, however, you may call it. I have been mainly executing on other peoples ideas and most of the time, poor design, and ideas based on business needs and not the user’s. Before design sprints, adding value to any UX work I did was really BS, it was more of cake decorating in place of UX problem solving, understanding the user and designing products that resonate with them.

I quit being a UX designer and became more of a problem solver, I intentionally buried my years worth of design skills and focussed fully on having better more meaningful conversations that translated to better design and business decisions being made. Now, this is hard if you have been a designer/UI/UX for all your life. The conversations took a 360 over the past few months from designing good looking products to designing products that people actually need and how to build them better at speed. I now help teams do better UX design using design sprints and the methods that help convergent thinking helping better decision making and building better products faster.

Learning by Doing

Most of my life I have been lazy, so lazy that just the thought of doing anything would bring me so much anxiety. I knew what I had to do but I would feel so weak to show up and showing my face. I have recently started realizing that I am not lazy, In fact, I spend too much time behind my computer, planning and doing work that no one will ever see. All this time I have been afraid, I have been afraid of my dreams, Afraid of taking the next leap in my career, afraid of making a change… Afraid of doing.

Once I realized that this is what has been taking place in my life, I started working on doing more and did not mind the quality or the consistency but made sure that I saw myself doing and working toward the next stage of my career. This has helped me unpack the value I can bring to my clients, other UXers and people within the communities I live in. I started a podcast “Not a UX Designer” which helped me start having conversations I could share with other people and unlock the knowledge and opportunities that are out there for designers.

I started dealing with the big things wrong with UX and how people understand it and how to better execute it providing more value for the clients that use UX services and help UXers provide more value to their clients.

Design Sprint S.A

Early on, when this puberty started in the second quoter of the year I realized that everything is about community and for real change to happen people need to be informed and have the platform to have the right conversations. Design sprints help solve the UX design conversation in any product project. How UX design is done and why different teams define it differently is because there is no set standard or steps to follow when applying UX or design thinking as a team. This leaves people with different understanding and context of what UX is, how to apply design thinking and it gets very when you start throwing words like agile in the 💩mix.

Since I started running design sprints seriously and seeing the benefits of team alignment, better decision making and building better products at speed. I have felt a real need for people to join this conversation on design sprints, How we can apply them in AI, Voice and in Agile teams to help facilitate doing better UX and building great products for our customers. I think there is a huge benefit to  UXers learning how to facilitate UX rather than just executing it.

Design sprint S.A is an effort to encourage this conversation to happen with people building products, in agile teams and other people already running design sprints in South Africa. you can join the LinkedIn group or join me next year for a meet up in Johannesburg, hopefully, it will be happening on the last Thursday of every month. let us explore design sprints and how we can help UXers help provide more value and facilitate UX rather than just executing on business ideas.

 

A BIG thank you

A big thank you to all the people who have been part of my journey over the past few months that have helped me grow and take the next step into my career. It has been a great privilege to speak in front of many people and facilitate many workshops and meetings that have helped me better understand the process and how to apply myself better every day.

I want to thank all the people who have connected with me especially on linked in and have been part of my podcast, clients or people who have helped me have this conversation with other people and help spread the design sprint message.  Looking forward to an amazing 2020, packed with better conversations and meeting great new people.