Let’s say you’re a top notch user experience designer. You know how to talk to stakeholders and get to the root of what they hope to gain from building a new product. You can identify your user and groups of users. Conducting a great user interview is second nature, you always walk away with pages of deep insight into their goals, needs, and behaviors. Synthesizing mounds of data gathered from user research into a holistic solution is a breeze. You know how to bring your team alongside you to collaborate and thrash on the problem together. And executing a final solution into a fully realized product is your coup de grace on behalf of your users.
If you’re a top notch user experience designer, interaction designer, product designer, et al— this is just what you do.
But here’s a question: how often do you direct those finely tuned skills inward? When was the last time you took stock of what is going on in your life? What problems are you stuck on, personally? What trips you up or keeps you from succeeding outside of your design job?
Are you learning from personal failure the same way you learn when a prototype fails user testing? Are you pivoting and trying something else?
Maybe you’re part of an organization or group outside of work, and you’re struggling to make the impact you want. How well do you understand that group? Do you make efforts to understand them on the same level as your user interviews?
Are you trying to build the same connection and empathy in your marriage or your relationship, in the same intentional way as the people in your user groups?
Maybe it’s finally time to bring our work home. Success at work is achieved in very similar ways to success in our personal lives. It takes passion, drive, and all of the skills in our tool box.