My career started as a software engineer, then jumped to UI/UX design and marketing. Something I never stopped was learning, and learning and gaining knowledge is how I became a senior designer.
Another recommendation I gave junior designers is not to get obsessed with certifications or degrees. The best designers I ever met were self-taught. When nobody teaches you directly, you can explore and make more mistakes. If you have somebody telling you how to do design, they will frame your mind into what they think is “correct?
Now, let’s jump into the qualities which will build the old mindset.
Designers need to know what type of business they are in. First, it is nice to learn new things, and second, it will allow you to be better at the business. The responsibility of a designer is to sell through design and to do this, you must know what you are selling.
The more you know about the business, the better you will be able to understand the product. For a product designer, it is essential to create a product that fits the business and vision, and you must consider what effect customers will find beneficial to do.
Building a good product requires understanding the people who use the product and the problems they face. Jobs-to-be-done is a great philosophy to apply here. This video is the perfect explanation of how to understand your user https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Stc0beAxavY&ab_channel=HubSpotMarketing.
Taking ownership is one of the essential skills to have in senior designers. You have to be responsible for all your actions, requirements, and deliveries and be in touch with all others whose involvement is essential in the project.
To be clear with timelines, timelines should be shared within your teams.
Senior designers usually work with cross-functional teams. To create a successful product, you need to collaborate with different teams. Understanding which requirements require you to contact which team is essential. You have a plan for when you need the help of which group is vital. Do you want data or need to understand the product/feature?
Senior designers tend to ask for feedback at the beginning to improve strategy/design in the initial draft, making it easier to complete the project. Senior designers never take feedback personally and should be eager to listen to more perspectives. You become senior not when you know all but when you are good at listening and answering questions.
It’s essential to give end-to-end solutions when working in a senior role.
From requirement gathering to tech handover, it is essential to provide solutions that will be self-explanatory, like with your design assets delivery, provide your flows, design solutions along with prototype.
While you will be working with different teams, it, by default, makes you a team player where you know to whom you need to connect and how to tackle work within and with other groups.
Keep Updating Yourself
Your top priority when applying for senior positions is updating your skills and communication. You have to self-critique your work and find out what skills are required to grow your career in design.
Senior positions require good communication; storytelling comes from good communication, and how you narrate your story is crucial. It is better to overcommunicate than miss something.