Things I’ve Learned from Leading (UX Designers)
I've worked for a lot of idiot managers in my career. And then, one day, after I had become a manager, it dawned on me: Now I'm the idiot! Most of my career has been an exercise in “trial by fire” and this process worked well when I was a designer and was trying to master the art of the site map, wireframe, personas, and so on. In leadership, the option to start over or iterate hasn't always been readily available--nor as painless to my pride and my pocketbook.
Many of these lessons haven’t been easy for me to learn. It’s been tough to simultaneously remove obstacles without becoming one, or learning how to say “no” (and the flavors of yes and no!) when I've also wanted people to be satisfied with me and the work I'm doing. However, these lessons have all helped me become better at managing to some degree, while instilling a strong sense of empathy for those people who either report to me, or bless their souls, manage me in one way or another.
UX Design Dir
Russ Unger is an Experience Design Director for GE Capital Americas where he leads teams and projects in design and research . He is co-author of the book “A Project Guide to UX Design”, “Designing the Conversation”, and the forthcoming “Speaker Camp” for Peachpit Press (Voices That Matter). Russ is also working on a book on guerrilla design and research methods that is due out well, sometime.
Russ is co-founder of ChicagoCamps, which hosts low-cost, high-value technology events in the Chicago area, and he is also on the Advisory Board for the Department of Web Design and Development at Harrington College of Design. Russ has 2 daughters who both draw better than he does and are currently beginning to surpass his limited abilities in coding.