7 Responses

  1. UX Designers: Why are we hiding? | Elisabeth Hubert

    […] I think that we look internally for ideas and even new jobs way too much. It seems that we are Obsessed with the Reputation of being known in the UX community or working at one of the big wig companies, more so than […]

  2. Chris Murphy
    Chris Murphy at |

    In my experience, what you’re illustrating is a legacy of our industry — young designers (and design professionals in general), have always wanted to work with the “big guys” because that’s where all of the interesting, creative work was being done. I also tend to think that it’s symptomatic of a few issues:
    1. Lack of self-confidence or confidence in the designer’s work
    2. Lack of experience
    3. Lemming-head (‘everyone else is doing it, so I should too)

    It’s understandable that designers would want to leverage the prestige that comes along with being associated with a recognized and reputable agency. But I my sense is that such thinking is flawed — at least given today’s market.

    Today’s reality is that the “big guys” are struggling to maintain their relevance in an industry and global culture that shows less favor towards the high-cost/slow/low ROI agencies, while leaning more towards the cost-effective/agile/high ROI consultants, companies, collaboration groups.

    Having been involved in one capacity or another in the industry and with agencies, I can say that most of these agencies are still stuck with the tired notion of needing to “own the creative” — forget about what actually makes the creative function (at least online), or be effective.
    The irony is that the big agencies sub-contract almost everything to smaller groups that conceptualize the creative and strategy and execute it from start to finish. They do this because they just don’t get it — or care to understand what’s changing around them.

    If you ask me, I’d rather work for a small outfit — excluding the wannabe marketing communications groups (we all know who they want to be). I’d rather work for a small company who are dedicated to their craft; can execute a clever strategy; develop strong creative; and deliver the promised ROI for their clients — and be happy with the fact that they can do what very, very few agencies can even think about doing.

    Some of the most rewarding work has come to me since I left my agency to b a full time consultant — I’ve learned more, and done more in the last 8 months than I have in the past few years being involved with “creative” agencies.

  3. Dustin
    Dustin at |

    Really thing you’re onto something with this.. and I like Lee’s extension of the rock star analogy. I guess it really comes down to knowing what excites you. I would guess that for a lot of young designers reputation does play into the criteria for achievement more-so than the BIG questions, like “what do I want to do with my skills, and where can I do the most of it?”

  4. Lee
    Lee at |

    I don’t know that continuously looking for new challenges is analogous to obsessing over reputation. Like real rockstars, the legitimate ones know their trade and kick ass, while those obsessed with reputation, well… Nickelback.


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