As a new content designer at Intuit working on QuickBooks (our accounting software), I wanted to learn everything I could about the application. The easy way would have been to set up my own test account with dummy data and a fake business. But I knew that wouldn’t really give me the insights I wanted. I needed to see how real small business customers actually used it.
When I set out to learn a new craft, I experienced a phenomenon that shifted my perspective on how both novices and experts approach their work.
As designers, we all have superpowers. As a design leader, it’s my job to draw those superpowers out, both from individuals and from teams.
Cognitive differences weren’t just an edge case to me anymore—it was my own experience, one that was far more common than I knew.
As designers, we put so much thought and care into our designs before they go out in the world. Once out in the wild, our designs are used by people who don’t always behave the way we expect them to.
In 2011, I traveled to India from my home in small-town Texas to study Hindi. A question I often got was, “Why Hindi?” The answer: empathy.
I had ordered a bar of soap on Etsy because of how cool it looked. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but I snapped a photo of it anyway.
Sensing his discomfort, I wanted to move on to the next question. But I waited. A few seconds. And a few more seconds. And then, Manoj spoke.
Designers are meant to be loved, not to be understood.Margaret Oscar, designer
If you randomly selected a highly trained designer and asked them to create a workflow for “bank reconciliations,” it’s unlikely they would know where to start, no matter how experienced they are. But at Intuit, designers have to live in that world.
Inclusive language is not somebody else’s project, it’s our project.
If only we all started working on something at the same time, imagine the impact each team member could make, not to mention the benefit to our customers.
Data-driven design is the process of developing or improving a product based on things you can measure.
Being a manager is a lot. Not gonna lie to you, it’s not always fun either. But you don’t need to know everything, everywhere, all at once.
Somewhere between lists of pricey ingredients, pop-up video ads for things I don’t need, and thinking about ordering take-out again and bruising my wallet, I admit defeat. I’m completely over this dinner problem.
Understanding my neurodiversity has been a gift—both in my personal life and in my career as a content designer.
Will I make it through 8-hour days? Will I wake up early enough to join 9 AM meetings? Will I still have time for my summer plans? The answer to this is yes, barely, and yes.
Your bags are packed, accommodations sorted, pets placated. There’s just one more thing between you and some well-earned time off: crafting your out-of-office message (OOO).