Designers can be brutal, their words piercing, their thoughts methodical, but generally well thought out and often with no malice behind the words. I, too am ashamed to say I can be like this. Feedback is such a hard output to grasp, and sometimes it can really strike a nerve you don't know that you have. Not a nerve that makes you want to fight back, but the nerve that swings on the edge of a cliff, never knowing if it will fall off. That nerve being imposter syndrome.
Whether out of fear of feedback, or mockery, I have generally felt an overwhelming sense of anxiety about sharing my work with the world.
It can be so tough to fight that imposter syndrome, and even tougher when you receive feedback that makes you wonder why you did something a certain way or not. Or leaving you questioning are even good enough for this position, for this title of "User Experience Designer". "Do I even deserve that title", will play over your mind.
But then will come the good, the great feedback. The kind of feedback that lives in your head forever, because it made you feel so good. Thats the kind of feedback that we all strive for and hope, but that can’t be the only feedback we receive, we need that constructive helpful feedback, and sometimes it means wading through the harder feedback to find the constructive.
It’s time to push through these fears and stop letting them control myself. I need to open myself up to more opportunities, and this is going to happen by opening my portfolio up for more to see.
One thing I have learnt during my time at SmartPatient, is that feedback is invaluable. It's better to try and let the bad feedback flow off your back like water off a ducks back, and then take in all the positive you can. The team aspect of design has been such an important part of my experience in the last two years, its helped to build back up my confidence and enjoy design more than I ever have.
This year marked the start of my ninth year of full time work. It’s time to face my fear head on and show my work, build myself up and share more, show more and be more active on this wonderful world of the internet.
Since starting at SmartPatient and being surrounded by a team of great UX designers, it’s revitalised my passion for the industry and for the role of being a designer. Being able to receive the kind of valuable feedback I get from my team on a weekly basis, has really made me realise how good feedback can be, how helpful it can be in helping push and improve your designs.
When I started in my career, I was desperate for a mentor. Someone I could turn to when I had a problem that I had no way of figuring out. Someone to turn to, to ask about my career path and what I could do to better myself in my roles.
Now it’s my turn to help mentor and give back. Since last year I have taken on a more senior role in my team and have been helping to mentor some of the junior members. It’s been one of the most fulfilling parts of my role to date. To see someone grow, and be able to help them in some way, is an incredibly satisfying feeling. I can’t wait to do more, and maybe join a site like ADP list in order to offer some mentoring.
Here's to the next steps, it's going to be bold (hopefully).