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The Confidence of a Dog, Shitting
A guide for Product Designers to unleashing your inner canine confidence
Welcome back to Design Is Hard, where we tackle the trials and tribulations of the design world, one snarky post at a time. Today, we're diving into a unique source of inspiration: dogs. That's right, our canine companions have a certain level of confidence that we, as product designers, can learn from. So, if you're ready to unleash your inner dog-like confidence while designing apps, features, websites, and more, read on!
1. Embrace vulnerability: It's not a design flaw
Being a product designer means putting your ideas out there for the world to critique. Let's face it, it can be terrifying. But what can we learn from dogs? They embrace vulnerability like it's nobody's business—literally. When nature calls, they do their thing without a care in the world.
As designers, we need to do the same. Embrace the vulnerability that comes with sharing your work and be open to feedback. Remember, no design is perfect, and that's okay. Your work will only improve with feedback and iteration.
"I used to be terrified of presenting my work. Then I realized that being vulnerable and open to critique is what makes a design truly great. Now, I strut into every design review like a dog on a mission." -Anonymous Designer
2. Be present in the moment: Focus, young Padawan
Dogs are the epitome of living in the now. When they're outside doing their business, they're not worried about their next meal or chasing squirrels later. They're focused on the task at hand.
As product designers, we need to channel that same laser focus. When you're designing an app, feature, or website, be present in the moment. Don't let distractions or self-doubt derail your creative process. Give your full attention to the design, and you'll not only produce better work but also exude a sense of confidence.
"I once caught myself worrying about a future project while designing a crucial feature. That's when I decided to be more dog-like in my focus. Suddenly, my work improved, and my confidence skyrocketed." -Jane Designer, App Designer
3. Trust your instincts: Your gut knows best
Dogs trust their instincts without question. We, on the other hand, often second-guess ourselves, especially when it comes to design decisions. It's time to channel our inner canine and trust our gut.
When you have a strong design instinct, trust it. Believe in your experience and expertise, and make those decisions with confidence. While it's essential to consider feedback and data, don't let them overshadow your creative intuition.
4. Don't sweat the small stuff: Perfectionism is overrated
Designers can be perfectionists, and sometimes, that means we get bogged down by every little detail. However, dogs don't care about the small stuff. They don't obsess over the perfect squatting spot; they just do their thing and move on.
Apply this dog-like mentality to your work. Strive for excellence, but don't let perfectionism hold you back. Accept that not every design will be flawless and that every project is a learning opportunity.
"I used to obsess over every pixel, every shade of color. Then I realized that I was wasting time on things that didn't matter. Now, I focus on the big picture and embrace the imperfections as part of the design process." -John Designer, Web Designer
5. Communicate assertively: Speak up, designer!
Dogs don't hesitate to bark, whine, or wag their tails to get their message across. They're assertive communicators, and as product designers, we need to be too. Don't be afraid to express your ideas, opinions, and concerns when discussing design projects with your team.
Being assertive means you value your own perspective, and it sends a message to others that your input is worth considering. By communicating assertively, you'll not only boost your self-confidence but also foster a healthier, more collaborative design environment.
"I used to hold back during brainstorming sessions, worried that my ideas weren't good enough. Then I decided to channel my inner dog and communicate assertively. Now, my ideas are not only heard but also appreciated, and my confidence has never been higher." -Jane Designer, UX Expert
6. Celebrate your accomplishments: Give yourself a treat
Dogs know how to celebrate their wins. Caught a ball? Time for a victory dance. Learned a new trick? Treats all around. We should take a page from their book and celebrate our own accomplishments, big or small.
When you complete a project, overcome a design challenge, or receive positive feedback, take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate your achievement. Reward yourself for a job well done. Celebrating your accomplishments helps reinforce a positive self-image, which in turn boosts your confidence.
7. Foster a support network: Find your pack
Dogs are pack animals, and they thrive in a supportive, communal environment. As designers, we can also benefit from surrounding ourselves with a strong support network. Build connections with fellow designers, mentors, and friends who encourage, challenge, and inspire you.
When you have a support network, you're more likely to trust your own abilities and feel confident in your work. So, go out there and find your pack, and you'll be amazed at how much more self-assured you'll become.
"I used to work in isolation, rarely reaching out to others in my field. Then I discovered the value of a support network. Now, I'm part of a fantastic group of designers who motivate and inspire me, and my confidence has grown tenfold." -Jack Designer, UI Designer
So, fellow designers, let's take inspiration from our canine companions and unleash our inner confidence. Embrace vulnerability, be present in the moment, trust your instincts, don't sweat the small stuff, communicate assertively, celebrate your accomplishments, and foster a support network. With these principles in mind, you'll be well on your way to tackling the design world with newfound poise and conviction.
If you enjoyed this post and want more snarky, insightful, and downright dog-inspired content, then you won't want to miss out on Design Is Hard. Subscribe to our Substack today to join our pack of confident, creative, and self-assured product designers. We'll deliver fresh, engaging content right to your inbox, covering everything from design tips and tricks to industry news and trends. You'll also gain access to our supportive community of like-minded professionals who are ready to share, learn, and grow together. So, what are you waiting for? Subscribe now and embark on a journey of continuous improvement and unleashed confidence!
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About John Wayne Hill
John Wayne Hill, a seasoned product designer based in San Francisco with over 15 years of experience, is the creative force behind Design Is Hard. Previously a Director-level IC at Twitter, John Wayne has a proven track record of challenging the status quo and pushing for innovation. His collaborative spirit extends to working with fellow designers, engineers, product managers, data analysts, and researchers, fostering a team-oriented environment. View Portfolio and Experience.