King’s College, Cambridge.

My first day at Readdle was 8 years ago already. I’ve shared my lessons learned, frankly, on Twitter last Thursday and was surprised how many people have reached me directly just to say thanks.

Now I want to share them with you, here. I hope the following words will resonate with even more people and perhaps will help you, in some way, to take a decision, to review some thoughts and intentions. If so, please to help others to reach this article.

1. Over these years, I’ve spent roughly 3/4 of my life for a single company n common results. I’ve collected small (and big) hurt feelings that interfered with my duties at some point.

These are your personal feelings and only you can deal with them. Move forward, don’t look back. You win anyway.

2. Once some of my initiatives were rejected. And later on, they were presented as someone’s else ideas with no explanations. This hurts and demotivates.

In a healthy team, it doesn’t matter who is the initiator. The common results are the goal! You’ld just remind them that you were right. You win anyway.

3. You better wear a mask with a positive smile, no matter how you actually feel. Otherwise, all your emotional instability will be returned on you in a bad light.

We’re all drawn to smart, strong and positive people. Be one of them. You win anyway.

4. During these 8 years and today, I remain loyal to single team and our commong goals. But I have noticed the longer it lasts, the greater requirements and less noticeable loyalty becomes. Also, any small thing can reset everything back to zero.

Loyalty is even harder to achieve than respect. Don’t lose your faith in a team and stay loyal. You win anyway.

5. In the beginning, my management style was more like “a Boss” and I was a total pain in the ass for my team. Then I tried to be a friend, but I always stayed in the discomfort zone and could destroy any relationships due to bias.

Teach yourself to be a mentor. Your team still respects you enough to hear you and to keep moving in one direction but with fun and no bias.

6. I’m really self-demanding n as a result, I’m also demanding of everyone and everything around me. Only a few might like that.

Stick to these people and don’t betray your principles for the rest. Demanding is the way to high quality in what you’re doing. You win anyway.

7. Sometimes my poor mood, mistakes, previous wrong decisions I’ve made, drove me into a cycle where everything happened over and over again.

Break the cycle. Give yourself time to “cool down” and have a rest. You always have some time for yourself. This is your life and only you control it. You win, anyway.

8. My principles, seldom, become an obstacle between me and what I want to accomplish. A few times, they even hurt me.

Good! This is the only way to ensure you really believe in these principles. If you do, find another route to achieve the goal. Otherwise, get rid of them. You win anyway.

9. It’s always a struggle for me to find motivation when something went wrong or I don’t see the results for a long period of time, or some of my peers don’t accept my accomplishments.

You have to believe in what you’re doing. This will empower you from the inside. Otherwise, find something else you’ll believe in. You win anyway.

10. During these years, I have been getting a lot of overtime. I mean, a whole lot! And actually, it doesn’t really matter anyway until it’s paid.

If you’re demanding and believe in want you are doing, it doesn’t matter how much personal time you’ve spent. The quality and end-results are the goals. You win, anyway.

11. Just a few people wanted and actually helped me to become who I’m today and to acquire what I was lacking (I’m still lacking a bunch of stuff and always be). The rest either had a minor effect or didn’t care at all.

Want something? Go and get it! If someone will assist you on your path, be grateful. And don’t shy to ask for help and help in return. You win anyway!

12. I have failed a few times along the way. I was dropped into an abyss of uncertainty and disappointments with someone’s “assistance.”

Good! Learn from it, rise and move forward. But never quit and keep believing. You win anyway.

13. It’s hard to always stay positive and motivated on a daily routine with the same tasks, same people, same location, same discussions, same “rules of the game”.

Challenge yourself with a higher quality of what you are doing, new learnings, new hobbies. Keep pushing yourself and keep it fun! You win, anyway.

14. A few times I used to have thoughts that someone else’s job is not that important or as difficult as mine or my team’s.

This is a false and harmful opinion. Everyone’s job is important and difficult in its own way. Respect the zeal and contributions of everyone. You win anyway.

15. Many times I’ve built up high expectations for an event I was organizing or for something I was working on really hard. Most of the time these expectations did not match the reality.

There is no sense for having such expectations. They are all based on your personal biases. Do your best and don’t expect anything from anyone. You win anyway.

16. Since I left my former design team (built for consumer dep.), I have never heard any feedback about my management from them. I was frustrated and disappointed in myself. But one day someone said to me:

If your former team can function successfully and productively, this is the best accomplishment you could hope to achieve on this.

Sometime later, two of the very first designers I hired at Readdle out of nowhere thanked me for my management and mentorship.

This is my first article which is not directly about design but something quite personal. I hope my lessons will help you at some point. It’s the only reason why I’ve decided to share them. Cheers ✌️

Clap and find me at Dko.is and on Twitter


Lessons Learned By a Designer to Designers. Frankly. was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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