Advocating for yourself as a designer


Self-advocacy is “an individual’s ability to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate or assert his or her own interests, desires, needs and rights” (VanReusen et al., 1994). 

Asking for a raise has always been such a nerve-racking thing for me because I just have no idea where to even begin. The chicken-sh*t inside of me is like, “no, everything is fine” while the self-advocate inside of me is like, “you deserve a raise because you’ve taken on lots of responsibilities and delivered”. Well, if you’re anything like me, here’s what you’ll talk to do to ask for a promotion: 

  • Be clear on what you want
  • Pick your frame of mind
  • Compile a list of accomplishments and impact
  • Understand the company’s promotion system
  • Share how the promotion will benefit the team and the company
  • Practice, practice, practice

Yes, it’s scary to ask for something and you might get ‘no’ for an answer but asking for a salary increase or a promotion are very common metrics of growth and development. If it doesn’t work the first time, ask for feedback on how you can advocate for your case better next time and try again in a few months. 


It’s Nice That Podcast is a newly launched podcast at the beginning of 2022 that focuses on in-depth conversations with various types of designers. It’s dubbed as the podcast ’seeks to scrub away the Instagram gloss and hear the honest truth from people who have built careers out of their creativity.’ 

In this episode, Karen Yates stands for the host, Matt Alagiah to introduce the speaker, Eddie Opara. Eddie is a partner at Pentagram in New York and a senior critic at the Yale Institute of Art. Eddie shares how to recover from a project that goes wrong and how Yale taught him to be a more cerebral thinker. Each episode also ends with a ‘Nice Note’ which is a memo sent by global designers describing a favorite spot in their hometown and in this episode, we heard from Jocelyn Tsaih about Oakland, California. 


As a junior designer, this article informed me that I’m able to influence the product roadmap. When I first joined my team, I assumed that product managers were the ones who dictated what we worked on next. But this article points out 3 handy ways to be effective at influencing a product roadmap as a designer:

  1. Shift the focus to user-centric outcomes.
  2. Connect quantitative data with qualitative insights.
  3. Get familiar and involved with prioritization frameworks.

Applying this to my “core team”, which is made up of a designer (me), engineering manager, and product manager, as a team, any one of us can influence the product roadmap as long as we provide evidence that a feature will add value for our users. That might be looking at NPS responses, talking to users, or auditing the product. 


You guys already know about Figma, right?

These are not fancy tools by any means but they are ways to help you become a more efficient designer: 

  1. GoFullPage Google Chrome Extension
  2. UXcel
  3. Notion
  4. Calendly
  5. Grammarly


“No matter what anyone tells you or what people think they know, just make shit!”

– Chirryl-Lee Ryan, Head of Experience Design at Isobar Hong Kong


This book is a relatively quick read – at only 241 pages, it’s good for people who want a book that’s not too big and not too short. The topics in the book are as the title says “UX for beginners” – topics are covered in quick, readable sections and often offer golden nuggets of advice. 


This is a free research hub for those interested in making their social media content more accessible and user-friendly. 

Read the full article here

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