At our very first joint IxDA event at Designit Munich, we invited the UX community to explore what really matters in leadership. We were joined by Rachel Jackson, Head of Design at Thomson Reuters (UK), who shared her thoughts and experience on how to manage a UX team.

 

What’s next for me? Many talented young designers out there are asking this question to themselves. The interaction design world is changing rapidly. There’re an increasing number of opportunities within the profession. And one option for skilled interaction designers is to move to management. Together with Designit, the IxDA Munich chapter invited Rachel Jackson, Head of Design at Thomson Reuters (UK), to share what she’s learned through her experience managing an UX team. She shared some insights to provide a deeper understanding of what great leadership really is, while relating it back to the specific challenges of being a UX manager.

 

‘It’s about self-awareness and humility’

 

News - The hidden challenges and rewards of managing a UX team (1)

 

Rachel talked about the most difficult part of being a manager: building the emotional intelligence to bring self-awareness and humility to the role. These traits, she said, are much more important than those commonly portrayed by the ‘charismatic leaders’ of pop culture. And, even more importantly for you interaction designers, these are things that can be learned. Rachel shared some concrete examples of common issues that people might face in their role as UX managers.

 

Being a good manager takes time and effort as well as a shift in focus away from the pure practice of design. But it is, in many ways, its own design challenge that brings great satisfaction. And the skills you will learn are life skills, not only work skills. – Rachel Jackson, Head of Design at Thomson Reuters (UK)

 

News - The hidden challenges and rewards of managing a UX team (2)

 

After Rachel’s speech, we invited our guests to join in our very own Designit session ‘How to make a monster’, and to mingle and talk more about what makes a UX designer. Over all, it was great to welcome a passionate, talented crew of young designers and get to know their thoughts.

 

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