Make Me a Designer – Kit for Tutors
Surely education means a lot. You studied at school, university or classes and it does not mean. But sooner or later we all gonna jump to practice. And the circle will restart. Don’t worry because it’s absolutely normal and it doesn’t mean that your skills are not useful. They are. But every design company has an inner philosophy and you will have to learn how to look at things in their perspective.
Now! Imagine than you already went through these processes becoming professional and feel the power to share and teach! Go back to your old beginner feelings and look into your intern eyes and get ready to open to them entire design universe. If you ever tried to hire a designer you should know it’s almost impossible to find a perfect specialist. There are many reasons for this problem. All design schools have a big drawback – there are cool teachers, but they are all different. Everyone has his own life experience in his head, from which they have drawn some conclusions and positions-maxima, which are not coordinated with each other.
Business grows well if it is carefully built around people. In design, the result depends only on the level of the designer who is engaged in the project. You grow such a specialist and help to grow others with your example. Designing in the studio is not only a solution for client tasks but also a school for growing designers. There is a metaphor “Leave it better than you found it.” So when it will come to educating your team to listen to these words. Remember that person who has an experience is on 1000 percents better than a tutor who forever sits in university trying to teach with no practice base. So believe in yourself.
There are some points of view which are very useful when you just begin to educate interns.
1. Lead with empathy
How do you do it? Listen more, talk less. Immerse yourself in how others experience your school or program. Adopt a beginner’s mind and use all of your senses to notice what’s happening around you. Believe in these practices so much!
2. Go for challenge
This is the opposite of “keep calm and carry on.” Challenging means when confronted with a problem, you seize the opportunity to do better than you’ve done before. Useful phrases to build into your lexicon are “What if. . . ?” and “How might we. . . ?” Just the simple act of introducing the language of possibility can start the shift from how we’ve always done things to the potential for a reframe. Reframing is critical for innovation, but it’s also a way for moving from a deficit point of view to an asset focus.
3. Share your process
Sharing is caring. Any criticism causes a negative reaction. Design can not thrive in isolation. As you share your empathy work or your experiments, share what’s hard, not just what’s shiny and new. You can share those things as well, but we’ll all learn more when you share your process, arts and all.
4. Give a task right way and make good descriptions
We are learning about details and they mean more. They build a correct strategy of experience grows. Like japa mala bead behind the bead. Nature is the best teacher which does perfection everywhere and we are a part of it! The season comes after the season in order. So do not forget and go for a natural way of teaching giving tasks one by one.
5. Make banal to not banal
When you will give next task to your intern try to let him know that there are so many ways to deal with it. Like it is the distance you need to swim and can use any swimming style to get to the finish. Like in photoshop using different tools and approaches you can draw exactly the same picture. What makes creative people be creative? They do exactly the same things we do, they just have a unique way and overcome patterns!
6. Make your interns count on themselves. Make them think
Know what you stay for. There is no reason for an intern to run and ask every silly questions which google is able to answer. Logic chain of understanding will be strongly formed only if there is inner curiosity to understand how the process works! By dealing with questions we achieve confidence!
7. Less means more
Success is not a big monolith. It’s like puzzle picture which is made from many small details. So doing your part of the task means the same as doing all amount of project tasks. Let understand that small amount of bad work can influence big project fatally. The same as good can become a magic feature which will bring success!
8. Give family feelings
A third part of the day! A pretty big amount of time together. When a new member comes to the team the best present for him will be attention and cozy communication. We do feel stressful at the beginning of meeting new people. It is ok! Just try to open them and give emotional support when you see the confusion on their faces. When they will go to job feeling like they go home work will bring more positive feelings!
9. Task firstly!
Then creative vision. Not opposite. A surely beginner can run for awesome creative ideas and try to realize them all, but, functionality and reasonable UX mean more! Start point on working map is customer task!
10. Mistakes are strong in building material
We are all made from mistakes! They are growing forces of ours. “It’s through mistakes that you actually can grow. You have to get bad in order to get good.” This is a personal opinion of professional designer Paula Scher and we totally agree with it. Do not be scared to make something wrong and don’t critique interns too much when they do. If the intern didn’t manage task from the first time! Give a second chance. World loves beauty and quality. But even flowers grow from the dirty ground.
11. Separate feelings about the critics
Any criticism causes a negative reaction. This is natural for the humans. A question is how fast you can cope with your own nature. A professional approach is a key. Being friends is one thing and working together is another. It is not necessary to perceive other’s corrections on a personal account.
12. Do not stew fire
When you see this inspirational sparkle in their eyes. You have to be professional. Because it is a great chance that you’re this source of lighting, so when an intern will come to you with the crazy idea make sure that lead him down to reality carefully.
13. Understand simply needs
Banal dehydrating can put down mood and make you feel bad. So see through! Biological reactions are our base and driver`s forces. Take care of your coworkers!
14. Praise in front of all team
When you say this is a great job, make sure each member of your team listens to this information. This tool is a magic vessel for strong team building support!
15. And for the end
Breathe in and breathe out. When you are a team-lead you have to breathe out your pressure and let it go. It is impossible to control everything! You have to understand that collaboration is based on human characters, we are all different, it is magic that now in 21 century we have so many tools to communicate more effectively.
To opposite. Let your interns deeply breathe in. Feel their lungs with inspiration. Sometimes they are like balloons which need to spend some time flying and looking for new ideas and solutions.
So that’s all. We come to this tutorial after years of practice. And we hope that some of this approaches will help you become a better tutor and better designer. These methods are very useful to read to interns too. Because we can look at them and understand them from the both sides. Learning new is the most exciting process which starts from our first breath and never ends! Do develop, do learn, do share knowledge, in this case, you will always step forward!
Best wishes! Cadabra team!
Thanks for reading us!
Author: Natalie Dziatkovski
Originally written for Cadabra Studio.