Even though it all does sound challenging, don't throw in the towel just yet. These times also offer a chance to broaden our horizons, refine our skillsets and develop new capabilities. Here are some tips you might want to leverage to stay relevant and even increase your value as a designer:
Optimization and efficiency
: Since there is increased pressure on achieving profitability, most businesses will look at ways how to optimize their current operations, so it might not be the best time to pitch innovative ideas for new products or services with uncertain outcomes, but rather improve existing solutions and processes
(from a design perspective, a good example might be to work on better design systems to cut down development costs or utilize research and synthesis skills to help decrease customer service costs).
Elevated importance of pricing
: During economic downturns, people are more cautious about how they spend their money, so the pricing aspect of products becomes critical
; designers would benefit from learning the basics of pricing
and getting familiar with the commercial side of product development.
Expansion of knowledge for better leadership potential
: Times of crises require strong leaders; expanding your (at least surface) knowledge of marketing, sales, finance, and other domains will increase your chances of rising to leadership positions and enhance your collaborative potential within the organization.
Proactively adding value through business savviness
: We already emphasized business savviness as a vital skill in our trends for 2022
, but it's even more necessary now; embracing and learning concepts such as profitability tree
to identify opportunities where to add value with your unique skills (be it research, interaction or visual design) might multiply your value as a designer in the market
(and add powerful skills to your 'recession-proof' toolkit).Open collaboration, not siloed approach, will win
: Better embedment
into the organization's structure will matter more than ever now; designers who are siloed away and not tightly integrated within their business and broader working teams will significantly decrease their relevancy (in plain language, work more closely with your colleagues and not hidden in a cave).Time to pay more attention to your CFO
: Often, seemingly boring financial briefings and presentations are essential to understand the core financial metrics of your organization and see the bigger picture
. Without this, its extremely hard to know where to invest your time and energy to make the most significant impact (and keep your job or rise in the business).