As a one person design shop, or as a member of a team within a larger organization, I always advocated to be in the room when the earliest discussions were taking place and the shape and form of a project was being decided upon. I wanted to design for a problem rather than a solution. But it was not often enough that I achieved this. One reason is that many decisions are arrived at before a designer is asked to participate. Products are already in a budget and in a calendar. A process has already been gone through. But I longed to shape the form as well as the message.
I began my study of User Experience design thinking I would gain some extra skills and ideas that would help expand the scope of projects I could work on and give me a seat at the table. But one of my UX teachers remarked that entering a workplace that does not already have a strong UX culture would necessitate constant discussion and teaching, like running a course.
So I am looking for an environment where I can be an integral part of a culture that works in build measure learn cycles, values research, feedback, design thinking, and recognizes that understanding the needs and desires of the user is central to moving the business or organization forward.
In the mornings, after breakfast, I try to put in at least 15 minutes of Japanese study (and a little time in the evening). Because I have two boys who speak it perfectly and because more culture and language is more perspective. The commute is given over to bike riding and to no thinking at all. Or just the thinking that is being. On the weekends I try to get some extra reading in.