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Practical Guide For UX and Design Managers

Useful resources for design managers and UX managers to get started, with bitter lessons, things to keep in mind and do’s and don’ts.

Things To Avoid as a Design Manager #

  • Most managers don’t give enough feedback.
  • Don’t “sandwich” feedback — critique with humility.
  • Never do your team’s work; help them do their best work.
  • Don’t mandate decisions from the top; explain them.
  • Don’t be a silent voice in the back: be present at all times.
  • Don’t be scared to hire people who outperform you.
A comprehensive guide to design management

A comprehensive roadmap to design management, kindly put together by Alex Mandel. Full version.

Things To Do as a Design Manager #

  • Good managers are vulnerable and sincere.

  • Your best work gets done in well-prepared 1:1’s.

  • Track progress and achievements for each team member.

  • Fight hard for your team’s promotions and bonuses.

  • Start your week by asking your team how you can help.

  • Give feedback often, timely and firmly.

  • Set expectations and explain what success means.

  • Always set a structure around what needs to happen next.

  • Protect your team when something goes wrong.

  • Give your team the credit when things go right.

  • Keep your doors open at all times.

Management Isn’t For Everyone #

Personally, I’d like to emphasize that becoming a manager isn’t really a promotion. It’s not necessarily a “common” career path either. It's a different path, and an entirely new role — with new responsibilities and tasks.

The most remarkable part about management is that you can plant a seed and see people growing to incredible heights. But sometimes you will face confrontation, conflicts, strong opinions and lack of team spirit. This will make you feel exhausted, discouraged and lonely.

So don’t forget to build relationships with people who go through the same things like you do. Build a guild. Meet regularly. Share what has worked for you. Carve out time to think. To reflect. To build bridges and discover connections. If it’s for you, it will feel right. And if it isn’t, there is always a way back.

Useful Resources #

Personal Stories and Journeys #

Useful Books #

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