Innovation will always be a key factor in the long-term success of any business. Without it, it would be impossible to remain relevant as new technology and trends emerge that better solve the problems your user is facing.
When I was starting out as a designer, I often felt the need to always create something different and risky because I needed to establish myself as innovative and thus invaluable to my team. Thinking this way, or worse, trying to live up to these self-imposed standards yielded little innovation when it came to my designs (and honestly, it led to overworking myself early in my career).
Today, I want to dismantle these delusions because the truth is most of the cutting-edge products that designers aspire to create hardly take design risks, nor are they the innovation of a single mastermind of design.
When I was starting out, I assumed that award-winning products were the creation of a single person who designed an entire product from the ground up. But that is never the case. In fact, a lot happens behind the scenes with multiple brains humming and hawing over which design route to take. There can be years of researching, testing, reevaluating, retesting, and then further researching that happens before the product turns into what the final iteration that the world sees. As designers, it’s not our job to be the Don Draper of design – the person who holds the single source of truth as to what the design will be. Instead, our job is to be the team member who is the facilitator of thorough user research and the collector of viewpoints so that nothing goes unconsidered.