Altay Sendil / Pinterest / UX Research Manager for Core Product / 03.20.18

Where is design going?

It’s becoming very cross-disciplinary – i.e. graphic, comms, digital, brand, etc. It’s also highly collaborative, regardless of industry. Now, even in-house design teams/departments are heavily collaborative with other disciplines. It’s also highly dynamic – the skillsets and tools are constantly evolving as a language and currency. It’s not about the software you’re knowledgable of or credentialed in, …it’s your ability to adapt to the software du jour to get the job done. It’s also about speed & iteration to get the job done. “shipping” product and your experience with that. not necessarily the successful show piece, …but whether or not you have experience building, shipping, failing, learing, …and doing it all over again.

How can design education be more relevant?

We need to build the skills to stay resilient in a very dynamic world. technology will change, tools will change, work flows will change, etc. as much practical experience that can be incorporated into the formal education process will be huge (i.e. internships, co-ops, industry partnerships, leveraging working adjunct faculty, etc). Need to teach the art of narrative and storytelling. I find this to be one of the big lacking skills in hiring time and time again.

What are the future skillsets designers need to learn now?

Communication, narrative and storytelling; collaboration and working with multi-disciplines; ability to be self-sufficient with learning new skills (whether through, YouTube tutorials, general assembly, etc); humility and resilience.

What should a design school do to prepare students for transdisciplinary work?

As much exposure as possible to the complexity of decision making so they have empathy to not just end-user, but to their org, team members/stakeholders, other disciplines, etc. Also, teach them to be able to move forward in ambiguity.

What should a design school do to forward equity and inclusion?

Don’t force it as a top-down initiative, but model it in its practices.

Altay Sendil


UX Research Manager for Core Product

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