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Survival tactics for the first designer

September 21, 202311:00 - 11:20IJzaal


What if you’re the first designer the company has ever had?

It may sound like a rare exception for many of us but there are companies (especially smaller ones) that have never had a designer ( either a UX, a graphic, branding, IA, or any other <insert title here> designer). But those companies, for many reasons decide, to start investing in design.

And that’s where you come in.

It’s a wonderful place to be in but it comes with its unique challenges. It’s more than being a team of one, you’re the first one.

I’ve had the pleasure of being that first designer in a few companies and business units over the years, and in this talk I want to share some of the tips, tricks, and strategies I learned and discovered while navigating that challenging process.

How do you build bridges between yourself and the other people in the company while also building the very ground you stand on? 

How much do you teach, how do you expand depending on your goals, and how do those reasons for investments (see above) impact your evolution (and the evolution of design as a function/department) in the company.

While these tips and tricks are aimed at a potentially niche market, they can be successfully used in any company, any setting.  Sometimes we all need to go back to the basics and look at a scenario through fresh eyes.


Oana Secara

Event Info

  • Thu 21 Sep
  • 11:00 - 11:20
  • IJzaal