Rookie designers versus Experienced designers

I work in a reputable consumer electronic manufacturer.
An in-house designer.
Lately, experienced & talented folks have left the team for greener pasture.
Leaving rookie designers like me to design the new vital models.

The challenge now for me is to come up with a new design that is suppose to capture greater market share with another consumer electronic manufacturing giant.
I am deeply stressed by the current situation.
I barely joined the industry for 2 years.
Now it’s my duty to design something awesome to fight these big boys.

I am really stressed out & unable to come up with ideas.
I started to doubt my ability & if I should be a designer in the first place.
Sometimes I am so not motivated that I start to lose interest in discussion,
Which when I first joined, I was so keen & eager to learn things.

Now deadline is nearing each day,
I get tenser than ever before.
It’s my dream to make something good. Something meaningful.
But as each day passes by, sometimes I think I am just good enough to tap on existing designs, I have nothing new to offer.
I also lost my sense of organizing things & get them done.

I just start to rot each day… but on the other hand, hope I still can do something to salvage the situation.

Any folks out there have some experience to share?
I do look forward to a senior to hear about his experience…

You are experiencing something that most designers go through. Call it a sophmore (2nd year) hump. The ingredient that I’ve found some designers lacking is a method of recharging themselves.

I can’t tell you how to recharge yourself, it’s different for everyone. Some people get out of their industry and read alot magazines, go to conferences, use the Core77 forums, etc. It helps keep them fresh and excited. Others use their vacation time to fly around the world expereincing new cultures and activities. It works the same way.

The hump is hard for designers who are still staff, if you are now calling shots I’m sure it’s much harder. I’ve never managed other designers, but if you can, I would suggest trying to reach out to your co-workers. The most successful designs are always team efforts, so work together and delegate some responsibility where appropriate. If you are on a project alone, still, go ask another designer to just sit down and brainstorm with you for an hour. One hour of another person’s brain often sparks your own ability.

I hope this helps a little and keep us updated with how it goes for you.

heh LOZ…

sometimes feeling the same as you buddy. Just started my final year at uni and soooooo stuck at finding a project that I feel will outdo my expectations and let me prove my full worth (after all, this is my degree thats getting assessed!)…Each day different to the next, and sometimes the cold sweats just need for you to sit back and straighten your head out a bit, re-coup the mess you left behind.

Your not alone buddy!! Work for yourself and to your maximum expectations and I’m sure others will love it!

burnsie :open_mouth:

P.S. you don’t drive a CRX by any chance???

Hey, Loz! That`s a common feeling. At least for me.

I just graduated and, besides my 2 months practice, I only have 1 month as a professional designer. Im actually the one designer in a company thats trying to innovate and put real design into its products (today they`re sold mostly as commodities).

I can say to you that, in spite of feeling “lost” sometimes during my projects (and that includes my uni ones), you should keep your focus, study your target, review the whole project and try to come up with the most options you can. Think about the problem you have. Think really hard about what you want to create, describe it in words. CONCEPT IS EVERYTHING. The visuals will eventually come once you`ve determined all that.

And one more thing. Dont take your work too seriously. I think most of the designers are too hard on themselves. Maybe for you its not that good, but for the market it is. You dont have to "change the world" with every project you make. Once in a while youll come up with a GREAT one and thats whatll keep you alive and going.

Hope to hear from you …

ps. I just saw that this was posted almost 2 years ago. I wonder how you are right now …

Just focus on what you know.

I was in a similar situation 2 yrs ago. I joined a consultancy fresh out of school. Three months into the gig we landed the second largest contract in the companies 5 yr history, the day it was supposed to start the other designer waled out and started their own firm…stating they would be available as outside consultants. The owner told them to get lost, and that I could handle it. I think I gave myself 3 or more ulcers that night. But now that product was one of the most successful products the client has ever launched. Including 4 best new product awards from various industry trade shows.

You have an advantage that you have been in it for 2 yrs already!

Good luck and let it shine!

stick it out. keep work at work and your private life yours.

it could be the defining point of your character and role in the company. if not, don’t worry. find out if your manager has the gonads to stick up for you if the shit hits the fan, or if you need to start CYOA.

to deal with the stress i bought a heavy bag and hung it in my apartment.

6-7 years later i look back at that time in my career as the best learning experience of my career and laugh at how i stressed out about it.

Sounds like you need to find a good mentor. It is good to have the more experienced designers as a buffer zone to the sea of engineers who loathe anything different from the competition or last years model.

It would be good for you to find someone in a similar industry whom you admire and can confide in and get advice from.