It’s a privilege learning someone’s hopes and aspirations. It’s a special responsibility supporting someone in reaching them. Seven years into management, I haven’t found a silver bullet that replaces the time, trust, and vulnerability needed to deeply understand someone’s career.

Learning from four companies and 32 direct reports from intern to senior manager, I come back to a few same questions that pave ways for a new designer on a team to get to where they want to go in their career.

I made a template for the team I support at Instagram. If you’re a manager looking for ways…


Photo by Offscreen Magazine

Offscreen is an independent magazine with a thoughtful, human-centered take on technology and the web. These ten lessons were originally published in Issue 22. Support independent publishing and subscribe today.

Thinking scales; output doesn’t.

How do high-performing designers scale? They share their thinking and approach. By teaching other people not just the ‘what’, but also the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ a single person can profoundly impact and evolve a whole team.

Seek the self-aware.

It’s a privilege to work with people and teams who have a conscious understanding of who they are, where they fall short, where they’re trying to go, and who they want to be.

One way to better your craft: share your work publicly.


Basecamp illustration by Nate Otto.

Basecamp was a special opportunity for me as a graphic designer to learn a values-driven, if not deeply opinionated way to run a successful business. Alongside Jason Fried and the rest of the company, I practiced writing, I practiced coding, I practiced selling. The opportunities to extend my skills felt more like job perks instead of requirements.

There’s unending industry pressure on employees — regardless of role — to continually learn new skills in quests to be seen as employable talent. …

Mig Reyes

Product Design at Instagram — https://migreyes.com

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