I’m often asked how designers can gain credibility and influence on the product development cycle. To move from PhotoShop Jock, to someone who can influence the products your team builds, you’ll have to think like a business owner and apply some process around how and where you commit to providing your services.


In the short term, the next time someone requests a screenshot ask them:

who is the audience?

what are the design goals?

Is there data to inform these changes?

What are the success metrics?


In the medium term, create a design brief template. It will save you a lot of repetition, and boost your credibility. It also requires a small amount of effort on the part of the requestor, which tends to weed out the less motivated, or ill-conceived.

Here’s a simple one I created, I’m sure others have better models.


Longer term, document your process, your goals, when you should be engaged, what deliverables you provide, how you prioritize your work, etc.

Here is an example of my UX plan.


Create an intranet site to communicate with your team. You can use it to expose your work and processes, but also to evangelize innovative work going on elsewhere. Once folks start to understand you’re in touch with what’s happening inside and outside your company, you’ll become the “go to” for all things UX.