Jake Taylor's advice on using soft skills to become stronger in your discipline. Read the blog below and listen to the full episode for more excellent advice!
How soft skills can help advance your product design career
In episode 10 of The Product Design Podcast, Seth Coelen interviews Jake Taylor, a Principal Product Designer outside Denver, Colorado. Jake shares his proactive approach to presenting work, receiving feedback, advancing his career, and negotiating with developers. Jake has held several positions in the UI, UX, product design space, and he has loads of advice to share!
How Jake got his start in product design
When Jake went to college, he knew that he would like to move into the digital space early on. This knowledge led him to pursue a degree in interactive web and media focused on web design and engineering. During a portfolio review, Jake was approached by a team interested in his work and ultimately led him to his first job.
His first project focused on upgrading a legacy trading application with newer styles, design patterns, and interactions. This project helped him transition from a mixed media degree to UX and product design, where he began to build the foundation of his career. During his career, he has had learned to navigate the industry changes as they happen, and he has always tied everything back to his strengths in product design.
The many roles of Jake's career
From enterprise corporate roles to freelance, startups, and back around, Jake has collected extensive experience in the product design industry. As Jake determined what kind of work environment he preferred, he worked in roles such as Web Content Developer, UX Architect, Senior UX Designer, and then Principal Product Designer. Jake even found a position helping build enterprise dashboards for space monitoring and satellites! Currently, he is working as the Principal Product Designer at JumpCloud.
Over the years, Jake has collected so much valuable advice on navigating a career in product design and how to keep work moving forward most effectively. He has also recognized the importance of soft skills and shared with us how these skills can impact a career in product design.
"Designs don't have to be perfect to get the point across."
In this article, we will focus on preparing for productive feedback sessions and proactively collecting and using feedback. By fine-tuning these soft skills, you will be better prepared to work with teams along your career path.
Top 4 tips to encourage productive feedback sessions
We have all attended meetings where no one left with the information they needed to move forward in a clear direction. Jake gave us some valuable tips to prepare for a productive feedback session which will set the course for the next phase of your project!
"Ask for feedback and treat it as part of your growing and getting better process."
How to proactively improve your skills through feedback
It is not always easy to receive feedback, especially when it is more critical. But if you take control and ask for it to improve your skills, you are more likely to move forward in your career. Take these steps to collect the feedback you need. Then you can create a plan to leverage the feedback to improve your skills and be more prepared for annual review discussions!
Thank you so much, Jake!
This episode with Jake was full of precious advice for anyone in product design. We are so glad that he joined us to spread his knowledge. Listen to the complete episode on The Product Design Podcast, which includes more about Jake's impressive career path, as well as his experience with mentorship and working from home.
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