I am an American Muslim, came to the US in 2002 on an H1B visa, and got a green card then became an American Citizen in 2018. Yup, took me that long. Blame the process ;) During that time, I got married, have children, and now owning a home and two cars, living a typical American dream.
Currently working as a Lead Product Designer designer at Wells Fargo and did my transition into this field in 2012 professionally from the Software Development domain.
I witnessed the rise of Obama, saw Hillary and Trump’s face-off. But, I never experienced the election firsthand because you can only vote when you are a citizen, by birth or by naturalization in America.
This year, the year 2020, was different for me. My wife and I became a citizen in 2018, voted in primaries, and now we voted in our first presidential election.
As a designer and architect with an entrepreneur’s mindset, I trained my eyes and process so that when I am building a product, I have to see things from “God’s-eyes-view” and “Ant’s-eyes-view,” or in short, zoom out and zoom in. Strategizing aspect of every move, and then being tactical.
What did I learn from this crucial Election 2020? When you have a solid system, no matter what kind of circumstances you will face, the system will work. You need to trust the system. But building a system is the actual thing. You need to earn trust and respect and how the over-arching goal of that system to those who will be impacted and those going to be the stakeholders.
Fun fact, the first presidential election in the US happened on January 7, 1789 (source: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-u-s-presidential-election). Imagine that the USA got independence in the year 1776. They had to go through the revolutionary war, and after fighting and realizing what they have to do, in 1789, they had their first presidential election. It took them 13 years to craft, refine, and agree-upon a process of the fair election system. Hence the world's oldest democracy.
My learnings from this craziness of 2020, besides that pandemic, are as follow:
It takes time: If you want to build a solid foundation for your team to have a design system or any UX process or introducing UX from the ground-up, you want to implement, be patient and keep up with the struggle, you won’t get success overnight.
Typically, we are blinded by the “today” appearances, which is visible, but we don't know the pain and struggles that are often not visible to the public.
Trust the system: Once you spend your time building the system, do make sure the people around you, your general public, your team, should trust it, and they also give you feedback to improve it. It is impossible to have a system, but no one trusts it. It brings us to the point, which is about transparency.
Be transparent: From the design system or whatever system you want to implement, you need to properly document all your outcomes and decisions so the team, the public, can see what's going on? How they can contribute and help you proceed!
Long-term scalability: Make sure your system adopts the changes which are happening around it. Your company may have some new policies implemented due to government regulation, how your system will respond, how it can adopt those changes, and how it can absorb the effects and how it will improve?
Start today but do not expect the result by tomorrow or next week, or in a year. You will face conflicts and hurdles, but always keep showing the benefit of “why this design system or that UX process” will do the job and how it will save money and hours. Remember to use numbers + success stories. People love numbers and facts laced with proper convinceable stories.
And please, hire the experts and like-minded people. Also, give a chance to newbies in the domain. Because you need seniors in your team to keep wisdom intact and the fresh-minds to future-proof your design
This election gave me an interesting perspective about building a system, implementing it and rally like-minded people around it, and making sure to get buy-ins with facts, figures, and a convincing story.
Thank you for reading!
Hi! there, I am Mudassir Azeemi, a culturally aware product person with 10+ years of experience. I am currently working on a mission-critical application at Wells Fargo, leading the design system effort for Commercial Electronic Office (CEO) Portal. And I teach at UC Berkeley at UX/UI Bootcamp as a lead instructor. I brought the Urdu language to Apple’s iOS 2 billion devices! My mantra is finding pattern chaos. Feel free to connect with me on Linkedin if you’d like to chat or to say hi! I am also mentoring via ADPList.org.