AMA with Kai Rader

Kai Rader, creative director of Mondo Robot, will be on hand to explain what skills are needed to become a successful designer in tech. It’s not just about knowing how to use Adobe Creative Suite or Sketch – it’s also about the soft skills like communication, and managing up and down. And he’ll be able to explain how to improve on them and utilize them effectively.

His AMA will be held on October 10 at 12pm ET. Read below for his thoughts on how he defines success.

1. What piece of advice do you wish you knew when you started your career?

If you don’t define your path, someone else will. There’s nothing wrong with letting your career journey unfold and taking it day by day. However, it’s important to step back from time to time and assess where your path is headed. The easiest way to understand if your headed in the right direction is to set a goal. Remember, this is a moving target. Goals change over time. The point is, put one out there.

2. How do you define success?

Is the work you’re doing moving you closer to your goal? Is the work you’re doing aligned with your passion? Did you learn something from the work you’re doing? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then you’ve been successful.

3. What is the biggest misconception about what you do?

That design is a clean, tidy process. All the obvious evidence, like portfolio case studies, Behance and Dribbble make it seem that way. The truth is that design is messy. Every project is different. Every designer is different. Every client is different. Experience is our navigator.

4. What traits or skills do you believe one needs to have the same job title as you or to do what you do?

This sounds cliché, but passion is #1. You have to love design. After that, soft skills become more and more important as you move into director-level positions. Things like the ability to listen with an open mind, the ability to communicate clearly, and the ability to make decisions are crucial.

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