Where user-centered design lacks the most
As my teammate and I have been conducting research for a new project, it has become increasingly evident that the design community is so busy creating products for businesses and their users that we have been negligent to our own community. We put forth so much empathy and energy to fully understand what our users' needs are, yet we struggle with resources, or lack of resources, for our community. This could be because we have such little time to work on personal projects, or even think about solutions to our current problems.
It's interesting to be a part of a community that is filled with so many talented, empathetic designers, but who struggle to put those talents and skillsets towards products that could help themselves. A major reason for this? Many designers are overworked and don't have enough hours in the day.
Whatever the reasoning is, my teammate and I are here to help. Some of you may be familiar with a project we are working on centered around the design community's needs, especially new designers. As a new designer myself, I already had a major hunch that the problem we were tackling was a real issue because I was experiencing it myself.
After we conducted our research, we were given further validation that, yes, in a field where designers are dedicated to creating functional, efficient, and relevant products for the world, there is no resource dedicated to those same designers to help them find opportunities to grow their skills, improve their portfolio, and become a better designer.
Now that we have:
Discovered the problem at hand
Come up with a potential solution
Validated our issue and continue to validate our solution
we are ready to create this single platform for our fellow designers that will provide a variety of opportunities for them to continue to grow.