Career

3 Ways to Show a Growth Mindset in Your Case Study

Amanda Worthington
~
2.5 min read
· Posted on
November 8, 2021

Designing your case study can feel like a daunting task when putting your portfolio together and applying to jobs. And if you do any research and look at other case studies out there, you might get even more overwhelmed. Some case studies feel like full-length dissertations, others are short with punchy visuals, and others showcase team work without highlighting individual responsibilities. 

But at the same time the idea of a case study seems pretty straightforward; showcase your work. So it might sound strange to incorporate a growth mindset into your case studies. A growth mindset is when “Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts)” (credit). A case study is the perfect way to demonstrate not just work that you have done, but to show that you’ve learned from that experience and continue to grow and develop — bringing that additional perspective to your next project.

Here are 3 ways to show a growth mindset in your case study:

1. Don’t shy away from mistakes/missteps 

  • Part of the design process is pivoting when needed. We make decisions based on the information we have at hand and when we’re able to get additional input from SMEs (subject matter experts), research or testing findings, or development constraints, it’s important to make new decisions.
  • The earlier we learn in the process the better and showcasing these learnings shows that you know what to look for and aren’t afraid to make changes.

2. Share what you would do differently

  • Not every project goes perfectly and it’s important to share how we might approach things differently in the future now that we have new information.
  • This doesn’t have to be limited to design changes. This can include communication or time for feedback or even a different methodology that may have fit the goal better had you had the opportunity.

3. Tell us what you learned — and don’t be afraid to include others

  • Whether you tried a new methodology or learned something new from a colleague in the industry, share what you learned from the project and how others contributed.
  • We expect designers to work on teams so don’t be afraid to show how you partnered with others and what your roles and responsibilities were. If you leave readers guessing, we’ll be left to fill in the gaps — and that isn’t in your control.

Having a growth mindset can show employers what it would be like to have you on a team and how you can contribute to a positive team culture. It also opens up interviews to have interesting conversations and questions about what a project was actually like and how you handle real project conversations — and allows you to ask how current teams handle complications. These tips can not only give an employer a better chance to get to know you but also help you get to know the company and design team better!


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