Benjamin Dauer ’99
Designer. Composer. Collaborator.
A product designer with Facebook in New York City, this alumnus gained diverse, creative experience through a variety of exciting opportunities around the world.
Is he a freelance designer? A musician? A tech guru? Benjamin Dauer is hard to pin down. Now a product designer with Facebook in New York City, this alumnus gained diverse, creative experience through a variety of exciting opportunities around the world.
Since graduating from Columbia College Chicago, Dauer has worked at the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, scored music for dance companies, and designed for Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
In Washington, DC, Dauer played a huge role in crafting NPR's design strategy for digital products—including the award-winning NPR One, a dynamic, user-curated audio app. He also spent six months crafting Soundcloud's new generation of applications in Berlin, Germany, and has done product design for Spotify and Meetup.
Here, Dauer shares nine pieces of advice for anyone who wants to shift creative thinking into creative action.
Be an active listener
When asking questions, try to thoughtfully engage your audience. Don't just listen for what you want to hear.
Remove yourself from the equation
More often than not, the work you are doing is not about you. It is about your audience.
Avoid the vacuum
Whenever possible, don't work alone. Talk with people, whether they are your teammates or guerrilla testers in a cafe. Solicit input and feedback as often as possible, and remember your audience. (Sense a theme here?)
Know when you're right and know when you're wrong.
With yourself, with your team and with your time.
We're all in this together and we all have people to thank.
Don't be afraid to fail
Challenge yourself at all times and learn from every experience – good or bad.
Learn to say no
This can be the hardest lesson to learn, but also one of the most important.
We all want to live longer, right? Enjoy what you do.