From the Mule Design blog:

"Remember that nice young designer who worked at a big company — the one who wasn't invited to strategy meetings? By the time work got to him, the decisions were set down to the smallest details and all he did was execute. He wasn't designing. He was executing on someone else's design."

The company doesn't have to be big.​

I do like that the very next thing in the post is an admission that this designer needs to be more assertive, but assertive isn't always the best career move if you're not confident enough to move on after encountering deaf ears, so I usually understand when new hires don't rock the boat -- for a while. But the Mule blog is right -- you should move on if you're not allowed to do your job. And if you know of someone who isn't being allowed to work, you as a coworker should feel responsible for helping make the space for them to do it. Be active. Culture change starts with you, etc etc. And if it doesn't or can't, *you're* in the wrong spot too.

Anyhow, sidelined there. Designers do get dumped on. Researching what the customer says they want, even coming up with general concepts that could become great features, doesn't make you a designer.