Work

Designer Review Cheat Sheet

When I review a new applicant, I look at their information and decide whether to set up a zoom video conferencing call or not. The truth is that I WANT you to succeed. I want you to have multiple lucrative offers. So to help you, here is a cheat sheet to get past my review. I made a little score card. It is what I look for and how long...

Continue reading...

Tips for Designers 2019

Some of these tips are going to seem obvious. Like “Duuuuhhh” obvious. However, I can tell you that I am getting candidates who fail on every single one of these. Master Your Tools The job is to be in a design tool and make stuff (and go to a bunch of meetings). Meetings and design, all day long. So please, please, please, be a master of your design tool. If...

Continue reading...

Project Roles and Responsibilities

The Roadtrip Metaphor I love metaphors and this one is one of my favorites. Imagine a project as a roadtrip with some friends. Sometimes you will be driving, sometimes you will be in the passenger seat, sometimes in the back seat. There are people, like your parents, who just want to know where you are, but they aren’t specifically on the trip. Your project is the roadtrip. The people in...

Continue reading...

How to Resign Professionally

I really wish they taught this in college. However, since I have recently had people resign incorrectly, I figure it would be a good idea to write down how to do it properly. To be clear, I am not encouraging anyone to resign. I am just saying how to do it professionally. Step 1: Start early Months before you resign, before you even start looking, you should give some indication...

Continue reading...

The Design Case Study Paradox

Every designer has a section of their portfolio where they show their work. The typical method of documenting their work is called a case study. case stud·y/ˈkā(s) ˌstədē/a process or record of research in which detailed consideration is given to the development of a particular person, group, or situation over a period of time. Here are attributes that I notice in most designer case studies: Very long pages with lots...

Continue reading...

Product Value/Effort Explained

I often like to think of things in a spectrum or on a line graph. A junior designer asked me how to convince the product management team to increase the scope of the project to add in all of the usability features. He said that it was a better product that way. I drew him the following chart. Let’s break it down from left to right. Products are not valuable...

Continue reading...

Recruiting Two Product Designers (2019)

It’s time to hire again! I have two open headcount for product designers. Woo hoo! Senior Product Designer and regular Product Designer. We aren’t Google with fancy free food. We aren’t Facebook with crazy money for every employee. (Although we do pay quite well) We aren’t Twitter with 330 million users. I need to have a good reason for people to want to work with me. Let’s see what we...

Continue reading...

New Designer 1st Month Checklist

I have 3 new designers starting next week. Here is how I conceptualize their first month of work. Day 1: Fill out paperwork. I just assume that it takes all day long. Thanks HR! (Sarcasm) Set up your desk and computer: Everyone likes to put their monitor and chair into their proper place. Everyone has a few programs they like to use. Lots of stuff to set up. A Mac...

Continue reading...

Never Ask Permission

Most people think that you should ask your boss for permission to do something out of the ordinary. I think this is a terrible idea. Here is why… When you are asking permission for something, there is usually some risk associated with the action. Something could possibly go wrong. You don’t ask permission to do safe things. You only ask permission when you think you could possibly get in trouble....

Continue reading...

Different Approaches to Managing My Growing Team

I have three new designers showing up in the next few weeks bringing my team at Treasure Data to 7. Generally, I feel that doing 1:1 development of an employee takes time and trying to accomplish that for more than 5 people once is difficult. So I am faced with choices of how to structure the group. For reference, I managed a diverse team of about a dozen (including PM,...

Continue reading...