Work

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...

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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...

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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....

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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,...

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Tokyo Trip 2019

I just finished my first trip to Tokyo, Japan. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am a terrible traveller. I have a rotten sense of direction and hate planes. Plus, I am a creature of routine. Traveling is the exact opposite of routine for me. With that said, I had a wonderful time in Tokyo and highly recommend it as a city destination. Some of my memories:...

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Rereading About Face by Alan Cooper

About Face 4th Edition, the Essentials of Interaction Design by Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, David Cronin, and Christopher Noessel. Many years ago an interviewer asked me who my influences are. My answer was pretty lame. He generously gave me a list of books to read. I read them and dozens more. Three particular books formed the foundation of my design principles and career. Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman...

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Figma UI Refresh – Apr 2019

Figma just released a new aesthetic to their design tool. I use Figma every day for several hours, so I care about any changes. Normally, I love change. Change is good. Even when it’s bad. In this case, there are some things to like, but overall, I think they made a mistake. Bottom line: I am about 10% slower in normal use because of the4se changes. I’ll explain. Take a...

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UX Candidate Design Challenge – v5

UX Candidate Design Challenge – v1 UX Candidate Design Challenge – v2 UX Candidate Design Challenge – v3 UX Candidate Design Challenge – v4 Designing a design challenge is really difficult. There are so many different things you are looking for. Recently, I have been cycling on a few different ones, but I think I want to retire this one. Challenge: Design a design exercise! OK, maybe this is kind...

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Poor Designer Case Studies

I’m reviewing many design portfolios these days. For those of you who don’t know; when a designer works, they sometimes keep track of a whole project from start to finish. They put it on their personal website almost like a school book report. They include pictures and different versions of the design. This is a good thing to do in general, but I have a problem with the WAY it...

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Advice for Hiring Managers

I’ve given advice to candidates, but this advice is for myself and other hiring managers. One key reality is that candidates often have multiple offers and you need to create a great experience for them. The goal is to make the candidate WANT to work for you. You have to stand out. Here are some tips: Respond Faster from the Hiring Manager Generally, the applicant applies and then waits for...

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