More Solutions, More Problems

Recently I stumbled across an old presentation that I and the other two design managers, Kim and Jay, put together in my first few months at Etsy. The topic revolved around the current challenges the design team faced, as well as new ways of looking at ourselves and our roles. I remember so …

Sticking a Fork in Passion

When I was young, I wanted to be a doctor. Unsurprisingly, my parents were in full support of this idea, buying me a kids' microscope set, lots of books on the human body and, of course, this fantastic CD-ROM set: I got into a bit of trouble in elementary school, actually, when I brought BodyWorks …

The Boring Designer

Whenever I'm looking at a product designer's work, I find myself continuously asking the same question: which solution is the boring one? Maybe it's born out of seeing apps choose flash over function, or trying to understand just one too many indecipherable icons-as-buttons. Whatever the case, …

The Fight

I was giving a talk the other night and, during the question and answer session, a designer described a difficult situation he was facing at his company. After he finished, one of the other speakers told him it was probably time to quit, to vote with his feet. His answer was probably right, of …

Should Engineers Design?

Why should I learn to code if engineers don't have to learn to design? The last few times I've spoken about how Etsy's product designers are expected to help write the front-end for their features, I've gotten that question during each Q&A. And after receiving similar responses on Twitter when …

"Good Enough"

This afternoon, I met up with a designer who was in town for a few days. We were catching up and talking shop over drinks, when she brought up an issue near and dear to every designer's heart (paraphrased). We ship things sometimes and it's not how I pictured it. It's not as great as it could be. …

My Design Process - Part 3

Part 1 Part 2 Build You've discussed, debated, designed, prototyped and user-tested. Time to build! Yeah, you too. I've already written about the real reason designers should code , but here's another: you're about to wish you could. As your engineering pals start putting this product together, …

My Design Process - Part 2

Part 1 Design Time to grab your design tool(s) of choice and get designing. This could mean pencil and paper, Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, Balsamiq, html/css, or anything else you prefer. The goal is to get to something clickable as quickly as possible. The great thing about having done all the …

My Design Process - Part 1

When I first got into designing products, my first year or two was spent mostly in Photoshop designing high-fidelity mockups a single screen at a time, showing them to my team, iterating and then getting into code. While I had previous experience with critique from my Creative Writing program, my …

Why Designers Really Should Learn to Code

There's been a lot of discussion over the years about whether or not designers should be obligated to learn how to implement what they design. This obviously causes a bit of angst amongst the design community because, of course, not every designer has been in a position to learn to write their own …