Here are my product design career highlights (so far!) and some photos along the way.
1. Self taught freelance UX designer
Freelance UX Designer @ Skysoclear
When my first born came along, I wanted more time with her. I’d been doing web design on the side (mainly Wordpress sites!) and a big contract landed on my lap. I had to do it!
Leaving my production assistant job to freelancing at home was incredibly stressful, but was the start of my journey in becoming a design leader. I called it Skysoclear after an alias I had at school linked to Ryan Sims whose work at Neubix greatly inspired me.
2. First professional role
Lead User Experience Designer @ HULT
No joke, being a freelancer is tough! I wasn’t bullish enough on growing clients or finding new ones, so eventually ran out of money. I took the first web design role I could find, and after a few months, suggested I be promoted to UX designer. My manager then said that I should be a lead, because I was the only one doing the role!)
3. Becoming a design leader
Wiggle: Senior UX Designer
Working as a staff UX designer was a really good gig. I started executing all that great advice I’d been listening to from Gary Vaynerchuk and started taking control of unstructured meetings and projects that just never ended. My parting gift was a book called Sprint, that I read in 2 days straight and my design practice would never be the same again!
4. Joining a design agency
Head of Design Sprints @ Etch
Since reading Sprint, I knew I only wanted to run design sprints. I needed somewhere were I could - and naturally a design agency was the best fit. After transitioning out of a product design role, I went straight to the owner and requested I start a new design team. Thankfully, they said “show us what that looks like!” I called the team Etch Sprints, and had two great years running 150+ design sprints with companies including Google, WWF UK and Save the Children UK. I was marketing, selling and delivering. I knew this is what I wanted to do!
5. Transitioning to management
Managing Director @ obodo
After 4 great years, I moved to my second design agency, one running a very similar recipe to the Design Sprint. After a couple of months learning the business and designing solutions to scale, I moved to become Managing Director - where I am now!
That’s my story so far. My question to you is, what’s been your career highlight so far in your life?