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I Have No Idea What I'm Doing, and That's Okay!

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Perhaps you've been presented with an opportunity that scared you. Challenged you. Pushed you. That's been Laura's experience since joining TrackMaven almost 3 years ago. Now leading a team of 5 on the Design team, she'll talk about the importance of pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, taking on responsibilities you've never had before (like hiring, managing and leading a team) and how to keep growing when your job changes every 6 months. This talk should provide value and insight to anyone feeling stuck, feeling overwhelmed, or just plain curious of what happens when you join a rocket-ship of a startup as the first designer.

First presented at RefreshDC, October 2015.

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I Have No Idea What I'm Doing, and That's Okay!

  1. #ihavenoidea I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING, AND THAT’S OK! One designer’s startup journey as told through Instagram.
  2. #ihavenoidea How many of you have ever felt under-valued, under-utilized or just plain un-happy with where your career has gone sometime in the past?
  3. #ihavenoidea Hackathon where I first met Allen, CEO TrackMaven.
  4. #ihavenoidea ✓ Being the first and only designer ✓ Hiring and building a successful team ✓ Proving the value of design ✓ Continually growing. Ultimate advocate for napping. LESSONS LEARNED IN...
  5. #ihavenoidea @grafxnerd #refreshdc #ihavenoidea Be prepared to be distracted by trying to read this while I’m talking.
  7. #ihavenoidea Why I joined. Just a designer, her coffee and her beanbag.
  8. #ihavenoidea Marketing design Responsive design Service design Print Social Tradeshows Interface design Interface layout Voice and tone Usability Ethnography Project management Prototyping Design culture evangelism User Research User Flow Requirement gathering Copywriting UX process and methodologies Visual design Product design Going in with a positive attitude, lots of Swedish fish, and a few corgis.
  9. #ihavenoidea Work/life balance: You can’t be successful if you’re tired or sick. Some days, I moved my desk outside to enjoy the weather, wine and work. TWEET THIS
  10. #ihavenoidea BEING THE ONLY DESIGNER LESSON #1 Understand your beliefs. Bring them into focus.
  11. #ihavenoidea Look how active I am! Intoxicoders. RIP. BEING THE ONLY DESIGNER LESSON #2 Be active in the community.
  12. #ihavenoidea Watching the Office while working in the office. Wut? Know what you need. BEING THE ONLY DESIGNER LESSON #3
  13. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO HIRE I may have been a bit stressed by the time I was ready to hire.
  14. #ihavenoidea Know when you need help. Jon and Fletcher attempting to fix janky blinds. Startup! HIRING LESSON #1
  15. #ihavenoidea Start with interns. Sending off one of my interns, Brooke, who’s now a Product Designer at Aquicore. HIRING LESSON #2
  16. #ihavenoidea Quiet office mornings. Figure out what you need to hire for. HIRING LESSON #3
  17. #ihavenoidea Things you want to keep doing. Things you’re okay letting go of.
  18. #ihavenoidea Things you want to keep doing. Things you’re okay letting go of. aren’t any good at
  19. #ihavenoidea Illustration + graphic design front-end development Blake and Wade equals three!
  20. #ihavenoidea Let go. Tug’o’war with Maven! HIRING LESSON #4
  21. #ihavenoidea Look beyond technical skills. Optimism in new hires helps. HIRING LESSON #5
  22. #ihavenoidea The best people for a startup environment are those that excel at just doing what is needed without being asked. TWEET THIS
  23. #ihavenoidea Process and structure. I read a lot. HIRING LESSON #6
  24. #ihavenoidea Where do I find these people? Ladies and gentlemen.. TrackMaven Design.
  25. #ihavenoidea Put yourself out there. Helping judge American University’s design show. HIRING LESSON #7
  26. #ihavenoidea Speaking. Writing. Hosting. Our first ever District UX book club!
  27. #ihavenoidea Stay connected to talented people. Talented people apparently like coffee? HIRING LESSON #8
  28. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO MANAGE A TEAM Rebecca, Product Designer, exploring new concepts at Drink + Think.
  29. #ihavenoidea Keys to creating a successful design team One of my first days at TrackMaven.
  30. #ihavenoidea The schedule matters. A typical week for me. MANAGING LESSON #1
  31. #ihavenoidea Help them dream. Blake exploring ways to visually convey our message. MANAGING LESSON #2
  32. #ihavenoidea Phone for you, Maven. Help them improve their communication skills. MANAGING LESSON #3
  33. #ihavenoidea Effective communication begins with clear expectations and consistent follow through. Branded, down to the pillows. TWEET THIS
  34. #ihavenoidea Workshopping a new feature with our CEO and one of our engineers. Ask. Don’t tell. MANAGING LESSON #4
  35. #ihavenoidea “This is wrong because…”
  36. #ihavenoidea “What do you think needs to be changed?”
  37. #ihavenoideaOur templates for growing within the team. Help them grow. MANAGING LESSON #5
  38. #ihavenoidea Maven, pouting. It’s not all about you anymore. MANAGING LESSON #6
  39. #ihavenoidea Sharing a Corona-rita with Blake and Wade at Circles 2014. Celebrate. MANAGING LESSON #7
  40. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO PROVE DESIGN’S VALUE Taking good photos of the mascot is obviously a value of design.
  41. #ihavenoidea Move from production shop to Center of Excellence. Hanging out at the screen-printing studio. PROVE VALUE LESSON #1
  42. #ihavenoidea
  43. #ihavenoidea Help them see design as an investment. 2015 team planning. PROVE VALUE LESSON #2
  44. #ihavenoidea 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience https://econsultancy.com/blog/10936-site-speed-case-studies-tips-and-tools-for-improving-your-conversion-rate
  45. #ihavenoidea While the S&P grew 75 percent from 2003 to 2013, [the] Design-Centric Index grew an astonishing 299 percent. http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.dmi.org/resource/resmgr/pdf_files/TheRealValueOfDesign.pdf
  46. #ihavenoidea John Maeda’s DesignInTech Report — http://www.slideshare.net/kleinerperkins/design-in-tech-report-2015/
  47. #ihavenoidea Show them you care. Emily cares so much, she risked her life to pose with a 12x4 sign. PROVE VALUE LESSON #3
  48. #ihavenoidea Keep up with process, but don’t lock yourself down. We have processes, but we also deviate from those processes. PROVE VALUE LESSON #4
  49. #ihavenoidea IDEA CUSTOMER VALIDATION PROBLEM VALIDATION BUILD ANALYZEIDEATE PROTOTYPE TEST ENHANCE RESEARCH What? Why? Why not? What if? How? Sketches Mockups Narratives Notes Stakeholder interviews Ecosystem map Competitive audit Content audit Task analysis User surveys User interviews Personas Value proposition Key product indicators User stories User experience map Taxonomies Sitemap Product flow Layout Visual style Sound and motion Sketches Wireframes Style guide Usability tests Interaction patterns Moodboards Style tiles Mockups Prototypes Content Prototypes Working product Functional code Presentational code Pattern library Working product Feedback system Marketing campaign Usage statistics User feedback Competitive threat Metrics analysis Heuristic analysis Accessibility analysis Improvement plan Focus groups Quantitative surveys Usability tests Card sorting A/B testing Eye tracking
  50. #ihavenoidea Multiple owners Requesting party Design IDEA or NEED BRIEF KICKOFF Rinse + Repeat IMPLEMENTATIONSIGN OFF Web Print POST MORTEM RESEARCH + DISCOVERY REVIEW
  51. #ihavenoidea Invite them inside. Actively involving other teams in our research. PROVE VALUE LESSON #5
  52. #ihavenoidea Keep it weird. Yep. PROVE VALUE LESSON #6
  53. #ihavenoidea Don’t be nice. Being cute helps you get away with not being nice. PROVE VALUE LESSON #7
  54. #ihavenoidea Your job is going to change. A lot. Emily, Blake, Marcus and myself post-Spark 2015 - our annual user conf. PROVE VALUE LESSON #8
  55. I HAVE NO IDEA BE MY OWN BOSS Guys. My dress had corgis on it.
  56. #ihavenoidea Know why you’re doing it. Old desk view. BEING MY OWN BOSS LESSON #1
  57. #ihavenoidea Focus on one key project at a time. In the AV booth at Spark 2015. BEING MY OWN BOSS LESSON #2
  58. #ihavenoidea Meet with other bosses. Our CMO playing hovering art director. BEING MY OWN BOSS LESSON #3
  59. #ihavenoidea Keep learning. We do Friday lunch and learns to share knowledge across the team. BEING MY OWN BOSS LESSON #4
  60. #ihavenoidea Harvard Business Review how to business 99U creative leadership, growth, process UIE’s All You Can Learn Library $23/mo for videos on UX strategy, process, etc
  61. #ihavenoidea Mike Monteiro the business of design Jared Spool the value of UX Julie Zhuo designing and building products Cap Watkins building + growing design teams Peter Merholz bridging design + product strategically John Maeda strategic value of design
  62. #ihavenoidea
  63. #ihavenoidea Thanks.