I believe that the best work is achieved through acceptance of our ignorance and rigorous iteration and testing. It’s easy to become overconfident about human behaviour — frequent testing and open collaboration keeps us honest.
A good design solution requires strong foundations. Accessibility, performance and security are three foundational concerns that everyone should own, and designers are not exempt.
Finally, I believe that our jobs are as much about getting our designs across the line, as it is about coming up with the right designs. This means communicating the intricacies of our solutions to the team. It means supporting them through the build and QA process. It means being open to compromise. It also means knowing when not to compromise, and strategically choosing the better choice for both the end user and the business.
My way of working
My background is in hard sciences, so my approach to all problem solving is influenced by that. Step one is always research. I need to fully understand the problem. Who am I solving this for? Do I lack domain knowledge? What is the business context? What qualitative and quantitative data do we already possess? What do I need to go out and find?
When it comes to the designing, I like to iterate often, seek feedback often, and test often. I find that prototypes, even if they’re low fidelity, offer much more insight than static screens. If a solution is novel, I like to build HTML+CSS prototypes, so that I can get better feedback on how people will interact with my designs.
I love making something beautiful — I can’t deny it. Though I understand that functionality is more important, and that there is not always enough time for aesthetics. But I can’t suppress the joy of seeing something that looks like it’s been made with polish and care.
I’m happiest in projects where I feel like I know half of what I’m doing, but I need to learn the other half. I want to be continuously learning and growing, while contributing.
What sets me apart
I care about the whole problem, not just my thin slice. This means I will do what it takes to make sure the problem is solved, whether that be supporting building and testing, negotiating with other parts of the business, starting wider strategic initiatives, or cutting code.
I’m not afraid of technical complexities. My background in mathematics and physics means that I can quickly understand, to a high degree of specificity, upcoming technologies such as blockchain, quantum computing, and the like. This allows me to separate the real from the hype, and approach nascent subject matter with a level head.
I think in the long term. Significant improvement with large, complex businesses doesn’t happen on the scale of quarters — it happens on the scale of years (sometimes decades). This perspective informs my decisioning in the short term, giving me a better idea of when a current objective is over- or under- valued.