Contrary to popular belief, just because you build it, doesn't mean they [customers] will necessary come. Let's avoid investing time, money, and resources into something that may not actually be a real problem to solve. Taking a data-informed approach, let's seek to understand who are we targeting, what are their needs and pain points, and identify some potential opportunities for product-market fit together.
Surprisingly, there can be a disconnect between what our potential customers say and actually do. Even if a customer says they want something, doesn't mean they'd leverage our solution—especially if it doesn't address their deeper jobs-to-be-done. That's why it's important to employ regular and inexpensive ways to get feedback. We can increase our directional confidence through this means of learning and iterating.
Ideas are important, but without follow-through we only have theory. Let's make some magic happen and move from fiction to reality. This goes beyond pixels to incorporate what we know of users, their mental models, goals, and intent as well as the system we need our solution to fit into. Here's where we get to shine and seek opportunities to not only deliver, but find key moments to delight.
Our products are always a means to an end. Our customers are hiring us out to fulfill some type of job-to-be-done. While aesthetics and micro-interactions are important, they are always secondary to are we helping people achieve their intended goal or outcome?
“People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill bit or even a quarter-inch hole—they just want to hang a shelf.” — adapted from Theodore Levitt
Shifting from a larger reveal to small iterative cycles allows us to minimize risk and increase our directional confidence. We should constantly be asking: “What do we need to learn and how can we learn it?”. Doing so anchors us on outcomes instead of outputs.
The most important piece of the MVP is the learning, which is why my definition has always been “the minimum amount of effort to learn” — Melissa Perri
Design isn’t a solo sport. We can’t design in isolation or only champion our personal feature. Where possible seek to understand the surrounding context, system, and coordinate with others to enhance the end-to-end experience that our customers encounter.
"A great product isn't just a collection of features. It's how it all works together."
— Tim Cook
They say quality is better than quantity. What they don't say is that it takes quantity to get to quality. Some of these designs are a bit embarassing to look back on now, but it's the 100s of projects that have helped me level up my craft.
During my time at Lucid, I was extremely impressed with Sean’s depth, as well as breadth, in design thinking. Sean could think up invaluable and absolutely original insights on a regular basis, which he would articulate effortlessly, yet effectively, to all the stakeholders. Sean’s people skills also made him an excellent manager, who created an environment in which every team member felt both secure and accountable. All in all, I see Sean as an outstanding design professional.
Sean is the designer you choose for your team everytime. His attention for detail and innate design sense lead to intuitive, beautiful experiences that drive user delight and business value. His leadership extends beyond any one project and helps the whole org. In a pinch, you can always count on Sean to do what it takes to move work forward, iterate rapidly, and maximize customer value.
Sean is a visually-strong, excellent product designer. He focuses relentlessly on creating beautiful, functional, and frictionless experiences for the humans who will interact with his designs. His desire for growth and learning also means that he is on the cutting edge of product design trends and up-skilling as a designer.
Sean is an ideal design lead with a can-do attitude. His detailed, methodical approach was effective for winning over both product management and engineering when advocating his vision. Sean was always looking for an opportunity to level up his team through coaching, critique, and career growth advice. His ability to switch between tactical and strategic thinking was critical for design to gain a seat at the table. Sean is the gold standard example for top-grading teams.
The word that comes to mind when I think of Sean is “hustle.” If he isn't already an expert on something, he knows how to make a plan to become one. He's a talented designer and a gifted learner. I would happily work with Sean again—and have tried to on multiple occasions! He's also a great teammate and cares for others. Couldn't ask for more.
Sean is a go-getter. I've never worked with anyone as hungry and as curious as Sean. He will delight you with his questions and amaze you with his production. If you want someone that will work until the problem is solved, is fun to work with and will delight the users he designs for—Sean is your guy. Get him on your team pronto!
When Sean joined my team, we were building a highly technical product for primarily non-technical users. Sean dove in headfirst, worked to understand the domain, and onboarded quickly.
During his time on my team, Sean produced beautiful, functional designs that impressed our customers. He collaborated well with the engineers to ensure his mocks were technically accurate and could be implemented. Sean also helped our UX team set up a standardized design framework and component library.
Working with Sean was a pleasure. Not only is he talented, but he’s personable and truly cares about you as an individual. I would happily work with him again.
I cannot express enough how great of a designer Sean is. Working with him has been such a delight and he has brought so many great ideas to life with tons of thought, passion, and detail. He has always had a focus on intentions of users and approaches problem spaces with understanding and dedication.
From user research, UX artifacts, collaborating cross team and delivering on UI designs to our development teams, Sean is a master of his craft. He always considers taking his designs to the next level for scaling products, is great at storytelling aspects in his work, and overall is a high performing designer! It's an absolute pleasure working with him and any team would be lucky to collaborate alongside him.