AMA with Jenny Arden (Lyft)

over 2 years ago from Jenny Arden, Director of Design @ Lyft

  • Jenny Arden, over 2 years ago

    Yes! Lately, I have seen so many people transitioning from one function to another. In fact, we recently hired a designer on one of my teams that just converted from software engineering. Why did we do that? Well, I have a strong belief that the strongest teams have overlapping skills among teammates. Designers that can code. Researchers that can speak to the business/financials. Product leaders that get into Figma (in a good way). In this case, our team needed to beef up prototyping to reduce the gap between design and engineering. It's a communication tool between the functions. What better way than to do that than hire someone that used to be an engineer and speaks that language and have them create the deliverables that will help articulate what design is trying to achieve.

    So my advise -

    1. lean into your already developed skills and make that a connection point.

    2. Get a design mentor and learn the hard skills of design as quickly as you can (tools, typography, mobile best practices, behavior patterns, etc). Take on small side projects and ask your mentor for direct and specific feedback so you can learn.

    3. Pay close attention to the words used when talking about design. There is a vocabulary (which you probably partially know from working in tech). Write down anything that’s foreign and then ask someone to articulate what it means. Most designers I know love teaching so never be afraid to ask “what does that mean?”.

    1 point
    • Will MitbrodtWill Mitbrodt, over 2 years ago

      Amazing.

      Love this quote: "I have a strong belief that the strongest teams have overlapping skills among teammates. Designers that can code."

      Thanks again Jenny!

      0 points