AMA: I'm Justin Edmund, the first product design hire at Pinterest.

almost 6 years ago from Justin Edmund, Product Designer at Pinterest

  • Justin EdmundJustin Edmund, almost 6 years ago (edited almost 6 years ago )

    Tell us about the early days at Pinterest. What were they like?

    The early days were pretty crazy. When I joined, there were 8 of us in a living room in Palo Alto. From my opinion, it was the quintessential startup experience.

    We were growing pretty rapidly, but no one in the tech world really knew we existed yet. I was working on a new project pretty much every week or two, doing both brand and product work. About 6-8 weeks after I started, we raised our round from Andreessen Horowitz, were featured on TechCrunch, moved into our (bigger) Palo Alto office, and everything kind of just continued to explode. Things still haven't stopped exploding.

    How has the design process (and perhaps culture) over there changed?

    There's a lot fewer gut calls now, and a lot more experimentation and learning. When I look at the work my peers are doing, I think that's par for the course for a growing technology company. If you make a change and metrics drop, you have to know why, because chances are something's either broken or people don't like what you made as much as you expected.

    What's the design process over there now? What types of designers does Pinterest have and where do they fit in with the entire product process?

    The design process can be pretty different for a few reasons. For starters, we don't really prescribe a specific process on designers—you're mostly free (and encouraged) to work in whatever way you're most productive. We also change our product development process as a company pretty frequently to try to be more efficient, effective and nimble than we were before.

    In a nutshell, though, as product designers, we receive an idea, try to form a solid problem statement from that, figure out if its something pinners actually want or would benefit from, then iterate a LOT. That's obviously very abstract, but it probably gets to the core of it. Mapping Place Pins is probably a pretty good insight into how we build products here.

    Right now, we have product designers and brand designers. We haven't really done any more classification than that.

    5 points