AMA Design Lead Milan Moffatt from SuperHi

over 5 years ago from , Design Lead at SuperHi

Hi everyone! Excited for this AMA opportunity.

I'm Milan and I lead design at SuperHi, an online school for creatives that offers practical, learn-at-your-own-pace design and coding courses.

I’m happy to discuss and answer any questions you may have about... - SuperHi - Our courses - What it's like to lead design at a startup - Fostering an inclusive, diverse community - Portfolio questions - Anything design related. Branding, product, UX, visual, etc. - Lifting up women, POC and underrepresented communities in the tech industry - Working on a remote team. I live in NYC but we're a team distributed across the US, Canada and Europe.

My design tasks at SuperHi vary from marketing, web, UX, product, branding, and even working on our physical book and welcome package. I also produced and creative directed a photoshoot in London to get our brand photography you see on the site. We're also launching 5 new mini-courses in a couple months, and I'm creating and teaching our Intro to UX Design course. AMA!

About me: I studied Graphic Design and Japanese at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. I started my design career in Santiago, Chile, working on web design, a bit of front-end and branding for startups, individuals and local conferences. After that I worked in Brooklyn, NY at a small digital agency called Ronik Design for a couple years. I've also done freelance on and off between jobs.

I joined SuperHi in July 2017, when we only had one course — Foundation HTML, CSS and Javascript. Now we have 5 courses total! - Foundation HTML, CSS and Javascript - Wordpress - Advanced HTML, CSS and Javascript - React.js - Ruby on Rails

All our courses are beginner to intermediate level. We're not an intense coding bootcamp — we believe in making learning accessible, practical and most importantly, fun! Our courses are tailored towards those in the creative industry, and we especially value design. You can check out the sites our students make here: https://www.superhi.com/hall-of-fame


  • fsdgerh wrheherfsdgerh wrheher, over 5 years ago

    Greetings Milan,

    Firstly-just wanted to thank you for taking time out of your day to do this AMA, it means a ton!

    I remember when I first came across SuperHi, there was this sense of "these people get it". The tutorials were, to me, things I wanted to learn as a designer stepping into the digital space. Coming from a graphic design background, it can be difficult to take a more typical approach to learning web development without losing your personal aesthetic a bit. I believe giving the power to the individual to development their own site, instead of using a WYSIWYG editor-really opens the web to being a lot visually interesting.

    Was it a concentrated effort by SuperHi to feel like a "for designers, by designers" sort of web development tutorial site? The tutorials feel so honed in what those needs are.

    ☀️ I also wanted to throw a link to the SuperHi Women + Non-Binary Scholarship opportunity currently going on! ☀️

    5 points
    • , over 5 years ago

      Hi Spenser,

      Thanks! Happy to be here.

      Yeah, I think everyone on the SuperHi team aligns in that we value design and view coding as a creative tool. Our founder Rik is a developer and teacher, but has always had a keen eye for design. SuperHi from the beginning was intended to be design-oriented and for the creative industry specifically, and that is what sets us apart from other ways to learn how to code online.

      I was a big fan of SuperHi before I started working here because of that. I took the Foundation course and immediately realized it's value for designers -- I love that our students can request tutorials for cool things they've seen on the web, and Rik and Lawrence de-mystify how they're made in an accessible way!

      4 points
      • fsdgerh wrheherfsdgerh wrheher, over 5 years ago

        I think that value really comes through in all aspects!

        A few more questions:

        1. Do you ever find yourself feeling "spread too thin" working on so many different aspects of SuperHi? How do you juggle so many different roles? I've worked at agencies where you're sort of expected to take on anything that needs to get done for a project, but sometimes I wish I could just focus on one part of the puzzle.

        2. What are some of your current fav tunes?

        3. What is the origin of the name SuperHi?

        3 points
        • , over 5 years ago
          1. I’ve juggled a lot of different things in the past year for sure! I’ve learned to prioritize and not work on too many different things in any given day or week. Every sprint, I typically focus on 1-2 main goals (e.g. creating a UX Design mini-course) and handle other smaller design tasks on the side. We’ve refined our processes a lot in the past year, and that’s helped us all manage our projects and goals. We work in sprints and establish individual and team goals in a kickoff meeting. We all manage our own tasks and schedules, and work together to get things done. Establishing process is important to us as a remote team and I’ve gotten good at planning and project management. We also hired the fabulous and amazing Kristen recently, so it’s great having another designer to work with.

          2. I’ve been listening to Tierra Whack, Childish Gambino, Drake, The Carters, and Ariana Grande lately.

          3. All is revealed in this video from 1994. It's a nod to the early internet, where things were imperfect, experimental and fun.

          2 points
  • Daniel GoldenDaniel Golden, over 5 years ago

    Did you end up in Chile for work or did you take up a design job in Chile because you we're already there? Also, do you speak spanish as well as a result?

    2 points
    • , over 5 years ago

      Hey Daniel,

      I’d always wanted to work abroad, so when I found the opportunity to work in Chile I took it! I didn’t speak any Spanish before, took intensive Spanish classes my first 2 weeks there and was fluent enough to have most conversations at work and in social situations by 6 months. It helped that my boss spoke very little English!

      5 points
  • Vipul. MishraVipul. Mishra, over 5 years ago

    Since you are among few who have been designing for live projects as well as lead design for design courses, let me ask you this:

    How do you find academic design different from live project design deliverables? Does pressure to deliver to client satisfaction changes approach?

    1 point
    • , over 5 years ago

      Hi Vipul,

      Thanks for asking! I’m not sure I fully understand your question. Are you asking the difference between designing courses vs. designing for clients?

      1 point
      • Vipul. MishraVipul. Mishra, over 5 years ago

        Hi Milan, thanks for taking the question.

        Yes, this is what I meant - how is designing for clients different than planning design courses?

        1 point
        • , over 5 years ago

          Good question!

          So when I was freelancing or at an agency, my design work was heavily influenced by the clients and stakeholders. We had research and discovery phases, but due to clients or limited resources I was often unable to dive into a truly iterative design process that included constant user feedback and testing.

          At SuperHi, we build, launch and test constantly. We always listen to our students and the experiences they have with our courses, video tutorials and SuperHi editor, and we’re always working to improve things.

          We design courses based on years of teaching experience from Rik and Lawrence, our existing courses and working to understand our students (and potential students) and what they want and need. It’s really rewarding and we’re constantly learning.

          1 point
  • Andrew Washuta, over 5 years ago

    What or whom keeps you inspired, each and every day? (besides the rest of your amazing team)

    1 point
    • , over 5 years ago

      Hi Andrew,

      Hmm, good question. I feel excited to come to work everyday because I believe in everything SuperHi is doing and am constantly being challenged and learning.

      I also feel like everything I do has a real impact on SuperHi and can make a difference, and we’re able to test and improve. It’s a fun, encouraging environment to work in and yeah my team is a huge part of that! I’m not just designing something at a client’s will, that I’ll hand off and never touch again or get to test and see it grow.

      Our student community too — they are so motivated and inspiring. They take our courses and go on to get cool jobs and make amazing sites. They believe in us and we believe in them.

      2 points