How my former life as a musician prepared me for design

[Originally posted on Automattic’s product design blog]

I have always had a fascination with the cross-section of art and computers. One of my finest memories as a kid – circa the mid-1990s – was watching my dad, a computer programmer, work on an application icon for his company’s software — one pixel at a time (on a 16 point grid if I remember correctly). The attention to detail and art of it all fascinated me, and made a deeper impression on me than I realized at the time.

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Navigating Impostor Syndrome as a Newbie Designer

[Originally posted on Automattic’s product blog]

Being a designer at Automattic is pretty great. We have some of the best designers in the world building things that help millions of people build and publish on the web. It’s inspiring to work alongside some of my design heroes on a daily basis, but like many other designers, I battle Impostor Syndrome while trying to find my place in the grand scheme of things.

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Why We Design

These days – with technology and design surrounding us at all times – it’s easy to lose perspective and lose sight of why we started designing in the first place. We often get so lost in the weeds about details and execution, that we forget about how much real, meaningful impact we have on the people who we build products for.

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I’m joining Automattic!

Last fall, as I started plotting my next move, I compiled a list of companies that I considered to be “dream jobs”. This list was primarily based around a few characteristics that would make a company/team ideal for my needs:  flexibilitycultureleadership, and impact. The companies on this list had varying marks for each of the characteristics, but one company held strongest in all of the above: Automattic.

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