At Etsy, some of the most interesting (and most difficult!) challenges we face as a design team don’t always have a clear or obvious owner. Our initiatives can span multiple product teams or even multiple disciplines. Without a dedicated team of people solving these problems, they’re easy to ignore.
I had the honor of writing an article for A List Apart on the role research can play as we make our way through the design process. I had been reading A List Apart and referencing it since the earliest days that I was building websites, so this opportunity was especially exciting to me!
This past April I spoke at Industry Conf in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. Industry Conf covers practical topics about the web, ranging from research to design to backend development.
Today we launched a huge redesign of Etsy’s seller tools that was the culmination of over a year’s worth of work (more on this later). I contributed to a post on Code as Craft, Etsy’s engineering blog, on some of the interesting technical challenges we faced and what happens when you have a blank canvas with which to work.
Pricing your work is hard. Whether you’re a freelancer or you sell handmade goods, putting a value on something you’ve created is tough. It requires balancing a competitive rate with paying yourself what your time is worth, and for many people (myself included), it’s easy to undervalue your time.
Part of Etsy culture is blameless post-mortems. It’s a term I’ve heard used a lot and up until last week I thought I thoroughly understood. Etsy supports an environment of learning, people make mistakes, don’t point fingers, etc. All good things and things I believe in.
My first job in high school was at a small store in the Washington DC-area called Appalachian Spring where I sold jewelry, pottery, glass, and other crafts made by American artists. It’s at Appalachian Spring where I developed a passion for all things handmade. I credit my time there (among other sources) with my desire to support artists, which brought me to New York to work at Kickstarter over two years ago.