Sharing Our Work: Testing and Feedback in Design on A List Apart

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!

Thanks to Sara Wachter-Boettcher and Lisa Maria Martin for their incredible editing

Redesigning with Confidence at Industry Conf

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.

I spoke about two major redesigns that we did at Etsy, a redesign of our seller onboarding and the Listings Manager redesign, and contrasted the different methods we used to gain confidence in the major changes we made.

Watch other videos from the conference here

Post on Code as Craft

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.

Read here: Rebuilding the Foundation of Etsy’s Seller Tools

Pricing my embroidery

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.

In the past few weeks I’ve had a few people reach out to me asking about how I price the items in my Etsy shop. I’ve posted my response to a convo from another embroidery seller on Etsy below. I don’t think I have pricing completely figured out (after all, my shop is only a year old and is only a part-time project), but I feel like I’m in a better place with pricing than I was when I first sold my embroidery.

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What blameless really means

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.

On Friday I was involved in a smallish incident on the site; I was driving a deploy and, long story short, the deploy didn’t go perfectly. Nothing serious happened and the site was fine so we didn’t have a post-mortem, but I had that terrible I-did-something-bad feeling in the pit of my stomach all day long. True to the culture, no one at Etsy pointed fingers (as expected), but I still felt pretty awful and like I could have done better.

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New year, new challenges

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.

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Jessica Harllee is a product designer at Etsy in Brooklyn, an avid crafter, and an amateur writer.

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