Feb 2016 - Sep 2016
Paddle is a seed funded startup that offers career exploration tools. The first product offering is a self assessment tool that helps you understand your motivations and recommends industries suited to what will motivate you. The second offering is a learning platform that aids user’s next steps in learning about these industries. The product helps users to build their career path and keep them motivated.
Projects I worked on
The Team We had a small team focused on the product. Through our cross-discipline design activities, everyone at Paddle had a say when designing and building the next product features. We moved quick and made decisions together on the fly.
Our small team looks like this: CEO Business Development / Content Product Manager / Content Two Developers Product Designer Co-op Student
I had ownership over the design of the product from end-to-end. As the first non-founder hire at an early stage startup, I was able to wear multiple hats and work closely with the founders to turn their vision into something more tangible.
Being a t-shaped designer means I did a variety of things:
Research & usability testing Product design thinking & workshops Interaction design (my vertical!) UI design & style guide Branding & marketing HTML/CSS fixes
Being at a startup = Entrepreneurship 101. Over evening drinks, late nights in the office, and seeing the general comings and goings, I got a great feel for the entrepreneurial spirit. I’ve grasped many new aspects of how a business is run, and what it takes to build something valuable that people want.
That said, my new favourite reads are Paul Graham’s essays (even if I don’t agree with him all of the time). I think about the future and what products will exist there. I’ve become obsessed with new products on Product Hunt, up and comers on Angel List, and the latest funding on Crunchbase. Entrepreneurship culture is neat.
Design-driven companies are becoming the norm thanks to the likes of Google Ventures, AirBnb, and more. I used my time at Paddle as an opportunity to share my knowledge about how to use design as a tool for business. I helped make sure they could take a design-driven approach to building their business, by putting the user first and testing early and often!