Sara Menefee

Sara Menefee

Product Designer at

Product design at · Previously Zendesk · Designer Bridge 5 alumni

10 action items

Get founders and the rest of your team to understand the value of design

    • Research briefings are pretty common and valuable. It's important to communicate findings often, so coming up with a way to communicate this in a streamline manner both in-person and asynchronously is golden.

    • Create an accessible presentation.

      You'll need to have a forum for communicating the research you did not only with a room full of colleagues but also with the organization at large. It's important to make sure that the research findings are accessible to all people -- including people who are not in your presentation meeting. So, if you make a Keynote (make sure it is accessible online somewhere) ... or go straight to Google Slides. Document it somewhere so that people may access it.... See more

    • Be clear as to the goal of the research project.

      Every research project has a goal in mind. Make sure this is clearly communicated at the start of your presentation, so that people reading it understand the purpose it served. It is also good to be clear as to who your target audience was and why. List demographic data as well, if you want. Helps give more context. More context is always good.... See more

    • Clearly define the questions you wanted to answer.

      It's important you make clear the questions you wanted to answer and how they tie back to the goals of the project. This helps stakeholders understand how the research answered the questions the team or you had before qualitative research.

    • Provide your script.

      You don't need to include this but it should be available to the team. Show them what questions were asked and again relate them back to the questions you wanted answered.

    • Show useful screens.

      Did the users you tested with interacting with any designs? If so, show it. Tie relevant questions to the screens.

    • Wrap your research up with recommendations.

      So what are you going to do with your findings? Offer a recommendation on what the next steps are given the findings you have ... this could come in the form of a possible solution or additional steps to get the desired results you're looking for.... See more

    • Have a forum for feedback or questions.

      Whether it's comments within the document itself or even a Slack channel, provide people in your organization a way to provide feedback or questions so that you might address them.

Decide what job type to start your career in

    • Each have their pros and cons. It largely depends on what you think best compliments your work style and where you think you'll find the most growth opportunities. I'll outline a few (but not all) of the pros and cons I've seen and heard about most...

    • Agencies

      Pros: Highly generative, work with a variety of clients / problem spaces, often good processes. Cons: Often detached from development, often not involved in problem & opportunity definition, no validation of design decisions.

    • Start-ups

      Pros: Highly generative, productive, fast-paced, designers usually have ability to take multiple roles through product development. Cons: Processes often less-defined, often lacks user research, often times do not value design.

    • Big companies

      Pros: Well-defined processes, usually bigger problem space opportunities available, more stability, easier to find mentorship. Cons: Less productive, more bureaucracy, metric driven.