I’m happy to announce that I am doing a major career switch. I am leaving Ziba Design after an amazing six years and going to work at BankSimple. It’s surreal, awesome, bittersweet, exciting and a dozen other emotions all wrapped up in a big ball of wow.
I am seriously going to miss everybody at Ziba. In that building is a phenomenal group of curious and smart people whose winningness just becomes normal once you’re there every day. It isn’t until now that I’m leaving and reflecting back on the adventure that I really realize how much I will miss everyone there.
My career would not be where it’s at without my time at Ziba. The things I’ve learned, the opportunities I’ve been given, the projects I’ve worked on, gave me a great education in design. In one of the many “omg you’re leaving” chats I had after I announced it, Bruce asked me a brilliant question, “what did you learn?” In the end, I’d say one of the most unexpected things that I learned was how to dissect and frame problems, a skill that will last me throughout my life.
But six years is a long time in this industry. When an interesting opportunity appeared, I got curious. So after talking with Alex Payne for a while, I joined the BankSimple team. You can read more about my initial thoughts about the company over at BankSimple.
It’s an opportunity for me to stretch myself and combine different aspects of my career into a single position. Interaction design, information architecture, writing, branding, coding, product management, etc. Furthermore, I’ve always wanted to try a startup, and here I am, one of the first fulltime hires. Everything is from square one, and that’s exciting.
Perhaps more exciting is the situation, the company, the people, the mission. In the midst of a financial crisis, during a time when everybody hates banks, we’re starting a bank. On the surface, it’s a bit crazy. But it also means that it could be a perfect time to shake things up. What if you start from scratch, with new technology, an API, a focus on mobile, and a mission to treat customers well? That’s what we’re doing.
I also love that I get to practice what I’ve preached. I’ve presented a few times on Designing Humanity into Your Products, the idea that companies need to be more informal in order to really connect with their customers. At BankSimple, that’s my mission. It’s the challenge of making a company that is genuine. And to top it all off, it’s doing this in the banking world, probably the most stodgy institution of them all. That’s the kind of big challenge that doesn’t show up every day, the opportunity to directly apply the user experience principles and methods to an industry that’s severely broken.
Thank you to Sohrab and Sia for providing my last adventure. Thank you to Josh, Shamir and Alex for providing my next one.
So there you go, that’s my news. Onward!