Randy J. Hunt on true user-empathy and lessons learned growing Etsy

Episode Summary

Welcome to episode seven of DN FM! Through interviews, news and Office Hours community segments, DN FM aims to spark a meaningful conversation on design.

Episode Notes

Randy J. Hunt joins us this week for a kaleidoscopic design discussion. He lays down all kinds of wisdom about developing true empathy for users, career paths, holistic design and business models. Then we explore Etsy; what it was like helming early design projects, challenges growing the team and how Etsy's mission attracts the calibre of designers it does. Finally, Randy name-drops the luminaries that he takes inspiration from.

Randy is the VP of Design at Etsy and author of Product Design for the Web. You can find him on Twitter at @randyjhunt.

Also: Payam Rajabi of Shopify and Kieran Rheaume of Designer News talk shop about the state of design tools as a number of new players like Figma, Subform and Affinity Designer emerge.


This week’s episode is brought to you by Dropmark. Dropmark is the smart way to organize all your links, files, and notes into visual collections, perfect for individuals and teams alike. Visit dropmark.com/teams to learn more.

###Upcoming Meetups:
San Francisco is coming up October 20 at Udemy

Austin is happening down November 10. Stay tuned for details!

###Featured Jobs
Blue Aunt Media needs a Senior UX Designer in Toronto

Pillpack is looking for a Product Designer in Boston

Reaktor is hiring a couple design positions in NY

ODEN Technologies is looking for a Product Designer in NY

MAARK Agency needs a UI Designer in Cambridge

Episode Highlights

The state of design tools: Thoughts on collaboration, file-sharing, features, layouts, and what all of this means for the industry as a whole [4:00]

Common issues that come up with collaborative design tools, and why design issues have become such a hot topic 7:10

The future of design tools: predictions 18:00

Fostering ultimate empathy for users, and what Randy discovered using only an iPad 21:40

How Randy’s background has brought him to where he is now, including how the early months of his launch went24:45

The differences between agency work and entrepreneurship 29:40

The differences between product work vs. service work 35:00

Challenges scaling the Etsy design team 39:20

Common challenges in management and how Randy meets them head-on 45:00

Etsy’s “secret sauce”: How they attract so many talented people 49:00


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