I just moved back to the U.S. from Sydney, Australia. I was there for 2 years while working as the UI designer for Campaign Monitor. I learned a lot while at Campaign Monitor. A couple of the biggest takeaways were:
- Data driven design can be super valuable.
- Obsessing over every detail will pay off in the end.
- The importance of providing great support.
- How rewarding it is to work for a company that cares about their products (more than just making money).
When I started looking at companies in the U.S., I was worried that I’d never find another company like Campaign Monitor. Basically, I wanted to work for a cool company that was passionate about their work. I wanted to work with smart people. I also wanted to work from home if at all possible (I’m a sucker for 3:00PM naps).
After looking at a bunch of companies, I stumbled across a “designer” job listing at Automattic. I knew that there would probably be hundreds of applicants, so I decided to keep my application short. I wrote 3 lines introducing myself, gave 8 examples of my work, and sent it off.
Within a couple of days I had two interviews over Skype (which was great, because I was still in Sydney). I was then given a test project to redesign the Akismet marketing site. Since I was still working full-time, I was only able to work on the redesign for an hour or two each night. The hiring process and test project lasted about a month and a half before they made me an offer.
Now that I’m working with Akismet full-time, my focus will be to improve the user experience of the Akismet plugin and WordPress comments in general. I’ll also be working hard to simplify the sign up process on the Akismet marketing site.
Please let me know if you have any suggestions/feedback about Akismet. I’d love to hear your thoughts.