Our new designer

Hey there.  My name is Dave Martin.  I just joined the Akismet team at Automattic.  I thought it might be fun to introduce myself and talk about how I landed a job at Automattic.

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:

  1. Data driven design can be super valuable.
  2. Obsessing over every detail will pay off in the end.
  3. The importance of providing great support.
  4. 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.

8 responses on “Our new designer

  1. Suggestion: We need an Akismet icon/mascot? VaultPress has one (shield and superhero) and Akismet needs one too!

    I was thinking of a ninja (as you stealthily kill off spammers left and right), but I’m not sure if Matt would would approve. ;-)

  2. Hi Dave

    Glad you’ve found your dream job. Perhaps you could start by finding out why Akismet blocks around 20% of legitimate users comments. If you do (and if you fix it), let me know so I can install it again.

    And while you’re at it, maybe you can make Akismet show all of the “spam” it has caught. It’s very annoying knowing that “Akismet has protected me from 172 spam comments already” and not being able to see those comments and delete them manually.

    There’s more but I don’t wanna bug you now. Let’s try and deal with those two, being the most important ones and we’ll see how it goes.

    All the best,

    Zoran.

    1. If you find Akismet marking spam comments incorrectly the best thing you can do is mark them as not spam. And you are are always welcome to contact support – http://akismet.com/contact/ – if something isn’t working the way you expected it to.

      The Akismet WordPress plugin puts comments in the ‘Spam’ section of the comment admin section in wp-admin. It will delete comments marked as spam after they have been in there for 15 days. The only other time the Akismet plugin would delete is a comment is if you check the ‘Automatically discard spam comments on posts older than a month.’ option on the Akismet configuration page (which is off by default).

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