Here’s what I think of the Sungevity User Experience Design Manager Career Role description. . .
I prefer thinking up a response in writing so I can take my time and play with the ideas more and edit them easily and share them easily. I’m not a fan of mixed brainstorming without a record of the perfect phrases that get lost and can’t be leveraged or shared. I am a fan of the creative strategy of forced writing as a method of brainstorming facilitation. This is a stream of consciousness forced writing cover letter for your consideration. The rule for forced writing is you have to keep moving your fingers even if nothing smart comes out and then you edit it later to take out the garbage. I also like video recordings of key discussions and meetings to help me a lot with details and remote working practices appeal to me even though I like to go into an office to work. The added affordance of a recording of meetings and idea generation sessions is that I can go back and study them to decide the best way to phrase arguments and retrieve brilliant ideas that might soon be forgotten instead of allowed to flourish and be expanded on by others later. Another reason I want to address this job description in writing is so I can provide links to reference material related to each item in Sungevity’s Careers job description.
You can’t link to reference material in a conversation so I prefer to interview in a chat format or preferably a time shiftable collaborative discussion media like a google doc. One thing for sure is I spell poorly when I’m working with ideas and I like not having to slow down to correct details in punctiation when the muses are dancing around my head calling me to share the discovered ideas for team approval. Feel free to correct or make changes to my spelling or my ideas in this document here. I like it when people make changes to my documents to make them better. Here’s a link to the brainstorming document I created using this process for my SF-in-Progress team at Code For America and SFHack. I like to cast a wide net of user story structured brainstorming for startup, as you’ll no doubt notice. I’d like the chance to create a brainstorming document like this one for my team at Sungevity to discuss my hire if you’re open to exploring a hiring rubric I recommend. . . (sorry, just kidding, if you want to know my career role evaluation rubric you’ll have to interview me first. Maybe we can talk about an exchange of information on the topic of rubrics?. . )
I applied at Sungevity previously for the UX Designer position about 6 months ago. This Career position seems even better for me. I have annotated your job description to give you the affordance of already having learned your own advertisement, you can recognize and refer to it conveniently because it’s a known existing schema for you. This is also available as a google doc if you’d like and I’d be pleased for you to just edit in your review of my qualifications for the Career described. Perhaps my preferred rubric for critiquing a candidate is structured and organized like the role description? oops, LOL, I just gave away my information on what kind of rubric I recommend for you.
Below copied from https://jobs.jobvite.com/sungevity/job/ojQL3fwH
Sungevity is one of the world’s leading and fastest growing residential solar companies (I’d like to read up on your latest rooftop installation systems. I read an article a while back on a new design for making rooftop canopies that allowed people to Barbecue under shade from the solar panels. that sound fun). Our success tracks to three priorities. First, we are obsessed with customer service (Me too! I feel that customer service is too frequently neglected as a resource for design and solution fitness evaluation. It breaks my heart when the customer service reps know more about whats going wrong and how much inconvenience than the Code and design team. Customer service should be billing their work internally to their respective design departments. Their needs to be a convenient two way information exchange between customer service dept. and design dept. Sorry if that was a little long winded, I needed to get that off my chest.) and are committed to making the happiest customers in our, or any, industry(Lets talk shop about innovative “out of the box” strategic ideas to achieve happiness in UX). Second, we are a technology-led business, well known for inventing Remote Solar Design, and leading the solar industry with software innovations that make going solar easier and cheaper. And finally, our business is designed to partner and grow with leading organizations from Lowe’s to E.On, GE to Sierra Club. Sungevity currently operates in 14 US states, the Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. (the thing about you being large and successful I like the most is it means my good work will have more impact on making some good experiences for more people. I got excited by UX design to make peoples lives better and full of better designed experiences. )
Sungevity is a mission-driven business, and we combine our social commitment It says a lot that about Sungevity that you took the thought to mention social commitment. GE for comparison does not mention social commitment. I’d rather work for a company that is attentive to social commitments 🙂 with a drive for top-notch professional execution and realism (I like that you understand the need evaluate realism in a candidate). Our culture is fast-paced, passionate and fun. We have a “no drama” environment. We’re prepared for the fact that no two days will be remotely similar on this adventure (I’m looking forward to the entertaining variety. Boredom and a repetitive rut is a bigger concern on some jobs. Those are the jobs I try to avoid. Ideally I’d like at least 30% of my week to use different task related skills. All photoshop and no wireframes make for a dull job. I’m glad I won’t have that problem with you.), and we are all-in committed to make the most of our incredible market opportunity, ourselves and each other.(LOL, you forgot the word “for” in your writing. Guess we both like to focus on ideation more than polishing the presentation. Guess we both approve when others improve anything we’ve created. I’ll fit right in!)
Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity is a core value at Sungevity. Diverse opinions, ideas, and experience push us, challenge us, and all our whole team to work better and smarter. We know that the more diverse our workforce is, the closer we are to achieving our mission of building the world’s most energized network of customer who power their lives with sunshine. We aim to provide an inclusive, empowering, and supportive work environment for individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life. (-SW: if you would support this by letting me use in our brainstorming critique rubrics, the communication classification systems for better cross cultural communication clarity as outlined by the Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group. Power differential effects in teams is minimized when ideas are formally and explicitly classified in importance level by asking the question. . . “Is this a [first impression notion, a considered idea, an operational assumption, or a conviction/dogma]”? Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group has the best strategies for corporate inclusion practices, IMO. PS. I worked on a diversity inclusive collection of Persona’s for national use by all Code for America divisions as part of a hackathon and we won a prize for it! Maybe You’ll let me use them on the job for you? I am so tired of designing UX with boring white male techie persona’s for our heuristics. PS. can I see the user persona profiles based on my team members for consideration? I’ll show you my user persona profile from SF-In-Progress in exchange. )
The UI/UX manager will be an experienced software design leader who can grow and develop a team, drive big ideas and create brand design solutions to meet business goals and requirements. YES. This seems to be what I end up doing to some degree on all my jobs throughout my career. I like to define and clarify objectives and roadmaps and governance theories are always on my leisure reading list. I enjoy writing specification outlines and developing a Trello board. I’ve never formally had the role of managing a design team though, luckily I just have to facilitate or participate right? Do we have a dedicated scrum master or is this your way of saying I am the dedicated scrum master or their isn’t one? Can you clarify my team structure for my consideratio?
- Build and implement a design roadmap by utilizing design thinking concepts and the latest trends in UI/UX design? YES. I’d like to tell you about my roadmap and product lifecycle planing skills. Party city page and feature lifecycle code planning. work sample from SFMTA and SFGov work. work example from of roadmap to the future at end of SPATS document to the board that impressed my boss Jerome so much.
- Lead a team to ensure consistent, effective, and engaging visual design across the Sungevity software platform (mobile and web)? YES. I would lead like in my google docs onboarding page for project in a box and SF-in-progress.
- Increase customer engagement as well as reduce training times by utilizing and applying design thinking concepts to UI/UX design.? YES. let tell you about party city where I. . . and also my sketches I photographed for muni logos.
- Collaborate with key business stakeholders and Product Management to design new features and exciting applications and platform updates? YES. that was a major focus on all my jobs. [since there’s so many to choose from, pick a company that I haven’t talked about for this example. use this topic answer strategically to cover my any relevant elements of my career history not yet highlighted]
- Design and develop wireframes, storyboards, prototypes, mockups, user flows, process flows and site maps to effectively communicate interaction and design ideas? YES.
- Engage with brand teams to ensure a consistent look and feel across all the customer and partner touch points? YES.
- Design for a cross-screen, cross-platform environment that utilizes web, tablet, and smartphone to execute a multitude of tasks? YES.
- Provide leadership, direction, and mentorship for a team of UX Designers; lead creative and holistic thinking across diverse product releases, platforms, and devices? YES.
- Deliver a UX vision, along with a plan for evolutionary, iterative updates, that actualize the larger vision over time? YES.
- Build strong relationships and operating rhythms with leaders inside and outside their core product team to efficiently implement user experiences that are cohesive, inclusive, and well-informed? YES.
- Foster culture and principles within the group, while setting new standards in executional and operational excellence? YES.
- Collaborate with other User Experience Designers to craft consistent interactions and behaviors cross-application, cross-platform, to craft and evolve the way customers and internal users engage with the Sungevity platform? YES.
- Produce materials for the entirety of the product lifecycle, from wireframes, clickable prototypes, to hi-fi comps of features and functionality? YES.
- Conduct Usability Studies to constantly improve our user experiences? YES. finally, someone will let me do this. I have solicited feedback on many occasions. I always desperately want more opportunities for hands on User experience observations. You’re going to hear a lot from me about how we can use mouse tracking on a per user basis for improving our product by replaying our sample customer journeys. I care about and enjoy thinking about the time differentials in completing various form elements as an indicator of general user computer proficiency for persona segmentation of our metrics and user experience statistical data.
- Present and justify designs and key milestone deliverables to peers and stakeholders? YES.
- Participate in user research and evaluate user feedback? YES. SF-in-progress, We-Vote, SFMTA,
- Ability to make the case for better solutions to various stakeholders? YES.
- Customer Focus: Dedicated to exceeding the expectations and requirements of customers; proven experience in delivering delightful customer interactions? YES.
- Communication: Clearly and succinctly communicates in writing and public speaking. Ability to present to senior executives with expertise and confidence? YES.
- Process Management: Good at figuring out the processes necessary to get things done; knows how to organize people and activities; proven ability to drive for simplicity? YES.
- Results Driven: Proven ability to act responsibly when empowered to make decisions, can be counted on to meet goals successfully; is constantly and consistently a top performer? YES.
- Manages Ambiguity: Comfortable working in shifting, fast-paced environment. Creates structure within ambiguity effectively? YES.
- Diversity & Inclusion- The ability to account for one’s own and other’s world views and identify opportunities, make decisions, and resolve conflicts in ways that optimizes differences for better, longer lasting, and more creative solutions? YES. this is my special passion. I’m an active supporter and knowledge authority in this area and frequently discuss this topic. Kaleel Jameson Consulting group has some excellent training on the subject for corporations and I highly recommend their principles, methodology and approach. They gave me free copies of some of their higher level training materials for free when I was working at kinko’s copy center and making copies for them. I also worked customer service at kinko’s counters in the computer services dept designing promotional materials with customers and resolving customer service problems. I know the value of input from customer service.
- Team Player: Understands demands and delivers mutual accountability? YES. My google document system for awarding credit for contrbutions served as a postive motivation for encouraging teamwork and contributions. Every good idea is noticed and rated for advancement towards review and evaluation with meta for: Roadmap, SWOP, Feasibility, and and a checklist for production production. Since SF-in-progress was an all volunteer unpaid organization, internal team building and contribution motivational systems were crucial in maintaining momentum. We used our own selves as persona’s for evaluation of our motivational system. Imagine if reviewing work was like a game or a contest to see who could make the most insightful comment and get the most up votes for their critique? I like to have goals and expectations written out and brainstormed on a semi-regular basis and am excited by alternative accountability systems such as Holocracy. Team coding is a practice I approve of and think structured discussion process is a joy for User Experience designers. The UX of the UX meeting is always so interestingly meta. I love recursion in process analysis.
- Advanced experience in (Interaction Design, New Media Design and Graphic Design)? YES.
- Demonstrable history of delivering sophisticated, yet easy-to-use products & User Centric Design? YES. SPATS – the Strategic Plan Action Tracking System enhancements I made were praised for allowing major stakeholders to do things in seconds that used to take minutes or even hours. measurably reduced internal labor efforts by several times the hours I worked on the project. sophisticated SEO Optimization with Semantic HTML master page standardization for new season at Party City and easy to use first implementation of expanded hit zones and linked but visually separated highlights in graphic design image maps.
- Experience with graphic, mobile, responsive and web designing across multiple platforms.? YES. but mostly at a prototype code and visual mockup and design concept areas. I don’t use android or more advanced phone features fluently. I’m not a power user in the mobile sphere, which is maybe a good think if your looking for someone who can do a “new user” evaluation at a professional level and not suffer from the “curse of knowledge” problem that can beset cutting edge technology power users. from a mobile skills perspective, I am your typical customer and can describe how a NOOB understands your UI and what works and what doesn’t from a NOOB perspective. I have never looked at your product, so I’m saving my NOOB perspective for you and it’s only something you get to learn once before your forgetting that they confused you the first time and why. What I do is record my New User Experience for you as a part of the interview and to convince you to hire me. Please send me a link for me to critique and review as a new user.
- Experience defining products in an Agile and Scrum framework? YES, but not with experienced team members. Me and the SF-in-Progress project leader were talking about a formal scrum for our team and we used some parts of Agile and Scrum. The difficulty came because everyone was volunteer and intermittent variable rate contributors. So the Graphic designer who wanted to enjoy crafting the look and feel would be at a different scrum frequency than the web developer who contributed more hours each week and was eager to finish off the project. My neighbors a scrum master who can help me out with advice if It’s a central role for me, but I want a team that’s experienced in Agile and Scrum to support my knowledge gaps and NOOB skills.
- Competency in Adobe Creative Cloud suite of tools (e.g., Photoshop, Illustrator), wireframing tools (e.g., Balsamic), prototyping tools (Sketch 3)? YES, competent, but out of practice. need to warm up and refresh speed of operations to remember shortcuts and unlearn newest features. I’ve dabbled in a lot of different wireframe and prototype tools and switched tools on almost every project and never gotten really fast and proficient with any single one of them. I’m a jack of all trades, but master of none in this category. There’s only so much time and I’ve neglected and missed using my production skills recently. Hopefully, you’ll give me an excuse to get back to the joy of rapid production.
- UI design skills with a strong portfolio? YES. no. I hate my portfolio. Doesn’t everyone from Academy of Art University learn to find the flaws and then obsess over them? I like to say good things about other peoples portfolio though and I have a talent for spotting talent. I can see a lot of talent in my portolio, like my User Experience Design Class team produced an excellent collaboration for the “blue book project” which was a design for an online address book. . . Doesn’t everyone. See my college level graphic design portfolio here. I can do all the fine design stuff and I hate typography and put usability and clarity ahead of style. I lean more towards a functional utility focused designer than I am a Style and fashion focused designer. I think of myself more as a visual engineer than a visual designer. That’s probably good for this job.
- Strong experience in creating wireframes, storyboards, user flows, process flows and medium/high-fidelity prototypes? YES.
- Fluency in Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch or other visual design, wire-framing and prototyping tools? YES.
- Excellent visual design skills with sensitivity to user-system interaction? YES.
- Outstanding brainstorming and whiteboarding skills? YES. Brainstorming is my forte. link to my favorite brainstorm work for SF-In-Progress that I can share publicly. Link to Whiteboard sample ro my sketches on graph paper work product samples.
- Up to date with the latest UI trends, techniques, and technologies? YES.
Compensation and Benefits
We pay 100% of our employee benefits costs and offer healthcare plans, long-term and short-term disability, life insurance, dental, vision and 401K. We pride ourselves on having the best compensation package in the industry.
Sungevity strives for a multi-cultural work environment; diversity is a core value. AA/EOE. We are a Fair Chance Employer. (I feel the same way.)
Sungevity is located in the historic Jack London Square Area of Oakland, CA. Served by BART, Amtrak and Ferry Service (SW: Great I can bicycle to the ferry from home and from work in just a few minutes and I get the exercise benefits for free instead of sitting in a crowd. Nothing else starts a day off as good as a bicycle ride to work in my opinion and the ferry ride is excellent for meditating on the opportunities to pursue for the day ahead. I’ve had some of my best ideas on Ferry’s on the way to work. One Idea I came up with was for a bicycle highway over Market street to the ferry station. I imagined a weather shielded tube for bicycles to ride 3 lanes in each direction. Also a wind design analysis so that any ambient wind would be converted into a backdraft for the bicycles, so they would be pushed continuously by a fresh breaze blowing them forward. To top it all off (literally, pun intended) we should have solar panels on top of the tubes to generate electricity for lighting the tubes and run other electronics such as speed monitors or default public accessible security cameras. Actually just lots of regularly spaced security cameras would be the easiest security and safety solution for a suspension bridge for bicicles running over Market Street to the Ferry Terminal. Well anyway, maybe If you give me a job we should make a sales pitch to the city for Building the first Solar Powered Smart Bicycle Highway and bring san francisco into the lead as a world class bicycle commuting city of the future. Can you give me the job to develop this application for Sungevity? You seem to have the right focus and capabilities to Make this happen and make my commute to work even better. I love my rent controlled students live work studio on Market street but I’d love it even more if I could bicycle to the ferry building in a futuristic suspended bicycle tube highway over Market Street. i wouldn’t have to stop for lights and the drivers wouldn’t have to share the road with anyone but pedestrians all at a low cost to the city for construction and design. Also, if Sungevity pitches this idea, could they include in their design 4th floor high access so I don’t have to take the elevator and can just coast down hill to the ferry building at the first floor level. It always helps to be bicycling down hill. Oh, and also, maybe pick some tall building near the ferry building and put in a solar powered elevator to lift the bicycles to the top and then run an express high speed downhill bicycle highway tube down to ground level at the castro for rush hour peak overflow use? ). We also provide a locked bike room for our employees use(Very thoughtful of you. thanks, I’ll use it. . . Now what kind of electric bicycle should I get for the Bicycle Highway tube commute or do I even need one. . .Maybe build the top parts of the cylindrical horizontal tube out of rolled chainlink fence for durability and affordability in low use areas? ).
Please apply to www.sungevity.com/green-jobs
Note to self. link these postcards to a google survey I create when I get around to it.
(NOTE TO SELF: remember to send Kimo a link to this so I can get his review of my job application interview approach.