Collaborators, not coders

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Building products is hard enough; not having your own engineering team makes it harder.

In the ideal world, software engineers are a cornerstone in building software. They collaborate closely with other team functions(PM, Design, etc) and contribute their brainpower.

Yet, for different reasons (budget, culture), not all product teams have their own developers. Outsourcing, then, seems to be the next best option. In the short run, outsourcing could make sense, but the downsides are severe: increased cost in communication, the client-vendor dynamic, the information lost during knowledge-transfer if you are to change vendors… to name a few.

To be blunt…

Sales, Marketing, and other non-design things I learned while working as product designer
Sales, Marketing, and other non-design things I learned while working as product designer
Photo by Isaac N.C. on Unsplash

When I first started working as a product designer, I knew little about what’s happening outside the “core” product team (i.e. Product Management, Product Design, Software Engineering). A few years later, I have had the opportunity to work with verticals outside the product bubble, for which I am tremendously grateful. Here, I share what I have learned about these roles in hyper-simplified terms.

🎁 Marketing

Who are you?

For people to buy your things, they need to aware that you exist. How? Marketing! Often, the marketing campaign is the first funnel of acquiring customers, before further pipeline activities happen. From creating product…

TL;DR: Over-preparation and building connections

Creative Commons License

Doing user research with international populations is a huge topic, and I am still learning as I move forward in my UX career. I’d like to share a few things I learned through my personal experiences in the past few months on this matter. I hope it proves helpful to anyone in the future in the same shoes.

1. Figure out logistics thoroughly and well in advance.

This should be a no brainer, but too often, I see people not planning enough or only do it at the last minute before the sessions start. Aside from your typical preparations like testing materials, multiple reminders…


In my limited amount of time in the professional world, I have had the opportunity to get a taste in both software development and user experience(UX) design. I came to notice the differences and connections between the two fields, and I’d like to share some of my personal observations.

When switching from development to design, the first mindset change for me was an examination of one’s own knowledge, or sense of “expertise” in one’s field. When you are a developer, you, hopefully, know your product better than anyone else. You strive to make your product robust and efficient. Solved 835…

Tessa Taoxi Li

I love everything creative 🌈

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