Meet Jason, helping non-designers believe in design.
The best thing that I learned on Trailhead is that continued education is now the expectation. Engage with Trailhead and plan your career.
Why did you become a designer? What does that mean to you?
There were two things that lead me to a career in design. Firstly, I felt a compulsion to be of service to others. Secondly, I wanted to be an artist. So, as a designer, I could help people with their art problems. But the thing that really hooked me was the understanding that design is not perfect — there is no one right answer!
The idea that there is no one right answer opens up so many possible solutions and even more people to help solution! And that makes the design space a much more interesting place to work and build a career.
Even after all these years and titles, I still introduce myself as a designer. I’m proud to be a designer.
What is one of your most memorable design moments?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a most memorable moment that comes to mind. I’ve worked with some of the world’s biggest brands, hung out with amazing people, created some wild concepts, worked late, late nights, and even made a few people cry (happy tears). My favorite moments are the ones where people felt ownership in what we were making — when non-designers, people who could really care less about design, became advocates. I love it when that happens.
How do you keep your solutions human-focused?
I don’t think there is one process or a specific deliverable that qualifies anything to be human-centered or human-focused. Start by being present! I often tell my team to think of their users as someone dear to them. For me, it’s my mom. If I were spending my mom’s money on this, would I be proud of the work? Am I solving the right problem for her? Am I making an impact in her day? Is this the best use of this time and budget? Are we delivering in the leanest, most equitable way? Are we delivering value? Be more present and do your best work! Make mom proud!
How do you use design to create social and business value?
My career has always been at the nexus of delivering social and business value. Over the last 11 years of my career, I’ve been focused on building communities for some of the biggest brands in the world. These communities have obvious business value by empowering customers, partners, employees, students, and citizens to take an active role in the process — often expediting data collection, processes, and self-service, and enabling advocates.
External and internal users are part of the same processes. This changes the paradigm and creates that 1:1 relationship with each business. Engagement like this is obvious today, but in the beginning we were inviting people to interact with their favorite brands for the first time. It was very exciting then, but critical now. Creating more value for users has been the focus of my work for more than a decade.
There are a few foundational aspects to the process: transparency in the process, an obsessive focus on value, and engaging as many people as possible in the solution. I focus my team on delivering the “most value possible” (MVP!). My current role at Accenture Federal Services once again puts me at the nexus of social (citizens) and business (government) change at an epic scale.
How has Trailhead helped you? What was one of the best things you've learned?
The best thing that I learned on Trailhead is not a tip, configuration, unit, module, or trail. It’s that continued education is now the expectation and certifications are the new degrees. Engage in your career building/planning with Trailhead. Salesforce is leading the way!
What advice do you have for new Trailblazers?
- This is a green space full of opportunity.
- There is room for everyone, especially you!
- How far you want to go with Salesforce is completely up to you.
- I wish I would have started sooner, but I’m happy that I started.
- Success is based on a lot of hard work, a few bold moves, and a plan.