cover art for Being in UX at a Startup

UX Cake

Being in UX at a Startup

Season 1, Ep. 22

I recently joined a start-up called Spruce Up so topics related to startups have been top-of-mind for me. In this episode of UX Cake, I am joined by Phillip Hunter of Pulse Labs and Cassie Wallender of Invio, Inc. We really enjoyed recording live in Seattle and had a candid conversation about the challenges and benefits of being in UX at a start-up and shared the techniques we have found effective while working in this type of start-up environment. 

Phillip Hunter is VP of Products at Pulse Labs in Seattle, WA, and has designed and created strategy for voice-based products and services for hundreds of customer service systems, and has led, managed, inspired, trained, and mentored hundreds of UX and product management professionals. 

Cassie Wallender is the Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Invio, Inc in Seattle. Cassie is an effective senior contributor and team manager in both product and design for several successful startups (iLike, acquired by Myspace for over $20m in 2009, and Appature, acquired by IMS Health for over $100m in 2013). 

Show Highlights:

  • Challenges of working at a UX start-up including often being the only designer, you often don’t have customers or users yet, and if you do have customers, you may have a very limited budget/resources.
  • No one hands you a charter stating the problems, objectives, and how to solve them. Everything is ambiguous, and you have to be a part of the discovery/inquiry/problem-solving processes.
  • Everything is on the line while working at a UX and pressure can build. The investors, founders, and employees are all counting on you. 
  • Despite all the challenges, we do it because of the special rewards and potential, and opportunities to be part of something new, and important.
  • Techniques we use to address the challenges of startups.
  • Leigh, Phillip, and Cassie tell their very different stories of how they got into startups.
  • Check out Angel Lists or Techstars to find start-up job opportunities.


Spruce Up

Pulse Labs

Invio, Inc.

@Cassie on Twitter

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