My life has been adrift in adventures over the last few months since I left my startup. It's been wonderful, fulfilling, and challenging. I took on my first info viz project with a client; ran a few gamestorming workshops; dabbled in iOS design...and organized two conferences: SketchCamp (May 28, 2011) and Overlap (coming up this weekend: June 10-13, 2011).
In the process of taking this "time off", I was also interviewing at several interesting startups and larger companies. And I recently decided to join one of them: Google.
Yes, this is a big move for me, but I'm very excited!! I'll be joining the UX design team at Google on June 27th — and I'll be working in the social product group! A great fit all around.
While searching around for my next professional venture, I knew that I was looking for a design role on a product team. I loved working in the small, fast-paced environment of a startup, but I didn't want to be the first and sole designer on a team where design was neither understood nor valued. I wanted to find a place with UX researchers and designers, and I wanted to sit on the design side of that spectrum. I also wanted a place where my generalist background would give me opportunities to do things outside of my design role (e.g., gamestorming, organizing, facilitating). Google promises to be a place where these things are possible for me.
I know that there will be challenges — both organizationally and in the way product & design are run. But I've never worked at a large company and I want to learn how things operate at that scale. In the very least, Google will be a different experience from any that I've had before, and I'm ready to try taking on something new!
I feel incredibly fortunate and humbled to join a place with so many other brilliant and inspiring folks (a huge reason why I chose Google was the caliber of people I met during my interviews!) I have to thank my long-time colleague and friend, Ed Chi, for encouraging me to apply, and my wonderful friends and family for being so supportive through my interviews and transition. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Whatever the future holds, I know that I'll learn and grow, meet amazingly talented people, and hopefully help make Google products that much more fun, enjoyable, and rewarding for all of us!