Working with AmazonFresh

Still from AmazonFresh Motion Graphic piece

I have been reluctant to write this article, simply because I don’t particularly like talking about “my success”. But under threat from our much loved Sholeh Atash, who reminded me the first chance she got that I owed her a story, I have been forced to set aside my quibbles and repay my debts (I still love you Sholeh :P )

I was hired by AmazonFresh as a UX (User Experience) Designer, shortly after graduating. For those who don’t know it, AmazonFresh is a Seattle-based online grocery store. When I joined the team, there was only one designer who had been doing the UX, the UI (User Interface) design, and everything in between, all by herself for over a year, and she was clearly looking to share the increasing workload. What particularly attracted me to this opportunity was that the team was small enough that I could really make a mark fairly quickly. I would have little chance to hide behind a line of more senior colleagues, and would have to hit the ground running. And that’s how I like things to be. Also, given that it was Amazon, everything had to be done today (and doesn’t that sound completely familiar and normal!). So, the time between ideation and fruition was as small as possible. I could join and have my stuff up on the website in a few weeks, live and operational!
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Pfff… I Could Do That : The Verbal Street Saga

In the winter of 2008 I was browsing the web at work in a store with a co-worker/friend. The store was a modern, trendy carrier of over-priced  home furnishings, with computer kiosks at which we could sit down with clients to redesign their rooms. These computer kiosks faced out toward the public at all times. We wanted a stylish desktop wallpaper to replace the boring Windows default. After a bit of browsing, we came across a vector graphic of a city-scape with flourishes and paint splatters. My co-worker, Ryan, made a comment, something along the lines of how cool the graphic would look on a shirt.

Pfff… I could do that, I said.

What followed, after some back and fourth, was we agreed to start a t-shirt company. However, the truth of the matter was, I really didn’t know if I could do that. I had reasonable confidence in my abilities, but I’d never taken on a project of that scope. We had some idea about what we needed. Here are some lessons learned:

  1. A Brand
  2. A Web Site
  3. Merchandise
  4. Customers

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