Jared Volpe

I’m a problem solver.

Currently I'm building teams, refining strategies, de-risking projects, designing products, and coding things at Microsoft.

I also build an employee engagement tool called Niko so everyone at any level in a company — from interns to the CEO — can submit, vote on, and respond to questions and suggestions. It helps companies preserve organizational knowledge and expose history and decision-making. I’m an armchair organizational psychologist so if you want to talk about that, hit me up.

I like putting my energy behind awesome products that can change our world and I like to work with smart and passionate people, so feel free to drop me a line even if it's only to say hello. You can also find me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Experience

Microsoft

PRINCIPAL DESIGN LEAD AND MANAGER

10/18 - present

Grew design teams and processes for Azure Boards and App Center. Worked with product and engineering directors, managers, and ICs to define & implement product design vision. Facilitated design sprints to drive product direction including strategic projects with GitHub.

LaunchDarkly

LEAD PRODUCT DESIGNER

06/18 - 10/18

Implemented design tools and infrastructure that merged the gap between the design and engineering teams and empowered them to collaborate better together on the core product and marketing site. Managed full product development lifecycle for core product features.

Planet Labs

LEAD PRODUCT DESIGNER AND DESIGN MANAGER (2x)

06/14 - 10/15 & 05/17 - 06/18

Brought design vision and leadership to a suite of rapidly evolving products with a stellar team of engineers, product managers, designers, and project managers at an amazingly inventive company that is fundamentally changing remote sensing and earth imaging.

Niko

FOUNDER

01/17 - present

Niko is a product that helps teams stay engaged, surface important information, and quickly get problems into the open where they can be solved. Everyone at any level in a company — from interns to the CEO — can submit, vote on, and respond to questions, polls, and suggestions.

CircleCI

LEAD PRODUCT DESIGNER and Design Manager

10/15 - 04/17

Collaborated on high-level product design vision with leadership team. Grew design team and built design process. Introduced design tools and infrastructure to merge the gap between the design and engineering teams and empowered them to collaborate better together on the core product.

Leap Motion

LEAD PRODUCT DESIGNER, UX/UI DESIGNER, PROTOTYPER

10/12 - 06/14

Lead UX design, development, and research in support of strategic initiatives. Pushed design thinking and UX vision forward resulting in design-driven and user-focused decisions. On-site and remote user studies focused on concept validation and contextual inquiry as well as task-based usability testing.

Thoughts on Design

  • Design is a method of problem solving.
  • Design is about trying to figure out elegant ways to do things.
  • If you are a designer, you have the experience of looking at it, and intuitively knowing that something isn’t right—that it can be better.
  • We are all designers; our job is to get good things shipped.
  • Err on the side of caring too much.
  • Interface design should drive product development because the interface is what people actually use.
  • New insights can appear at any stage of a product or project, so the development process should optimize for incorporating those inevitable insights.
  • There's no such thing as 'done'.
  • Sometimes decisions should be made scientifically, other times they should be based on emotion and intuition.
  • Include people. Generate ideas. Learn things. Experience and exercise empathy. Get data. Interpret data. In other words, build, measure, learn. Rinse and repeat.
  • It is hard to achieve greatness on your own. Surround yourself with others who also desire greatness.
  • When deciding between different ideas, the simplest is often the best choice.
  • Charles Eames said "Design is a a plan for arranging elements in such a way as to best accomplish a particular purpose." I humbly agree.
  • Focus on the problem. It is dangerous to fall in love with an idea and waste a bunch of time. However if you focus on a problem - something that causes pain or frustration or is an unmet need - you know you are not just building a fantasy.
  • Design (and designers) can change the world.
  • Design is for people, not products.
  • You can solve complex problems with simple, beautiful and intuitive solutions. The more complex the problem is, the simpler the solution can be.
  • Great designers seek to go far beyond understanding what people want to truly uncovering why they want it.

These are some of the best articles I've read on design, product design, interface and experience design:

Some others on Product and Product Teams:

Resume

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Contact

I like putting my energy behind awesome products that can change our world and I like to work with smart and passionate people, so feel free to drop me a line even if it's only to say hello. You can also find me on Twitter & LinkedIn.