Opportunities Hidden in Plain Sight

  1. Thinking the Opposite: taking the current status of something, and thinking of what the opposite of that would be.
  2. Challenging assumptions: as the name suggests, questioning the validity of a basic assumption of the problem
  1. Current status: I want to work on products that are successful and solve users’ problems.
    Opposite: I want to work on products that are not successful or user-friendly yet (or don’t exist).
  2. Current status: I want to work at a well-funded, established company.
    Opposite: I want to work at a very early-stage startup.
  3. Assumption: Companies that are hiring will post jobs online.
    Challenge: Companies may not post jobs online, and not even know that they need UX design.

Strategies to Test

  1. Uncut Gems: I want to work on products that are not successful or user-friendly yet.
  2. Money (Doesn’t) Talk: I want to work at a very early-stage startup.
  3. Off the Record: Companies may not post jobs online, and not even know that they need UX design.

1: Uncut Gems

I’ve come across a wide variety of UX in digital products — some good, some not. The bad tends to stick out, and need the most help. What if I reached out to companies that have apps/websites that I’ve used that could use some UX help?

2: Money (Doesn’t) Talk

Early stage startups may be more of a risk, but they may be most in need. In order to start building a great product, design needs to be a part of the process from early on. For this concept, I tried to find startups that had recently acquired funding on websites such as Techcrunch, Crunchbase, and Built In.

Both Techcrunch and Built In publish weekly summaries of startups that have recently acquired funding
Crunchbase was helpful because you can filter by industry and latest funding date, but also limits free users to a handful of results.

3: Off the Record

Unfortunately, I am not a clairvoyant (although that would be useful for user research), so I cannot read minds; I don’t know that a company might need a UX designer if they don’t announce it. They might not even know it themselves! So, I reached out to startups with missions and values that resonated with me, AND did not have any designers on staff (thank you LinkedIn for allowing me to become a master sleuth).

A few posts that came across my LinkedIn feed

Results and Takeaways

While the tangible results are gratifying themselves, just knowing that I wasn’t limited to LinkedIn and Indeed posts was refreshing. That was a success in and of itself.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store