Turning the page

A photo of my Harley and I taken by my friend Katie.
Earlier this month I made the hard decision to leave Nextdoor after an amazing year and a half as a member of the design team there.

I joined Nextdoor in 2014 as a part of the Designer Fund Bridge program and can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The responsibility I was handed on the projects I was a part of was significant, and the individuals I worked with to build out new features and product improvements were not only incredibly talented, but also some of the nicest people I could ever hope to work with. I consider myself quite lucky that I am able to call a lot of the people I got to know in my time at Nextdoor good friends.

Beginning later this past summer, I began feeling that it was probably time for me to consider moving on. The design team at Nextdoor today is very different from the one I joined a year and a half ago. Not only are the faces that make up the team different, but the type of work they are taking on has changed a great deal as well.

I’ve always enjoyed blurring the lines between design and development in the roles that I take on. As much as I enjoy designing digital products, I equally enjoy building those things which I help design. I don’t think every designer should code, but for me personally, taking ownership of the work you are shipping both from visual and architectural perspectives is something I have always greatly valued.

For the vast majority of my time at Nextdoor, I was able to do just that in both designing and building new features and product improvements. I absolutely loved this and I learned so much in the process. For this I am incredibly grateful.

For a number of reasons however, as Nextdoor grows and matures as both a product and a company, the design team there will be increasingly moving away from that model and will instead begin to narrow the focus of individual designers on specific areas of expertise. I understand completely why the team is moving in that direction and I also fully support that move, but as I compared that new direction against my own professional goals, I realized that continuing at Nextdoor would ultimately prevent me from doing the type of work that I love the most.

That in mind, I began a very limited job search. I quickly realized that of the companies I spoke with, there was really only one that completely aligned with both my own thoughts on the type of work a product designer should take on in addition to the organizational culture in which that type of designer could be successful.

That company is Quora, and I am extremely excited to announce that I have joined their design team.

I am excited about what that means and I am excited to help build a product that I have used and loved for a number of years. I plan on writing more once I begin to settle into my role there, but for the time being I am focused on hitting the ground running while also continuing to learn as much as I can. Saying goodbye to the comfortable and the familiar is never easy, but turning the page on a new chapter is an exhilarating experience in and of itself.

Here’s to what’s next.

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A photo of my Harley and I taken by my friend Katie.