Yes, designer: you, too, can become a majestic lion. Photo by Mika Brandt on Unsplash

You’re one or two years into your product design career, and you’ve been wondering what the next level looks like. You might be asking yourself: how do I play a larger, more influential role on my team? How do I spend more time thinking strategically, and less time executing on tasks?

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this as I’ve grown into a senior product designer at CommonBond, and I would sum up the key to influence in one word: outcomes.

Wait, so what do you mean by outcomes? I’m always designing for outcomes! It’s not like I’m sitting here working without purpose.

In the best case scenario, you’re absolutely correct. But this isn’t always the case.

Chances are, you’ve…

This is a list of readings that helped me write this article on uncentering my design practice on the Spotify Design blog. I hope you find them as informative as I did, and please share any other work you find as well in the comments!

📌 On design as social practice

What Does It Mean to Decolonize Design? by Anoushka Khandwala

5 questions Vanessa Newman, founder of Black-led creative collective Design to Divest, posted on Instagram to help people decolonize their design practice

Design Thinking is a Rebrand for White Supremacy by Darin Buzon

How to think differently about doing good as a creative person by…

baobab trees
baobab trees
Photo by Graphic Node on Unsplash

For the past few years, whenever I saw someone’s career taking off in ways that mine wasn’t, I’d always remind myself of this analogy of plants. Every plant grows in its own way. We don’t assign any value to plants that take longer to bloom or flower than others. A baobab tree that takes hundreds of years to grow is just as beautiful as the herb that sprouts in merely weeks.

This analogy got me through a lot of insecurity in the past few years, but just today I wondered if it might not be the story I want to…

Visuals by Lex Roman

This article was originally published in’s monthly newsletter. The illustrations are designed by founder Lex Roman. It’s an excellent publication so subscribe here!

Dear readers,

When my team first started running growth experiments, I often felt like we were just throwing darts against a wall, hoping something would stick. We had so many ideas about how to achieve our business goals, but we didn’t have a strong process to prioritize them. We wondered how to become more strategic in building our experimentation pipeline, instead of saying “Let’s test that!” to every stakeholder who presented an idea.

In this issue, I’ll show…

Our refinance product team faced a conundrum throughout 2018. Millions of student loan borrowers in the United States can benefit from refinancing their loans, either for a better rate or a lower monthly payment. However, we often observed visitors leave our site without taking the first steps that would help us determine if we might be able to improve their student loan situation. Why were people starting the conversation with us, but not staying around long enough for us to help them?

A problem with the problem statement

Our metrics made it clear that we needed to increase conversion throughout the multiple steps in our application…

The product design team at CommonBond is mighty, but small. In fact, I’m one of three product designers in a company of over 100 people. Each of us manages design research, strategy, and execution on each of our company’s three product lines.

As designers in a small startup, we carry the responsibility not just to create excellent user experiences, but also to understand our business lines inside and out. …

Janey Lee

Catch me sippin’ chai on a good day, overbrewed tea on most other days. Or writing about creativity and/or design. Currently product-designing in Stockholm

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