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Travisse Hansen shares his advice on how to move from product management to becoming a full stack product designer. Read the blog below and listen to the full episode for more great product design career advice!
Eliminate the middleman: the difference between product management and product design. Do you prefer tactical work and knowing that you created something from the ground up? The feeling of accomplishment that comes with building something yourself as a product designer is far greater than being a product manager that asks someone else to go build it.
How to take the shortcut to level up your skills. Volunteer to build an app or website for someone you know or build something that you believe can impact the world. Learning to do something because you have a specific goal in mind is a much better way to absorb knowledge than taking a course or reading a book about product design.
Do this to make sure you are not wasting away in your current career. Start building things that will benefit you in the long term. Create a weekly appointment with yourself to learn at least one new skill in product design. Recreate a product that already exists and by building it pixel for pixel, you will be able to add multiple new skills to your experience each week.
Table of contents
- From product management to full stack product designer
- How Travisse landed in product management
- Travisse's move from product management to product design
- How to get yourself started when getting into product design and development
- How to become a valuable team member by bringing new ideas
- Thank you so much, Travisse!
- Where to find Travisse Hansen
From product management to full stack product designer
In episode 12 of The Product Design Podcast, Seth Coelen interviews Travisse Hansen, a UX/UI Designer and Developer that is part of the UX Cabin team! He is a founding member of UX Cabin and has added value to the team through his skills and expertise for almost two years.
Travisse shares valuable advice that he has collected as he moved from product management to product design and development. We are so excited for you to listen to this episode!
How Travisse landed in product management
When Travisse was in college, he pursued a degree in business. During his senior year in one of his business courses, creating a business idea was a team requirement. The team came up with the idea to create an easy way to record and share family videos. They pursued the idea for the project and had an interest in developing it.
Travisse decided he would like to start his own business straight out of college. As he worked through getting everything started up, he realized he did not have the skills or the money to make it work right away. Travisse quickly made a pivot and decided he wanted to find a job where he could gain the skills he needed and make a steady paycheck as he went along.
He ended up landing a product management role at a venture-backed startup where he worked for five years. During this time, he collected valuable skills and experience in both product management and the ups and downs of starting a business and building products.
Travisse's move from product management to product design
After five years, Travisse decided he wanted to build his skill set outside of product management and focus long-term on becoming an entrepreneur. His strategy for long-term growth included learning to code. During this time, he was building a product and realized how much fun he had when designing products.
Travisse found product design to be more tactical than project management. Being on the design side was so enjoyable for him that he pursued a transition into product design. Ultimately, Travisse and Seth met on Twitter through a retweet from a mutual connection, and Seth invited him to join UX Cabin! He was able to find fulfillment in creating products and adding value to the world.
Over the last two years, Travisse has continued to grow his product design and development skillset as a valuable team member. He manages product design and development for several clients. His experience brings so much value to our team. The advice Travisse shares will be beneficial to anyone considering a jump from product management to product design and development or if you are looking to up your game and become a more valuable team member!
"At UX Cabin, we have a ton of autonomy to try new things. I thrive in that environment."
How to get yourself started when getting into product design and development
Setting up the building blocks to long-term success takes thought and strategy. Travisse's experience as a product manager and his passion for learning new skills have given him the ability to be a product designer who codes and knows how to manage the process from concept to implementation. He shared with us some advice he would have loved to have had when he was starting off to give you the roadmap you need to get you going!
Be long-term oriented. Do not worry about immediate gratification. Focus on building your hard tactical skills and increasing your connections.
Volunteer to build something. Whether you build an app for your friend or a website for a family member, use it to gain more hands-on experience in creating something from the ground up.
"Build stuff, release it, and try to get someone to use it. That whole iterative process will get you far."
Put in the work by becoming proficient at the tool of your choice. Fill your design canteen by finding new things to replicate pixel for pixel to create different patterns.
Become very active on Twitter. Use it to expand your network, learn from product leaders and share your thoughts and work!
How to become a valuable team member by bringing new ideas
Over the last two years, Travisse has been able to find ways to grow inside and outside of his work at UX Cabin. The work environment has allowed him to work with people he enjoys while having the autonomy to make decisions and solidify his skills. In the full podcast episode, Seth and Travisse specifically discuss what they look for in new UX Cabin Team Members, but below are a few things you can do to get stronger as a team member regardless of where you work.
Find the right work environment. Getting into a role that provides you the opportunity to leverage your existing expertise while developing new skills will keep you growing in your discipline(s).
Build up your confidence. Build something specific to level up your practical knowledge and learn what you need to support your long-term goals. Repeat this over and over to continue to grow!
Pursue side projects to keep learning. If you find an interest in a topic or believe you have a solution that could help other people, don't be afraid of following that instinct. Staying involved in side projects will allow you to learn new design patterns and give you skills in new areas.
Thank you so much, Travisse!
This episode with Travisse was full of great advice for anyone looking to solidify a move from product management to product design and development. Listen to the complete episode on The Product Design Podcast, which includes more about Travisse's side projects that have helped him become a full-stack designer. We are so grateful to have Travisse on the team and that he was able to join us to share his knowledge and expertise!
Don't forget to follow Travisse and watch as he builds new products and continually finds ways to learn and grow in his discipline. You can find him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and check out his side projects sharecalmly and RadiantWallet!
Where to find Travisse Hansen
- Twitter: @TravisseHansen
- LinkedIn: Travisse Hansen
- Website: https://sharecalmly.com/
- Additional project Travisse is working on: https://twitter.com/RadiantWallet
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