TL;DR — My portfolio is a happy, effective team.

Photo by Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash

It has been seven years since I have looked for a job. Back then, I had no real management experience, and was still actively designing and coding interfaces. So when searching, I knew the value of having a portfolio of my work (Behance for design, GitHub for code). After all, they helped me land a job as a Front End Engineer (and unofficially our only UX Designer) at Hireology.

Management is not designing

For the last six years, I have been building and managing a team of UX Designers, User Researchers, and for a little while Front End Engineers as the head of our…


In one of the Slack communities I spend some time with, someone recently asked the questions below about how companies hire. I thought the answers would make a nice post, so here we are. I’ll be focusing on hiring for our UX Designer role, but the process for Front End Engineers or User Researchers is essentially the same.

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

What is your process like when looking for a new hire?

1. Review resume, cover letter, and portfolio 2. Phone screen with Director of Hiring 3. Design review discussion with Manager of UX and other designers 4. Career history interview with Manager of UX 5. Meet & Greet with various Product & Engineering…


Photo by Darren Coleshill on Unsplash

How to ensure you hire great employees

Hireology has five core values. They are, in no particular order: Eager to Improve, Own the Result, Create WOW Moments, Pathological Optimism, and No Assholes.

While every potential hire is measured against these five, it is the last one — No Assholes — that I believe is key to making a great team. In fact, I would argue that without No Assholes, the other four would be impossible to achieve. It is the foundation of what makes Hireology a great place to work.

Every time I talk about this with someone, the question that always comes up is “How do…


It seems like every couple of months, a new “should designers code” blog post pops up. Some of these articles even do a great job of balancing the pros and cons of learning code. And yet comments on this issue are usually of the “of course they should” variety. As a designer, you may feel pressure to follow that advice. After all, how can so many people be wrong?

Yet most things are rarely this black-and-white, and this topic is no exception. Framing the discussion like this overlooks opportunities to learn something other than coding. …


Tell us who you are in one sentence.

My name is Sean, and I am a husband, father, and front-end engineer and designer.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you do?

I would probably be in the education field, teaching college or adult classes, or possibly in a training department somewhere. I enjoy teaching, because it is a great way to learn.

What is something you wished you designed, either because you love it, or because you feel you could have done it better?

I wish I had been part of the team that built MailChimp, because they have such a laser focus on usability. Even today - at 36 with a dozen years under my belt - I am confident that working with those folks would be an incredible learning experience.

What was your biggest design mistake?

Spending too much time on how…

Sean Ryan

Family should always come first, teaching is the best way to learn, and the best ideas usually show up while in the shower.

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