Builder's Culture: How a Designer Benefits and Influences at LogDNA
LogDNA is now Mezmo but the people you know and love are here to stay.
Hi. My name is Chad, and I am a lead product designer here at LogDNA. I want to take a moment and discuss something I am a part of and what I am influenced by, day to day: LogDNA's "builder culture."
You might instantly be thinking, "what in tarnation is a builder culture?" and that's such a great question, right out of the gate. I think a builder's culture is a place where a diverse set of people, from all stages and walks of life, can get together and make stuff that matters. In this case, that "stuff" is dope-ass software for some fantastic customers.
Some key factors play into forming one of the best-in-class cultures I've ever been a part of. I believe some of those factors are:
- Passion for the important work
- Radical ownership
- Assuming good intent
Passion for The Important Work
"Important work" can be tricky because different work is important to different people at different times. Here at LogDNA, I am thrilled there are always so many conversations that showcase our customers. As a UX practitioner, this is important to me. This focus on our customers helps us Loggers remember what's important to us. Our important work is taking care of the customer by enabling the successful function of their job through their tools (the software we build!). #takeworkseriously
One of the greatest feelings as a product designer is to have engineers who get it. There have been countless times where someone adjacent to the design team has taken the initiative to understand and contribute to the user experience. Examples include User Interface (UI) engineers wireframing in the browser and talking through real-time ideas with designers. Or various volunteers from many departments who come together to help define and build an accessible design system adopted across the organization. We’ve even had an Onboarding Engineer from another department come to us with hand-drawn notes of UI ideas that kick start a conversation with product management and developers. I'm going to level with you here—sometimes it feels like I'm cheating. I'm just catching everyone's ideas, feedback, and insight. It is truly remarkable to have so much support and collaboration while building novel solutions in this market. Everyone at LogDNA takes ownership of the product and wants to work together to improve it. #wejumpin
Assuming Good Intent
We all know the phrase, "you should never assume because it makes an..." you get it. However, I am here to tell you this is a bag full of nonsense! Talking to customers, synthesizing feedback from team members, working on feature projects, maintaining a design system, keeping close communication with your team, and getting your work done is stressful! There are times when there are real problems, and as Loggers, it is our time to come together and get shit done. When you are in the weeds, and someone's email is a little curt, or there are all caps slack messages frantically flying at your face, it is easy to take something personally or be caught up in something yourself and send a signal you didn't intend to send. I see it play out many different ways. Still, I am always humbled and grateful when someone like an engineering manager or another designer pulls me aside to clear the air or backtrack on sensitive topics. When I assume my teammate wants positive outcomes to their efforts (just like I do) I am able to frame a response, even in a stressful situation, that points towards the shared goals and not kick-off another corporate bickering session. It turns out when the team isn't bickering; the inverse is more likely: FUN! I have made some fantastic professional and personal connections in my last two years at LogDNA. Being on a team that is excited about your contribution is a great feeling. Individually contributing to a greater whole where I am encouraged to be my authentic self mixed with a company-wide positive approach lets everyone express themselves and connect in these really great ways. Ways that impact and feed into the work we do (see "passion for work" above) here at LogDNA. #wehavefun
Throughout this post you’ve seen hashtags that correlate to our company values:
- We take the work, not ourselves, seriously
- We jump in
- We have fun
I’ve included these because we live them each and every day and they’ve massively influenced my experience at LogDNA.
The list of contributing factors above isn't an exhaustive list of all of the reasons we have an excellent culture for builders here at LogDNA. Still, these are my current favorite things about coming to work every day. If you are a product designer and a senior user experience practitioner and if any of the anecdotes above resonate with you, I'd love for you to consider coming to benefit from this culture as well as help shape it and add your story to the mix. LFG.