You’re reading an excerpt of Land Your Dream Design Job, a book by Dan Shilov. Filled with hard-won, personal insights, it is a comprehensive guide to landing a product design role in a startup, agency, or tech company, and covers the entire design interview process from beginning to end, for experienced and aspriring designers. Purchase the book to support the author and the ad-free Holloway reading experience. You get instant digital access, commentary and future updates, and a high-quality PDF download.

Using Storytelling to Make the Concept Come to Life

To make the concept come to life, I wrote a story about a fictitious solo business traveler, Sarah, who has a few hours to kill in the evening in San Francisco by doing a tour of the city. The solution is an assistant in an autonomous car that understands Sarah and anticipates her needs. It also has a bit of snark to its personality, something Sarah appreciates.

Figure: Meet Sarah

Fictitious personas

Meet Sarah.

Writing and rewriting a story is a quick way to prototype. I usually start out almost all of my design work by writing first. I went through a couple of drafts first and later sketched a few screens on paper before quickly turning to mocking up screens (at that time) in Sketch. The digital work in turn helped me refine the story further and add some elements of amusement and delight.

Showing, Not Telling Sarah’s Journey

Here are a couple of highlights from the narrative that I’ve put together. Her journey starts on her phone near the place she’s staying.

Figure: The Journey Begins

The journey starts on the phone…
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Design is hard. Finding the right job doesn’t have to be.

You’ve just found the most detailed guide ever written to landing a product design job. Understand what you want, build your portfolio, interview with confidence, and get the job that’s right for you.

  • 250-page online book
  • Digital access to this title in the Holloway Reader
  • Downloadable PDF for personal offline use
Length: 250 pages
Edition: e1.0.0
Last Updated: 2020-12-09
Language: English
ISBN (Holloway.com):
978-1-952120-29-9
ISBN (print):
978-1-952120-30-5

Land Your Dream Design Job

A guide for product designers, from portfolio to interview to job offer

by Dan Shilov
Design is hard. As designers, we spend considerable effort in honing our craft and staying up to date on the latest design trends. Shouldn’t we apply the same rigor when we’re looking for that dream design job? Land Your Dream Design Job is a comprehensive book about landing a product design role in a startup, agency, or tech company. Learn what skills are expected of designers and how to demonstrate them throughout the job search process. You’ll identify your next opportunity and target your job search process to stand out as a candidate when submitting your portfolio. You’ll find a detailed breakdown of interviews and how to prepare for them: phone screens, portfolio presentations, behavioral, cross-functional, app critiques, whiteboard challenges, and take-home exercises. Lastly, you’ll learn how to do your due diligence, negotiate compensation, and accelerate onboarding to your new role.
Courtney NashEditor

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