AMA: I'm Cap Watkins, Product Design Manager at Etsy

9 years ago from Cap Watkins, VP of Design @ BuzzFeed

  • Pete PetrashPete Petrash, 9 years ago

    Hi Cap!

    It goes without saying that designers at tech companies are increasingly expected to know HTML and CSS, and sometimes enough Javascript to be dangerous.

    I feel like we're on the verge of a similar trend with native mobile apps, where designers at certain adventurous companies will be getting more familiar with coding native mobile front-ends.

    In another answer you mentioned the product design role at Etsy as end-to-end and I'm very interested how mobile fits into this process. Are a subset of the design team getting their hands dirty in Android Studio and Xcode? If so, are they working alongside engineers in production, or just generating disposable prototypes?

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    • Cap WatkinsCap Watkins, 9 years ago

      Hey Pete,

      Some certainly do. We actually have some designers going through iOS/Android development training right now (of their own volition, but funded/provided by Etsy). It's unclear to me what that will mean for the mobile development process long-term, but at bare minimum designers being able to have informed discussions about code and what's possible will be super important there.

      I'd really like to live in a world where native app development has a presentation layer akin to html/css/js. I'm a crazy-person, though. :)

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      • Pete PetrashPete Petrash, 9 years ago

        Thanks so much for the reply, Cap. Glad to hear some Etsy designers are exploring iOS/Android dev — would love to read more about how this affects the design/development process at Etsy.

        I'm putting together a couple guides, one for iOS and another for Android, that will help designers get familiar with manipulating the 'front-end'; colors, dimensions, importing assets, etc. It's actually pretty similar to HTML/CSS/JS and I'm trying to leverage the similarities in the guide. Hopefully it will be of use to other design teams interested in exploring these waters.

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