8px Magazine
Published in

8px Magazine

So you want to be a designer advocate?

We’re hiring a second Designer Advocate to come and work alongside me on the EMEA team!

I’ve already put in a lot of groundwork, but Figma is scaling massively and it’d be great to have a buddy to help our community become more successful, faster.

Designer Advocate may seem like the perfect job — and it is for me! — so I wanted to ease you into what is typically covered in my job on a day to day basis.

You’ll be joining the Community team, and here are a few pictures of us being totally normal.

Who’s in the team? Thomas Lowry, Rogie King, Anthony DiSpezio, Miguel A Cardona Jr, Chad Bergman, Ana Boyer, Clara Ujiie.

TLDR;

A Designer Advocate does this:

  • Contributes to the community
  • Synthesises product feedback
  • Consults with new and existing customers, alongside the sales team
  • Contributes to livestreams and articles

A designer advocate doesn’t do this:

  • Design Figma
  • Actively sell the product

Here’s a deeper look:

The community

As a face in the community, we receive a lot of (awesome!) product feedback and feature requests. As someone who sits in the middle of product, design, and community, we have the opportunity to synthesise and drill down into this kind of feedback to inform what Figma looks like tomorrow.

This naturally leans into an ability to read between the lines of a problem statement and feed this back to the team in a way that isn’t “we need to build X”, but “our users are struggling to achieve “Y”. If you don’t have extensive experience with in depth user research, that’s okay as I didn’t either! It’s having natural empathy for users and being able to distill feedback that is key to informing the product.

Figma owes a lot of its success to our amazing community. Spread across multiple channels, we have a buzzing group of people that we love chatting to and hearing ideas from.

I usually dip in and out of our Friends of Figma community Slack group to answer questions and keep excitement flowing for our feature releases and livestreams or events. The Slack group is a great way to dive really deep into nerdy issues that people are trying to solve. Want to help someone with a multi-nested Auto Layout component? You’d love this.

Our community hang out on Twitter a lot. In fact, I’d almost go as far as saying that Design Twitter is slowly but surely becoming Figma Twitter, and we love it! There is no hard guideline on “you must send X amount of tweets per day”, so it’s something we all approach slightly differently. I like to post design memes and feature updates mostly, whereas other members of the team like to knuckle down on plugins and the more technical side of design. Not a big Twitter user? That’s fine, now is your time to shine 😃

LinkedIn is still very much an experiment for us, and I’ve been posting a lot in the past few months to see how receptive the platform is to design content. So far, it’s been pretty good. The more platforms we can crack, the more community members we can help out.

Another important aspect of the community is Figma’s Community product itself. The Designer Advocate team make heavy use of sharing files, presentations, and templates within the Community to help other designers get a head start. If we are helping someone out with a specific problem, more often than not that file will be published to the community as well so it can help others.

Lastly, I love a Loom video. I love recording quick tips for either the team internally or clients so that we can offer visual support for blockers or issues that people are facing.

Sales

I work heavily with our sales and account management team every single day. Figma is a SaaS product, which means that we’re happy the more people are using it, and we have a big sales team to try and make that happen.

For those of you that are currently not working directly with a sales team, or have zero sales experience, don’t worry! Previously, I’ve worked alongside sales but have never really been hands on.

We’re not requiring you to know or use Salesforce! Being empathetic and understanding of non-designers, and to be willing to work alongside an interested but non-technical team is key to the success in this role.

Practically, this means chatting to colleagues on Slack and answering customer questions, replying to emails where teams are stuck with process blockers, or doing Figma demonstration sessions with teams across Europe, from 20 designers to hundreds.

A typical sales call sees me advising design teams on the best way to set up their teams for success, design operations Q&A sessions and more broadly a demo of how Figma works. A large part of sales calls is being able to think on your feet. We receive questions live that we may not have prepared for, so being able to think rationally and calmly in the moment is a top skill 🧘‍♂️

I also run a weekly Figma 101 session for beginners who want to know the basics. This is a nice way to keep on top of the “need to know” parts of the product, whilst being able to answer questions from people who may not be able to book a 60 minute session.

Marketing

Designer Advocates sit within the Community team, but we more broadly live within the Marketing team, which means we have a great cross-discipline group of folks all tasked with trying to spread the good FigJam in the community.

So, what does the marketing aspect of our job look like?

Livestreams
You will have seen the Designer Advocates popping up on livestreams or YouTube, because we host these sessions!

This means that we need to be comfortable in front of a (now virtual) audience, camera, microphone, you get the picture.

What type of streams do we do? Any time there’s a major feature release there will be an opportunity for a Designer Advocate to host what we call Office Hours. These are typically 60 minute sessions where we walk through the feature head to toe and show people how to use it, the tricks etc.

Other livestreams include our In the File series, where we give the stage over to one or two of our customers to present their Figma workflows. We facilitate these and run the Q&A sessions, so the main skills required here are an ability to ask good questions, keep the audience warm, and make sure the event runs smoothly from behind the scenes.

Writing
The Figma Best Practice guides section of the website is written by the Designer Advocates, seeing as we sit in the middle of design teams and the product. This gives us a unique perspective into the usage of features and what they mean in a practical sense.

Being able to communicate through words is something Figma believes at a fundamental level, and being able to write concisely and clearly as a Designer Advocate makes our team and customers feel valued and looked after.

Support

Although we don’t sit within the Support team, we do work quite closely as we are often a first line of defence when a customer has an issue or perceived bug that they’d like to solve.

For example, we may receive a direct message on Twitter or in our Slack group where someone has an Auto Layout issue. Rather than going directly through to support, sometimes we can offer a fix and allow that person to become successful in a few minutes.

What is isn’t

It’s probably quite important for me to explain what designer advocacy isn’t as well, so we’re all very clear before you submit your shiny application.

Firstly, and most importantly, this isn’t a designer position. Although we are all experienced designers, we do not design Figma itself. This isn’t to say we don’t work closely with the team! Remember when we launched bullet lists? That was the handiwork of Anthony DiSpezio, working very closely with the design team to ship it.

So in order to be a successful Designer Advocate, you need to be a designer who understands design at a fundamental level, can talk shop, are happy to facilitate and answer questions, and also be comfortable leaving your designer keys at the door.

Does this look like your dream job? Apply here 🚀

--

--

--

Life, by designers.

Recommended from Medium

HVTechFest Youth Hackathon 2020

Building My Website (2): The Next Iteration

Subversive by Design: Jeweler Chris Habana on Finding Aesthetic Between the Lines

Heuristics #4: Consistency and Standards-Simplified by the examples.

Visual Design

Remote research: starting a conversation

Week 1: Hitchhiker’s Guide — UI / UX / CX Glossary

Exploring Atlanta with MARTA — Redesign and Extend

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Luis Ouriach

Luis Ouriach

Design and community @FigmaDesign, newsletter writer, co-host @thenoisepod, creator of @8pxmag. Sarcastic.

More from Medium

Successful standups in a remote world

Is DesignOps for every company or reality? with Dave Malouf | Good Morning UX

Expansion & Contraction — A realistic path for pushing UX exploration forward

Design Ops for Design Teams…