Photo by Paolo Chiabrando on Unsplash

In early 2019, I wrote a post about designing an accessible color scheme for Envoy’s web dashboard with specific techniques I used to create various shades of all the colors we needed to build our UI.

Since then, Envoy has been on quite a wild ride. In 2020, we launched four new products (Envoy Mobile, Rooms, Protect, and Desks) and also went through a major rebrand.

We’ve been moving quickly to ensure our customers can return to work safely, but in terms of color accessibility, we backslid a bit.

So here is that story and what we did about it…

Photo by Brenda Lai on Unsplash

Many designers see management in their future career plans, but it’s not always clear how to build the skills you’ll need once you make the switch from individual contributor to manager.

Opportunities can also come suddenly — you can enter a meeting an IC and walk out a manager. It’s happened to me, twice. Startups. 🙃

If you have the intention to move to a management role someday, take every opportunity to learn and practice today so you can have a basis of experience to lean on when your role does change.

It’s possible to build experience while you’re an…

Earlier in my career, I led a lot of remote usability tests, which helped me build the ability to take quick, detailed notes while still engaging with my participants. In user research, everything a participant says is a potential business-shaping insight, so taking good notes is critical to getting value out of the research.

I find that note-taking is an under-appreciated skill in workplaces. But these days, when many people are working remotely for the first time, it’s more important than ever to be able to capture the information shared, debates had, and decisions made during remote meetings so they…

Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash

Early in my design career, I wanted to learn more about user experience design, but I was only one of two UI designers at a small startup and had no one to learn from. Then I stumbled across the book The User Experience Team of One by Leah Buley, a design alumni of Adaptive Path and Intuit. Her practical advice about how to design in a user-centered way, even if you’re the only designer on your team, gave me the knowledge and confidence to begin injecting user research into my design process.

Her book completely changed the trajectory of my…

In my experience as a product designer, there’s nothing more eye-opening than talking to users and directly hearing their thoughts, frustrations, and joys.

Because of this, I think user interviews are one of the most powerful methods of user research, but they’re also one of the simplest ways to learn about users — they’re just conversations.

I often hear members of Engineering, Product, and Design teams say that they should conduct user research or that they wish they talked to users more often—but there’s a gap between good intentions and actually doing user research.

If this rings true to you…

Tina Xu has been a Product Designer at Envoy since 2017. We recently sat down to chat about Sailor Moon, finding your passion in life, and how Nobel laureate Richard Thaler nudged her into the design world.


What do you want to state for the record about yourself?

If I weren’t a product designer, I would love to be in academia. I studied economics and psychology in college and I’m obsessed with behavioral economics; if I weren’t doing behavioral economics-related things as a product designer, I like to think that I would do lab studies or research in that field.

Tell me in your own words what you do at Envoy.

I work with the Visitor Registration and Growth teams.

Envoy Visitors…

Amy has been a Visual Designer at Envoy since 2016. We recently sat down to chat about The College Board, why typography is key, and the power of self-doubt.


What do you want to state for the record about yourself?

I would like to state for the record that brunch is unequivocally the best meal.

Tell me in your own words what you do at Envoy.

I’m a Visual Designer! Right now I’m in the process of redesigning the marketing site and defining a new set of illustrations. But I work on all aspects of the brand — from icons and enamel pins, to sales decks and internal posters. …

Katie Riley

Product Designer with serious opinions about things.

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