Back in 2016 my manager sat me down and asked me those eight little words that every designer can’t wait to hear: “How would you feel about becoming a manager?”

I had always loved that Etsy has a strong career path for individual contributors, allowing you to not have to become a manager in order to advance your career. However, I realized this would be an amazing opportunity for me to learn and grow in ways I hadn’t had the chance to before, and hopefully help others do the same.

I had no idea how much I’d get to learn…


Five practical tips to shed your dependence on thought leaders and be a more thoughtful designer yourself.

There’s a lot of advice going around these days from “design royalty” that doesn’t really paint a full picture of success.

Success looks different to many people, here’s some ways I’ve found that have helped me become more “successful” as a designer.

1. Don’t compare yourself to “successful” people, and realize that some people have become successful because of privilege and/or luck

There’s a lot of loud voices in the design world who declare their way of gaining success is the best or only way. They get interviews, retweets, and sometimes even publishing deals.

It’s easy to look at those people and think…


It began, as most side-projects do, with a really stupid idea.

“What if I could cross-post my Instagram Stories to Tumblr?”

I really enjoy the quickness and ease of posting Stories to Instagram. I’ve found myself posting more things in-the-moment and capturing small details I find in life. Yet, I wish they had more staying power. I love looking back on my Instagrams and remembering the moment I shot that photo—why shouldn’t I be able to do the same with the Stories I post?

So I sought out on a quest to find out how to access the Stories API.


Does learning to code help push the limits or induce complacency?

If you’ve been on the internet and are a designer, you’ve probably heard the discussion come up of whether or not designers should code.

As a designer who does code, or possibly even a “coder” who designs at this point, I thought I’d throw some thoughts into the void of the internet on the topic.

A few years back I was working for a fantastic boutique branding agency called Foundry Collective (now Studio Mast). It was my second job out of college and honestly I had no idea what I was doing (I still don’t, really).

In that time I…

Kyle Turman

A tall man with taller tales. Leading Design Systems at @DropboxDesign. Previously @Etsy. He/Him.

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