I failed my Product Design assignment

Sign in screen for Streamlabs streaming software.

Looking for a tech job in the valley is certainly one of the hardest things you can do while abroad. A couple weeks ago I applied for a Product Designer at Streamlabs through AngelList and I got a reply from one of the co-founders saying that I didn’t have the skills needed and that the job required extensive UX/UI web experience so I went on and asked for an assignment (trying to prove that I got what it takes).

We exchanged a couple emails and he then sent me the “assignment”.

First things first, I went and downloaded the two streaming software, tried them to see what could be made better, it appeared to me that they were conveying the main functionality which was streaming but the downside was the lack of information, a huge mess on the UI, no on-boarding process, nothing. I then another email asking if I could add Streamlabs features to the software and if the client would be a Desktop App ? and the answer was a short yes.

OBS Streaming (Open Source) — XSplit Broadcaster

I took notes, asked a couple questions here and there to know more about the need of the gamers when broadcasting and then proceeded to create a user journey. Profiling a League Of Legends streamer on Twitch. It took me some time to understand streamlabs features and then try to build around them. It took me 2 days of work to get a clear vision about my proposal, a day to figure out a UI and then start to code for a week.

I added a sidebar navigation on the left to access all sort of features that can be customized, a main component to proceed with Layers & Scenes edition, and then the player on the right side. I also came up with the idea of having a real-time feedback of the subscribers, tippers …

I worked my face off to build a visual guideline and implement the HTML/CSS accordingly but I didn’t stop there, I pushed it a bit further adding some examples of interactions in JS. I thought it would allow the team to see how the components would behave and maybe give me some feedback.

The light bulb went on when I saw that I could package what I did into a standalone client for Windows / Mac OS using Electron, a framework for creating native apps with web technology. And I did it, it took me some time to get my hands on hit but finally I got it working ;)

The day after I wrote an email prefacing what I did and sent over a link to the website and a link to the Windows Native App and waited … I was impatient to see what would they think of what I did, I imagined all sorts of reactions, feedback (positive feedback :p), I felt confident. maybe I overrated what I did, maybe I was over excited about the project but never expected this:

- thanks for the effort you put into this. Unfortunately its not what we were looking for.

I was disappointed, It wasn’t about the rejection, it was about the way they put it, I know that a lot of companies give no feedback (and by the way give no f**k about the efforts you put into an assignment) but boy, there was no clear reasoning behind this decision. I’m not seeking a justification by no means, but it was important for me to self-improve, to know what could make such a difference in the evaluation.

I was bummed when I received that rejection email, but obviously got over it :D I thought of sharing this experience with you, maybe I’ll receive some feedback.

And yes I’m still looking for an opportunity if you or someone you know is looking to hire a Product Designer. Just hit me up: Twitter / Dribbble

Thanks for reading :)