thisiswhatwemake.com

Helping others reach their full potential

Mentoring and education holds a special place in my heart. I have worked with students from all over the world in learning new skills and guiding them through their transition into new career paths. It has been a pleasure and a rewarding experience.


  1. As a hiring manager, my biggest advice for students is to avoid the long form case study style format. Very rarely is anyone spending the time looking through all of that, and it would be better used in the portfolio presentation portion of the interview process.
  2. At this point, your portfolio is an invite for further inquiry.
  3. Framing your project in a storytelling format is helpful as you’re able to detail what you were responsible for, share interaction design, and product thinking.
    • What was the goal?
    • What were the business and user needs?
    • How did the design aid the needs of the business?
    • How did they meet the needs of the user?
    • How did you measure for that?
  4. The website portfolio is strongest when it details your ability to thrive as a generalist designing for end to end experiences.

Based on insights shared by Lauren Connolly, Product Designer at Facebook, former Senior Product Designer at Spotify.


Walk us through designing at Yelp

My favorite thing about working at Yelp is the fact that everyone has a seat at the table — no one is unqualified to present new ideas or discouraged from providing feedback based on hierarchy of roles. We’re a pretty flat organization and there’s a great balance of working hand-in-hand with engineers and product managers. I feel encouraged to ideate, work on passion projects and invest the time to make informed design decisions. When I was in the interview process, the ability to innovate was what stood out to me most. Two years later, that sentiment still stands.

Roll Call: Alexa + Taron + Lauren
Yelp’s Product Design team consists of 22 talented folks who work on all facets of Yelp products. We’ll talk to a few designers each month to share their stories. Where were you before Yelp? Before…

Senior Product Designer, Spotify

Sep 2018 - Present

Designing for Spotify’s new, self-service advertising platform that makes it easy for anyone to create and manage Spotify audio ad campaigns directly


Adjunct Professor, School of Visual Arts

April 2018 – Present

Teaching MFA students the Practice of Interaction Design through a series of hands-on, studio-based exercises.


Senior Product Designer, Yelp

Feb 2015 - Aug 2018

Led the design and strategization efforts for the cross-platform Messaging experience and previously the Yelp for Business Owner’s App. Helped scale our German and San Francisco design team to 20+. Implemented processes and guidelines to optimize workflow and established a set of design principles.


UX Designer, Mozilla

Sep 2014 – Apr 2015

Provided in-browser promoted content experiences for advertisers seeking higher-quality relationships with their audience and who choose Mozilla Content Services in order to have a future-facing, ethical partner with scale.


Lead Product Designer, TripAdvisor

Jul 2013 – Feb 2015

Lead the Vacation Rentals design team. Developed wireframes and information outlines during the planning stages to assist in content strategies. Defined the team mobile app experience. Analyzed site statistics and provided ongoing assessment of web usability, design, and overall quality in the site-wide
rebrand process.