As LivingSocial searches for a lead visual designer, it is looking for someone who can “not just making things visually appealing, or pretty, but really do things that impact our company’s bottom line,” said Mike Santore, the District-based company’s director of content strategy. The lead visual designer will shape the look and feel of LivingSocial’s Android and iPhone apps, among other offerings. Santore recently discussed the position with Capital Business.
What is this person doing day-to-day?
The visual designer sits on our user experience team. It’s a cross-functional group figuring out how to take our products and business ideas and make them into engaging, user-friendly things. The visual designer will take business ideas and work with our researchers, interaction designers, writers and content strategists to create products. They need to not only infuse them with our visual style and branding, but make sure that they’re both easy to use and engaging for our consumers and our merchants.
So it sounds like there’s a lot of collaboration.
It’s a super collaborative position, not only with our team members. Because we serve an internal agency kind of role, we need to be able to work with product managers and business leaders and groups across the company.
With that in mind, what kind of personality is a good fit?
We need someone who’s really passionate, entrepreneurial, and great at taking feedback and running with it. They’re people that don’t mind moving fast, taking risks. I think that they need to be able to show the initiative to try things and understand that their first design isn’t necessarily going to be the right one. And they need to make sure that what we end up shipping is not only visually on point, but achieves a business goal.
What kind of prior work experience will be most useful?
I think it’s important that they have really good management skills. We have some younger designers on the team and we want someone that’s going to be able to mentor them. We’re interested in lots of backgrounds. It’d be great for someone to have agency experience — they’re good at managing multiple clients and multiple deadlines. But it’s also good to have somebody who comes from an internal team and understands what it’s like to apply one point of view to everything that they do.
What are the big challenges of this position?
One is just keeping pace. There are a lot of different projects and priorities. What designers really do is solve problems. They may be different than one that you solve with a spreadsheet, but, at the end of the day, it’s a business objective.