Eric Lobdell's tips on how to best approach a long term career in product design
In this episode of The Product Design Podcast, Seth Coelen interviews Eric Lobdell, who leads the design systems at Facebook! He lives in Oakland, California, in the Bay Area, and he is a typography enthusiast.
During our interview with Eric, he shares several specific ways that product designers can manage a long-term career in the industry. From getting started to staying relevant and leading large design systems teams, we have collected great pieces of knowledge from him in this episode.
Eric became interested in this industry when the web was young. He started with a personal Pokemon website, which eventually led him to a small startup called Myspacesupport.com, where he made glitter graphics and custom Myspace layouts. He also worked for another small startup that specialized in making customizable mobile phone skins.
What works well consistently is if you just share your work and you're doing good work; those are the two elements you need to be successful.
Later in his career, Eric landed a contract with an incubator for startups that put him into a role that was a bit outside of his normal scope of work. He looked at this as an opportunity to learn, grow and figure out how to become successful in this specific role.
These days, Eric is leading design systems at Facebook. Eric shared with us that everyone in the organization has the autonomy to make good decisions and drive their vision.
Part of his role in the organization is to support teams where he is not always the expert and helping other teams think more like systems designers to contribute back to the organizational systems. This experience helped him learn how to work with people differently from the past at smaller startups. He has changed his approach and strategy to support numerous teams in the organization to help everyone operate more efficiently within the design systems.Building trust and working closely with people generally results in systems adoption, and that's a much better recipe for success.
Building trust and working closely with people generally results in systems adoption and that's a much better recipe for success.
Tips on how to get started:
Tips to stay relevant along your career path:
We are so grateful for the time we spent with Eric on this episode. He brought so many valuable tips and tricks for those interested in product design, regardless of the company's scale. Listen to the complete episode, which includes an in-depth discussion about Eric's career path, including his life, over at The Product Design Podcast.