Design Lead

I was the first designer at Shortlist. An invite only community dedicated to improving the speed at which senior level roles are filled, using trusted recommendations from high quality people and their networks. I led the re-brand and mobile app process, as well as began making changes to the experience of the core desktop product. Over the time I spent at Shortlist I developed a set of design principles for future designers that might give you a better understanding of the role I covered.

View Guide

Creating the new Shortlist.

We built the new personality from scratch using branding excercises that allowed us to form an ideal archtype / personality for the company. The team strongly agreed on an archetype we called the 'Connoisseur', defined - an expert judge in matters to taste. This archetype was very important to the founders and the message we wanted to communicate to the members of the Shortlist community.

We later introduced a second archetype called the 'Architect'. After weeks of discovery we learned that over the process of re-designing the brand and product experience, we'd run into issues with the amount of features, processes and information we'd be giving to our community. We had to adopt an Architech personality. Allowing the end-user to gradually learn the space without being overwhelmed. We studied industrial designers that made great products and adopted their philosophies.


Bringing the two personalities togther (Rich colours and typography from the Connoisseur. Bold shapes and lines from the Architect).

The mobile app

This was my first time designing a large scale mobile app experience. It was an exciting process where I had the chance to deep dive into user testing and product management.

Type Assist

Unavoidably, a large part of the Shortlist mobile experience required users to write longform, make selections and generally input large quantities of information. With the apple keyboard also coming into play we quickly ran into problems with the amount of space we had. I came up with a feature called type assist which appeared everytime the user was interacting with inputs and selections and allowed us to show the users supportive information in a compacted space.


As the mobile app grew in complexity, one of the problems that kept coming back to us in feedback sessions from potential users, was the inability to understand what they were doing when re-opening the app after having put their phone down. In order to avoid this confusion we established 3 different modes, then tweaked the header designs and screen transitions to communicate these modes: Home, items, and processes. We were able to easily apply these modes to different facets of the user experience such as viewing positions, sending messages or viewing applications etc.

Human emails

Does it feel human? This was a question we had to continually ask ourselves as we designed the different parts of the Shortlist experience. It was especially important when dealing with the email communication between ourselves and the members of the Shortlist community. We wanted to make sure our email communcation felt as personal as it could (doesn't get any more personal that plain text), but also wanted to show off our brand style. The answer was a hyrbid between a plain text email and a designed email, which allowed us to inject some of our brand whilst preserving a natural email pattern.

Other designs

... that didn't make it to production.

... Hope you enjoyed viewing!