The Verys Management Team asks Senior Designer Sean McCormick, the ins-and-outs of working at Verys, including, remote work, new technology, and ultimately, what sets Verys apart from the rest.
Q: What technology, apps or software do you personally enjoy using?
A: I love Figma, which is a design tool based in the cloud—anyone from anywhere can access it and collaborate in this shared interface. It’s pretty cool because you can see each other's cursors and design the same product at the same time. It’s really changing the landscape of how design can be done, especially given that, with COVID, you can't really be in the office together. The fact that everyone can work in the same place together is pretty cool.
Q: How do you work best? In what kind of work environment do you thrive?
A: I really work well alone, to be honest. I think it's good to kind of have quiet isolation for deep thought. And then after that deep thought, bringing your ideas to a broader audience for feedback is important. I think it's a balance of creating the ideas in your own head, taking them, and checking-in with other people to see if they agree. I don't think 100% collaboration all of the time on everything is good. Isolation 100% of the time isn’t good. I think there's a balance to it.
Q: What knowledge or skills can you personally offer your clients?
A: I really find psychology and human cognition very interesting. More specifically, I like to learn how that all applies to the “user experience” and user interfaces—how people interact with computers. As someone goes through this app or clicks through this product, I ask myself “What are they thinking? How hard are they thinking? How do you guide their thought process? How do you use that understanding to help them achieve what they want to with that product?” The client or customer chose to use a product that you designed for, and have a specific goal. With this in mind, I try to answer, “How can you design a product in a way that takes advantage of the consumer thought process?”
Q: How did you discover your passion for software and technology solutions?
A: It’s always been interesting. I grew up as a gamer, so I was always aware of technology and using it for recreation. That kind of led me to what I want to make—graphics and designs. I think I started with Photoshop and began to use this tool to kind of make my ideas into reality. That led to learning a bit about HTML, CSS, and some other basic coding principles. From there, I became more interested in the design side of things rather than the engineering side of things, so pursued a degree in graphic design. With my degree, I began using my knowledge of typography, text, imagery, and visual communication to bring my thoughts and ideas to fruition. Using visual communication, I brought together my knowledge of consumer psychology and graphic engineering to create the best experiences for users. That’s really what user experience is—it's taking all these things together.
Q: Which project are you most proud of?
A: I'd say my project with First American Financial, which is a large Fortune 500. We worked together to rebuild a lot of their massive software products. I had a part in designing a lot of these large enterprise tools that their employees use on a day-to-day basis. I really had a part in a lot of people's everyday work experience by designing what certain pieces of software looked like, how they worked. Overall, I would say that this has been a really successful project.
Q: How do you help your clients find solutions to their problems?
A: I help my clients find solutions to their problems through a process called design thinking, which really comes down to understanding their problems and empathizing with their problems. Once I understand what problems they have first, then we can come up with solutions. Design thinking emphasizes the need to resist the urge to just jump on the first idea and say that this is the right solution. Instead, this method allows for us to discuss multiple potential solutions, test each, and find the best one. Design thinking is an ongoing process because you might think one idea is the best at first, but down the line, other criteria come up and you will have to reiterate past solutions. It’s a very iterative process because I work hand-in-hand with the clients to make sure that their needs are met—if they aren’t, we're not afraid to change things. Not being afraid to go back and change things that you've done in the past is important, and I think that having that mentality makes the final product up-to-date with our ever-evolving world.
Q: How has working at Verys helped shape your expertise and service?
A: I'd say Verys is amazing at giving you the freedom to find solutions on your own. When you need help, there are experts and people that are always there to help you. However, if you want to branch out and pursue your own endeavors, Verys will happily give you the opportunity. I think not being micromanaged and having that level of autonomy really lets you maximize your potential.
Q: What sets Verys apart from other companies you could have worked for?
A: The culture here is really important. I think there are a lot of companies out there that have really intelligent people, just like Verys does. But if you don't have that kind of collective respect and openness with working with each other, ideas can not get shared. I think that the culture that Verys has really allows ideas to be shared and spread. No matter whose idea it is—if it's a good idea—people want it to grow and want it to be successful for the sake of Verys as a collective whole. In our culture, there’s a greater sense of community, and that’s what sets our culture apart from any other company.