A call on a Sunday

Design without context

I got a call on a Sunday from my bosses boss. So I knew something big was happening.

It wasn’t the first time I had a call like this, but it was normally less hush hush, and revolved around something like a new product release or a partnership. But this time it was different. I wasn’t allowed to know anything, except that I was needed to launch a new homepage and announcement banner across all of our site.

Design of a banner using placeholder characters

I got looped into an email thread, where they gave me a number of characters to plan for. I knew it was a partnership, but didn’t know what was happening.

Planning design for something without much detail was difficult. It was really like wire-framing without an intention. It was also pretty thrilling, knowing news was going to launch that had a huge impact, and the work I was doing was one of the first ways people will see.

A redhat.com homepage design with placeholder text

I learned an hour before launch that IBM would be acquiring Red Hat. While I considered what this would mean for what I had designed, I had to stop and think about what it meant for me as well. I knew this would change my work life.

In the end, everything went fairly to plan, and the news was off to the outlets to spread. This was the largest tech acquisition in history, so nothing to sneeze at. I was lucky to be involved.

redhat.com's homepage after acquision

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My work UX contributions

Because I didn't do all of this shit myself

Design talks

Cross-team sharing I helped to start a concept of sharing across our large (at the time) 30 person or so design & development team (it’s now grown to close to 60). As our team evolved, it was becoming more and more difficult to stay connected. What we found useful in smaller sessions were leaders of […]

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Who I am

Who I am

I’m Dan, a Red Hatter I built this portfolio site to make sure I was spending enough time on me. When you’re a design leader, it’s often hard to invest time in yourself. My free time often goes to scheduling that 1:1 that I haven’t had a chance to do yet, or spending 15 minutes […]

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Blurry org chart

Leading design teams

Becoming a design manager I was hesitant to move into people management. I had studied for years to become a designer. I was worried I’d no longer be able to do the thing I was best at. I loved coding. I loved being in my zen space, working on a design to solve a user […]

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