Sam Willis — Product Designer
Hi! I'm Sam, a London based Product Designer currently working at fintech startup GoCardless.
I've got over 5 years of experience designing apps for startups across mobile and the web. I'm a Designer who codes, I care a lot about research, and love solving problems for businesses and consumers alike.
I also run Design Club — a bi-monthly meetup for creatives in London — and previously ran Design+Banter — a monthly meetup for designers.
At GoCardless we design software that helps businesses of all shapes and sizes (and in many different countries) to collect and manage recurring payments.
Working as a product designer I've had the opportunity to work on and lead a variety of different and challenging projects. From designing payment pages — that let our customers sign up their customers — to anti-fraud screens — that assist our ops team in discerning would be fraudsters — to a whole host of features in our dashboard that let our merchants run their businesses.
Self-styled “venture studio” Evori builds and takes to market various consumer apps focused on e-commerce and family tech.
When I joined as a mid-level designer Evori already had 2 apps on the go: 23snaps and Styloko. Design's role was to act as an internal design agency, managing and serving the needs of each internal business (we later designed and built Printastic from scratch). This setup, although perhaps unorthodox, allowed me to gain what feels like a hell of a lot of experience relative to the time that I was there.
In my 3+ years working with Listora (and its many other incarnations) we strived to build software that helped event organisers promote their events.
Listora was a turbulent but fascinating first experience in the startup world for me. We went through so many different stages of ideation, reincarnation and desperation while trying to get product market fit. As a junior designer I couldn't have hoped for a better place, or bunch of people, to learn with and grow as fast as I needed to at that stage of my career.
Other bits and pieces
Not coming from a design background — I studied business at university — I am no stranger to Impostor syndrome. As such, I have often signed up for extra-curricular projects to try and gain more experience and close the gap between where I am and where I want to be as a Designer.
“Where the creative community figure out what's next.”
Design club is — currently — a bi-monthly event for London's creative community to meet, chill and share ideas. I say 'currently' because although right now we are just a regular event, our ambition is to do so much more. We really want to create a hub for the creative community, and not just in London.
If this interests you, or you'd like to come give a talk at one of our events then definitely get in touch.
Currently on a hiatus, D+B was a monthly event for Product Designers in London to come and hang out, swap stories and listen to some sweet talks from their peers.
We (Gearoid and I) grew this little event from 50 people in a dark room in the basement of a bowling alley, to a 300 person, sell-out event hosted and sponsored by the likes of IBM, Facebook, Skype and many more.
OK, so I haven't done that much writing yet, but there is more coming, I promise!