Hi, I’m Conor. I want to help 37signals design things that work.

Last week, my wife asked me what my dream job would be. I told her, working at 37signals. When just a few days later you wrote that you’re looking for another UI Designer, I just had to try for it. 37signals is where I want to be.

I just finished university last December, but I’ve been designing for the web for 4 years. In that time I’ve learned to work with a few principles in mind. They'll give you some insight into how I approach my work, and how I could fit in at 37signals.

Function over flourish. If it doesn’t work, who cares how it looks?

I believe the first consideration of any design isn’t color, layout, or typography—it’s functionality. Am I solving the right problem here? What should I be able to do on this screen? Is there a better way to get this done? How can I make this faster? Is there a simpler answer?

I design therefore I code. Know the medium inside and out.

Without an understanding of how things work, it’s difficult to make good design decisions. For me, the sooner I can get into the final medium, the better. I don’t want to waste time with throwaways. I am designing a web application, right?

It’s never just design. It’s copy, code, and visuals working together.

I don’t know the foxtrot, but I do know that Designing for the web is a complicated dance. There’s a lot of moving parts, and combining them isn’t easy, but that’s what I love about the web. I get to be more than just a designer.

Design from the start. Every phase should benefit from design input.

All too often design is introduced late in the timeline of a project. I believe that design should drive a project forward. It should be there to contribute from the very beginning. Design brings all the moving parts into one unified experience.

I don’t know everything. And I’m okay with that.

Learning is incredibly rewarding. That’s why I’ve always got some sort of side project in the works. I use these projects as another way to pick up new skills, and experiment with new ideas. My most recent project is learning Rails, and I'm loving it.

What’s next?

Conor Muirhead