For our latest edition, I chatted with Jess Watson, a member of Attentive’s Design team, to learn about her role as well as her hobbies outside of the office. Originally from a suburb of Chicago, Jess graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. She joined Attentive shortly after.
Here at Attentive, we’re proud of the talented people who make this company a great place to work. Our ongoing series, Attentive All Access, highlights the extraordinary members of our team to share a glimpse of who we are and what it’s like to be part of our company.
Tell me a little bit about yourself. Where are you from and what’s a fact about yourself that would surprise most people?
I grew up in Schaumburg, Illinois—a northwestern suburb of Chicago (fun fact: it was ranked as the “Best Place to Live in Illinois” by MONEY magazine in 2018) before I moved to Savannah, Georgia to study Illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Something that surprises people about me is that I can juggle! I have this skill because when I was a goalkeeper in high school, my soccer coach recommended I learn to improve my hand-eye coordination.
What are some of your hobbies outside of Attentive?
Volunteering puts me in a great mindset going into the weekend—it’s such a positive place to be—and I’ve gotten to meet a ton of great people through it! When I’m not hanging out with the bunnies, I love to explore new places in NYC. I also love to travel and recently visited Berlin, which I really enjoyed!
As a mobile messaging company, we ❤️ emojis. What’s your favorite emoji?
It’s so hard to pick just one! If I had to choose, I would say my most-used emoji is the ????, but my favorite emoji is the cherry blossom ????, because it’s simple and brings me joy.
What interested you about joining Attentive?
Before I joined Attentive, I worked with a textile studio but wanted to shift into a design-centric role. I enjoy problem-solving and collaboration, and I knew that I wanted to do both of those things every day. When I interviewed at Attentive, the team’s passion and motivation was genuinely inspiring. I saw an opportunity for myself to grow as a designer and be a part of a team that prioritizes innovation, especially because mobile messaging is a relatively new space for B2C companies.
What is your role at Attentive? How would you describe a typical day?
As a Product Designer, I get to help build and ship experiences that our clients use on a daily basis. A typical day for me consists of collaborating with other designers and product managers, researching, sketching wireframes, and executing pixel-perfect designs that are then handed off to our engineering team.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
One of the most rewarding parts of my job has been seeing projects and features I’ve worked on out in the real world. Being able to contribute to a valuable user experience has given me the opportunity to learn and grow as a designer in a truly meaningful way.
What does being “attentive” mean to you?
To me, being “attentive” means focusing on a user’s needs while remaining open to feedback. As designers, our goal is to create the best possible experience for users. Being attentive allows us to keep the product’s functionality and ease of use at the forefront of our mind while we build out new features.
How would you describe the culture at Attentive?
I love the culture here! Because I sit with the other designers, we’ve become really close. We’re constantly bouncing ideas off each other and receiving feedback on our projects. I also appreciate that Attentive holds events and group outings because it has given me the opportunity to form connections with people on other teams, which in turn has given me the opportunity to join some really cool projects. I’ve taken a cake baking class, gone bowling, and even played on Attentive’s softball team!
What kind of advice do you have for others who are looking to grow a career in design?
I would say that it’s important to learn design best practices and research general design trends. Keep creating and applying what you’ve learned, and seek out constructive criticism whenever possible. Having your work critiqued is crucial if you want to grow as a designer, and it can help you gain a new perspective on your work. No matter how successful you become, I firmly believe there is always something to be learned from others around you, so it’s important to stay humble and keep a positive attitude. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and take risks!
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