As a designer, I like big challenges. Sure, you can pay the bills endlessly tweaking a pixel here and there, but it's much more fun to be on the bleeding edge. In my career thus far, I've been lucky to have had a hand in some pretty major web happenings: HotWired, Electric Minds, Blogger. Some failed, some succeeded, but they all had one thing in common: They were doing brave things, well ahead of their time.
Technorati, where I've been the Senior Designer for the last 15 months, has been another fantastic challenge. The first seven months of my employment were spent reimagining the entire product - branding, logos, features, and functionality. Since the redesign launched, in addition to evolving the design, I helped conceive of and create new features: Tags, Blog Finder, Explore, and now Favorites.
Almost exactly five months ago today, I sent an email to a group of people in Technorati. It said: "If I could work on just one feature, it'd be Technorati Favorites." I outlined an interconnected, personalized world of blog reading. A lot of this stuff if obvious (show me when sites I like update), but Technorati's the one place that can track all the connections and make it searchable in a snap. The idea wasn't just to build another aggregator, but to create an environment where users could get a more personal connection with the blogs they read and loved.
So I'm so very proud to see Technorati Favorites launch today. It's the product of a lot of hard work by one of the most talented teams I've ever had the pleasure of working with. It's a 1.0, there's lots of room for improvement (and a four phase growth plan saved on a wiki somewhere), but it's planted like a seed, and it can only grow from here.
It also bears the distinction of being my last project as a fulltime employee of Technorati. At the end of this month, I'll transition out of my fulltime job and into a more advisory, consultant-ey role. I still love the product and the team, but at this point the major design work is done. There's a visual language in place that can handle just about anything it needs to say, a compelling set of features, and just about the coolest roadmap you could imagine. Technorati's gonna be just fine - and I'll be there to help whenever they need me.
As for me, this change will give me more time to focus on JPG Magazine and my other dormant projects. It'll also enable me to once again take on a variety of interesting contract design work. I'm looking forward to getting back to my natural freelancing habitat.
My time at Technorati has been one of the most amazing work experiences in my life. I feel very privileged to have gotten to work with these brilliant people, at this amazing time.
This section is called Just a Thought. It's a blog where I post little pieces of what I'm thinking about at the moment. This page is an individual entry called “Technorati, Favorites, and Moving Forward” that I wrote on 22 February 2006.
A small note to all those staring deeply into their navels and fretting about the role of gatekeepers in the...
14 February 2006
What I'm Up To
So I'm starting a design studio. Something small, specializing in participatory interactive projects - sites that do something. It'll just...
4 March 2006
Working the web since 1995, Derek Powazek is the creator of many award-winning websites, a couple of which still exist. Derek is the cofounder of JPG Magazine and the CCO of 8020 Publishing. Derek lives in San Francisco with his wife, two nutty Chihuahuas, a grumpy cat, and a house full of plants named Fred. More »
Join the POWlist to receive the occasional note.
2007 with Bugsley Dante 26 December 2006
Quitting Smoking. Again. 10 December 2006
Last Week to Submit to JPG Issue 8 24 November 2006
Subscribe to JPG Magazine! 11 November 2006
How to Write a Book in Three Easy Steps 6 November 2006
|Design for Community
|San Francisco Stories
|We've Got Blog