Inspired by this post from Jared Spool, I’ve written the first-year performance review for the designer/developer we’re currently recruiting.

Fast forward to March 2015:

Congrats on everything you’ve accomplished in your first year as Marketade’s lead designer/developer. Here are some of the highlights:

  • You transformed Marketade by taking design from a side project to a core competency for us. Existing clients are lining up for redesigns. For the first time, we are truly proud of our portfolio and are getting new, bigger clients due to your work.
  • You implemented a build-measure-learn process that we now use with all of our top clients. At the start of each month, we identify a new page, section or flow that is ripe for design changes – based on user testing and web analytics. By the end of the month — after some iterations — we implement your new design and launch an A/B experiment. Doing this every month across a range of clients has delivered many measurable successes (amidst plenty of failures that we learned from). Our clients are thrilled, and we’re a much smarter, more nimble team.
  • You led successful responsive redesigns for 4 clients. We’ve seen significant improvements as a result: a 25% increase in sales on one, a 60% increase in traffic on another, and a 40% increase in conversion rate on another.
  • Your designs and code touched websites, apps, landing pages, emails and social media for clients in e-commerce, travel, finance, real estate, non-profit, B2B services and more. You embraced this diversity and the opportunity to learn about many different industries, audiences and channels.
  • You led us from a handoff-based waterfall process to a lean, collaborative design workflow that has proven far more effective. And you helped 3 clients with their own developers transition to this approach.
  • Your front-end coding skills continue to improve, and clients now look to us for examples and feedback on standards-based HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript/Jquery.
  • You built great relationships with your teammates, in large part by helping them improve their UX skills and by making their efforts much more effective. For example, our search marketer has seen conversion rates improve on nearly every campaign thanks to your landing page designs and templates.
  • You also learned a lot from your teammates — about search engine optimization, AdWords, A/B testing, web analytics, new aspects of user research, and more. You’re a far more versatile, valuable designer as a result.
  • You recently hired and trained 2 junior designer/developers to help you handle our growing demand for design work. With your guidance, frameworks and processes, they are already producing great work — and are allowing you to focus on the most challenging, exciting projects.

Thanks again for everything you’ve accomplished over the last year. We look forward to bigger and better things in the years to come.

Want this to be your story? Apply to our designer/developer position.