Ahh, the early Wedo days, way before Wedo was “Wedo”, the last-second pitch deck revisions (looking at you #decknovseed3_cor), the birth of Wes, the different shades of blue we went through…
I was in my last year of Communication Design and had just lost my part-time job due to COVID-19 when my mom called me up and told me she needed some help with design work. I assumed it was another client or small project because she had given me freelancing work in the past. Turns out she was founding Wedo!
We were just a handful at the beginning. Doing everything and anything, and also (what felt like) nothing at the same time. I guess that’s how it always feels at the beginning of something. Figuring out a step forward often means taking a couple of steps back, or around the corner, or stand still. It was a fun mess. Indy did everything, I did everything, Dan did everything. There were no set roles or set tasks or set deadlines. We’d be chatting on a call and then Dan would send me a message at 8 PM: “Soph we need illustrations for this pitch deck by this evening, an investor needs it!” and in my head, I’m like: it is already evening! There’d be 4 people simultaneously reading the deck while making corrections, deleting someone else’s corrections, adding words when we were supposed to be reducing… passionate chaos. Seeing all these processes ironed out and streamlined today still amazes me.
It felt quite gradual, everything, people came and went until one day I was booked into meetings from morning to night. A huge rush of new people came on board and me to Indy, baffled: “Mom! How?!” How were we growing so fast? Of course, this was all her doing, one word with her and people wanted in.
You can’t do everything well, and you can’t do everything full stop. Lesson learned, for the second time and probably going to be relearned again. There came a point where I couldn’t help with the late-night pitch decks and edit the 45-minute Wedotalk (Wedo’s podcasts) or schedule for social media (@wedo_hq) or record food vlogs AND get the app designed anymore, so that’s when the team had to regroup. With my mom and I being the only designers and neither of us having time to design the app, I called her up and said if the goal is to get an app out, then I need to focus full-time on that. Simple concept, complex execution.
If anyone tells you that Communication Design has no resemblance to UX design, you better believe them, cause it’s true. One thing my mom and I have in common is we do things (Hah! No pun intended :p) ourselves if there is no expert available yet, even if it’s not our area of expertise. So, when she called me asking for a quick rescue (her iMac had crashed which had all the app’s most recent XD files, with a one-month repair time, and investor meetings coming up!) I said sure, help is on the way? 6-year-old, 8 GB ram Mac which could barely open the huge files at hand, giving it my all as a graphic designer. Luckily a few weeks later, the Springboard UX design interns (among them Hannah, now UX designer for Wedo) came on. Bright-eyed and passionate individuals gave Wedo LOTS of feedback. After that, I had the pleasure of working with Kash, who had 20 years of product experience, and he taught me almost everything I know about UX and UI.
Nowadays my day-to-day is spent working with Hannah (our UX designer keeping everyone cheerful) and VERY patient developer Anand (who we feel sorry for every time a new idea gets designed that we absolutely MUST release…) and Indy of course, who can grant any wish you throw at her! Most recently I told her the Web Summit is coming up, the largest tech event in the world, and that it’s always been my dream to go officially as part of the trade, and the next day she told me she called the lady and guess what? The entire team is going!