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Stripe: Redesign status page as part of job application (finejobs.co)
26 points by gbuckingham89 1369 days ago | hide | past | web | 30 comments | favorite

This reminds me of the "I will not do your tech interview." post. [1]

There's a good chance if you're applying you're either a. unemployed, looking for a job, or b. you really want to work at stripe.

If you're passionate about what you do, you're going to enjoy designing anyways, so what better way to make you stand out than doing something that benefits the company you're applying for -- working on something you'd actually be working on.

Anyone can copy designs from dribbble to make themselves look like an amazing designer.

It's not like they're going to take your design, implement it and never reply to your email.

1. https://medium.com/lessons-learned/80ba19c55883

It does sound like a good way to filter for people that really want to work at Stripe, and I don't really see anything wrong with that.

Exactly. Sending a resume is cheap -- sending a design takes some time.

I always wonder when I see things like this -- are there actually people who will work for free just to apply for a job?

I do not mean this as snark. And I certainly would be open to the idea of a trial period or working on an in house project after the interview. But to ask someone to put in hours just for the possibility of an interview seems like a very asymmetric request. Am I off base here?

EDIT: It's probably worth noting that I work more on the software side than the design side.

Well, the page they want you to redesign (https://status.stripe.com/) is nothing too complicated. I imagine a good designer could tackle that in a few hours. Since the unfortunate trend for us developers is to have a bunch of free code out on GitHub before we're seen as worth anything, this actually isn't any more out of line... maybe even less.

Whenever I see these, I think of this lil wayne skit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tkye9r0h8ys&t=19:40#

You're on base. I guess this would work for certain companies like Google, or Apple, but if you're an average company (no offense, but Stripe is nothing special), then you probably won't get many candidates, maybe not even 4 or 5.

In other words, Stripe is just like every other boring, trivial corporation!!!

This is just silly. Any good web designer should be able to point to a body of work and that should be enough to test their skills.

Stripe, I'm curious how 80% of your downtimes are bound to 60s intervals, and the two that aren't were only 1-2s above that interval. I would hazard a guess that you check these services on a one-minute interval or only report home on that interval -- checks may be much more rapid, and the two cases were simply an example of the interval scheduler not being perfect.

Maybe this would work better if it came after a phone screen or in person interview, so there's less chance of wasted work. I think the general idea is good though.

Design hiring pipelines often include a project stage. I guess the difference here is self-selection.

I get how controversial it is to ask for "free work" but on the other side of the coin:

a) I've found that lots of design applicants will put stuff in their portfolio that they contributed to, rather than built end-to-end. This solves that problem.

b) Tracking on the statement above, they're looking for a designer that has a "deep understanding of how applications should work". In an online design portfolio it's easy to misinterpret application design skills w/the ability to take a design spec from a product manager and make it pretty. Stripe is looking for a unicorn - a designer that is also a product manager / UX talent.

c) Design, especially UX design, is not just a "show me your portfolio" - it's a "what is your process to build the right UX." If a candidate submitted several iterations of design + maybe a "let's test these two things because I'm not sure" I would be 100% more likely to prioritize their app vs a "look at how pretty this is"

So I don't know, I get the argument that this is taking advantage.

But on the other end it makes them a lot more likely to find an awesome candidate who actually wants to work there, and has the talent to deliver the goods.

> a) I've found that lots of design applicants will put stuff in their portfolio that they contributed to, rather than built end-to-end. This solves that problem.

Effective designers (and effective hiring managers) have already solved this problem by describing their role in projects (or asking about specific roles in the interview process). Don't hire designers that have a portfolio full of nothing but sex-shots.

> "what is your process to build the right UX."

I agree that is the intention of this sort of application requirement, but I'd be surprised if it consistently worked. These sorts of requirements force designers to work in a vacuum. It is impossible to make an effective solution without having a deep understanding of the product—the hiring company will get a tepid/run of the mill/boring design. (Though perhaps a beautiful design, which often works for these sorts of interviews)

> But on the other end it makes them a lot more likely to find an awesome candidate who actually wants to work there, and has the talent to deliver the goods.

It's maybe likely to find them someone that wants to work with them (especially if we define "wants to work here" as "willing to do spec work" which may be fair) but in my experience, talented designers are busy working on cool projects and students/young designers are the ones with time to dedicate to this sort of application.

This feels so unfair to an applicant.

A better way would be to go through the normal filtering process of accepting applications. Choose several designers, then offer them this same task with proper payment for their time.

The idea this is unfair or "spec" work seems silly to me. As a professional, you do a ton of stuff that you don't get paid for: attending classes, building your skillset, designing your portfolio, writing your resume, creating concepts, etc., etc. This is simply a fact of life.

It's not simply a fact of life. These types of application processes are no different than saying "There is a $200 application fee."

I could see this being done is some type of short contract work.

Stripe: Do work for us for free, maybe we'll hire you.

It seems more valid than asking someone to code on a whiteboard. It least here they get to evaluate the candidate on something relevant.

It's probably closer to whiteboard coding than relevant work. Designers need support and can't work in a vacuum. Without a deep understanding of the specific requirements designers will make generic (though perhaps beautiful) work.

All business / design plan competitions or hackathons: submit your work, maybe we'll hire you instead of getting someone internally to do it or outsourcing it to a foreign country.

The more I see about Stripe the less I like them.

Agreed, this is going to anger the design community

Is there anything that doesn't?

IIRC, this has always been on stripes job page. Always thought it was a clever idea.

Who owns the submitted design, the designer or Stripe?

The designer does.

It's not exactly spec work - there isn't an explicit understanding that they'll use somebody's work if its good enough; it's not commissioning a one-off project with vague promises of future work - but it's also definitely not standard practice, at least for design gigs, since it's so easy to get a feel for their work by flipping through a portfolio.

If the concern is whether they can strike the same tone and style, hiring people on a temp contract is usually a better way to go, plus then you also test if they're fast, present their work with a strong rationale, play nicely with others, etc.

Yay for spec work!

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