The “We Are DocuSign” blog series places the spotlight on employees from a variety of departments and provides a peek into what it’s like to work at DocuSign. This week, we sat down with Tess H., Design Director at DocuSign, to chat about her day-to-day work, what she admires about her colleagues, and something none of her coworkers know about her.  

Q: What do you do at DocuSign?

I manage the creative team at our San Francisco headquarters. My team creates integrated marketing solutions with stakeholders and product teams on various projects ranging from brand, mobile, internal communications, web, interactive, print, to event branding and exhibition signage. I maintain a strong focus on building and nurturing a collaborative in-house design team, as well as setting the creative standards and objectives around a design language that everyone understands. Our goal is to continuously drive our product as the #1 global eSignature brand. Good design is good business, so we’re very passionate in evolving design thinking at DocuSign.

Q: What do your friends and family think you do?  

[Laughs] They think I’m the head of art stuff.

Q: What is the best thing about working at DocuSign?

The people!  I’m very grateful that, every day, I get to work with such talented, intelligent, and diverse people. The experiences I’ve had on various projects and the relationships that I’ve built are unmatchable. Being part of a team that has evolved during the growth of DocuSign is amazing.

Q: How is that team different than other teams at DocuSign? Is there anything special about your team’s dynamic?   

My team works closely with the brand and web team. We synthesize enormous amounts of information into strategically useful design and tactics. Since we work with such a wide range of departments in DocuSign, we have a good overall view of what other teams in the company are responsible for, and how that relates to the big picture regarding company goals. That is exciting!

Q: What is the best advice you can give to somebody starting a new job in your department at DocuSign?

Get ready for the ride of your life! I would say be adaptable on a daily basis because change is constant. Listen and learn, communicate. Also, empathy is key. If you can empathise with people and customers, then you can do a good job. In my world, it’s very difficult to design something for someone if you have no empathy. And don’t let your colleagues down, if you say you’re going to do something — you gotta do it.

Q: What traits do you most admire in your colleagues at DocuSign?

I think everyone is so passionate about the work we do, and our product team is so innovative. One trait that really stands out is a sense of humor. From our executives to our fruit delivery guy, I laugh with colleagues all the time. Humour always precedes profound marketing statements.

Q: What traits do you think your DocuSign colleagues most admire in you?  

I get stuff done. There’s no project too small or too large. I’m never afraid to roll up my sleeves and get involved. I recognise the importance of providing outstanding service and support — internally and externally. I’m collaborative and engaging and always want to take initiative. I try to provide dynamic, creative solutions that also showcase my pride and enthusiasm. I’m very respectful to colleagues and teams, and I think they consider me a valuable partner on projects as I’ve earned their trust. We move very fast at DocuSign, and I can switch gears effectively.

Q: What is something most of your colleagues at DocuSign don’t know about you?

I left a pretty spectacular design position in San Francisco to go live in Snowbird the Utah ski resort. I refer to that period as an experiment in freelance design. I spent my days snowboarding and my nights designing. Flyers, logos, you name it. I wound up working for Snowbird’s marketing team. That time on the mountain and the friendships and business relationships that transpired made me the designer I am today. Some of those friends are still on the mountain, and I have a lot of respect for them for turning that lifestyle into profitable careers. It was an incredible life, but I missed the inspiration of the city – museums, collaborating on design solutions that only an agency or in-house structure can foster.

Q: Where is your favourite place to work or have a meeting at DocuSign and why?  

The conference rooms on 14 are pretty awesome, but I love the 9th floor where it all began and where the heart of our product is. The conference room names are themed around Alice in Wonderland. They’re all black, white, have funky chairs, couches, and beanbags. They have whiteboards that are covered with plans and drawings, and there are thousands of stickies, strategies, and foam core boards. There’s even a London phone booth. There’s a secret room down there that has no name — but I can’t tell you about it.

Q: If you were not working at DocuSign and could do anything in the world, what would you be doing/do next?

When I’m not saving sea creatures, I would have my own surf camp in the South Pacific. I would teach kids about the ocean and how to have adventures outside their iPads.

Q: What is the secret for you to happiness?   

No fear. Like those t-shirts everyone wore in the 90s.

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