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Hack To Start
Episode 181

Jess Brown

UX director @VICE. Into product design and occasionally, development.

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Music

Jess Brown is the Director of UX at Vice Media. She’s spent the past couple of years building the team that’s lead the company’s efforts on re-designing Vice’s brand from the ground up - across the web and all mobile properties. But before joining Vice, Jess was based in San Francisco working on a fashion startup of her own called Threadflip, she was introduced to the team at Rent The Runway in New York. Jess ended up joining the team there for several years. There she helped create and deliver a better user experience through a mix of design and product thinking. Jess joins us to share her story, how she got into design & startups, how she approaches building products through user experience, what it was like completely redesigning the Vice brand from the ground up, and much more.

Main Objectives For This Episode

  • Learn more about how Jess got into design and startups
  • Learn more about what it was like launching her own fashion startup and then joining Rent The Runway
  • Learn more about what it's been like working on re-designing VICE from the ground-up
  • And more!

Episode Overview

Jess Brown is the Director of UX at Vice Media.

She’s spent the past couple of years building the team that’s lead the company’s efforts on re-designing Vice’s brand from the ground up - across the web and all mobile properties.

But before joining Vice, Jess was based in San Francisco working on a fashion startup of her own called Threadflip, she was introduced to the team at Rent The Runway in New York. Jess ended up joining the team there for several years.

There she helped create and deliver a better user experience through a mix of design and product thinking.

Jess joins us to share her story, how she got into design & startups, how she approaches building products through user experience, what it was like completely redesigning the Vice brand from the ground up, and much more.


Some Of The Questions We Ask

2:21
Can you tell us more about yourself - where are you from and what did you study?

4:29
Before we dive too far into it, can you tell us more about what Rent The Runway is all about and how you created the opportunity to join the team there?

6:35
What were some of the biggest challenges in getting people to understand what the company was all about - at that time?

8:48
What was the transition from UX Designer to Director of Product Design like? Was there a shift in focus or mindset, or was it a sort of natural evolution?

13:17
Can you start off by telling us a little bit more about what VICE is all about and how you created the opportunity to join the team there?

15:13
You’ve blogged on Medium about what it was like redesigning VICE from the ground-up. But can you give us the 30,000 foot overview about what this meant for all of VICE’s properties like Motherboard, Noisey, Munchies & more?

17:51
What’s it been like designing and building for these new Mobile Products? What’s that process been like?

23:40
What’s next for VICE?

25:38
Are there any resources that you’ve recently discovered or keep coming back to?

27:52
Do you have any final thoughts or advice to leave us with?


Here are some of the most important links and resources mentioned throughout the show.

Twitter Handles & Websites

Jess Brown on Twitter
Jess Brown on the Web
VICE on Twitter
VICE on the Web
Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

Devices, Apps, and Books

Tackling Vice.com's Ground-up Redesign
Tristan Harris' TimeWellSpent.io
David Polgar

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