Brandon Jacoby

Brandon Jacoby

Product Designer at Square

Product Designer living in NYC, currently working on Cash App at Square. I enjoy photography, and building products that make people's lives easier.

13 action items

Decide if it’s right to drop out of school

    • View your time and effort as an investment

      Which option will provide the larger return? Not just financial return, either. Think about the long term knowledge, connections, and growth opportunities you will be faced with or miss out on by dropping out.

    • Does school have anything more to provide?

      Think about if or what school has provided you up until this point. Is it something you value? If so, will staying in school provide any more of it?

    • Would you still be learning if you drop out?

      It's easy to fall into the trap of not intently seeking new information when you are not in a classroom environment. Would you be able to grow in knowledge if you were not in school anymore?

    • Where would you grow more in your design abilities?

      Some people really benefit from a classroom environment, others benefit more from real-world application. Figure out what works best for you and factor it in to your decision.

    • Would you be financially stable?

      Dropping out of school can certainly affect a lot of areas in your life, a large one being your financial health. Where would it put you in terms of your finances if you were to drop out?

Present work during a design critique

    • Giving a presentation of your work can certainly be challenging at times. After days, weeks, or months of work, you're about to show what solutions you've come up with for the problems or tasks at hand. Critiques can be extremely helpful, and the fact that you are doing them in the first place means you are off to a good start. That said, you want to make sure you're getting the most out of them as possible. Here are a few ways that I think you can do that.

    • Be prepared

      Take time before the presentation to go over what points you want to make, and how you want to go about doing so. Beyond that, be sure to clean up your artboards in Sketch, put together a slide deck, or even get a prototype together. Whatever leads you to giving the most concise, organized presentation as possible.... See more

    • Set goals and stick to them

      Before your presentation, take note of what information you want to leave with. Subsequently, make sure you keep your goals in mind during the critique session. If there are specific areas of feedback that you are looking for, vocally point them out. Also point out areas that you aren't looking for feedback on just yet. For example, don't be afraid to say things along with lines of "disregard the copy here".... See more

    • Know your audience

      Tailoring your presentation to the other people in the room can be key in getting valuable feedback. If you are surrounded by other designers, then you'll most likely want to frame your presentation differently than if you are presenting to product or sales people.... See more

    • Use a narrative

      Walk through the flow of your designs as an actual use case. If you're jumping around different files or artboards, or hiding and showing layers, it's hard to keep the attention of your audience. Use a narrative, and stay on track. It can even be helpful to go as far as creating a persona for the example user. Define their background, and discuss why they'd be interacting with your design before you begin.... See more

    • Have an open mind

      Even to the areas of your design that you are completely set with, remember that everyone viewing it has a different perspective. If you disagree with something, don't be defensive. Really listen to what every person giving feedback has to say. Most of the time there is something — even if it's very minimal — that you can take out of someone's feedback.... See more

    • Go around the room

      This step might not work for a presentation that's being given to a larger audience, but it can be very helpful in certain situations. Some people may not have gotten a chance to say something due to time or another constraint, so before you wrap up, ask if there's anything else that people want to say. If you have a hard stop, make sure you set up time to talk with somebody who didn't get a chance to give you their feedback.... See more

    • Take notes

      Especially when you get a lot of feedback at once, it's hard to remember it all. Bring a pen and paper or even your phone with you, and write down the things that will be helpful to remember going forward.

    • Follow up with people

      If someone gives you an idea for something, follow up with them once it's incorporated and get their feedback again.