I’m specifically curious to hear about the topics below:
• what is the the design culture like?
• what is design’s place in the org?
• do you believe your work has a strong impact?
• do you get recognized for your work?
• is it design-led or is design an afterthought?
• how empowered do you feel in taking risks?
• are you truly doing innovative work or just a pixel/small feature pusher?
• what is career growth like?
• what is work life balance like?
• what’s compensation like?
Amazon’s focus has, is, and will always be on delivering things faster and cheaper at a lower price. Notice how nearly all Amazon innovations revolve around that—Prime, Prime Now, Prime Air, Go, Flex, etc. Design doesn’t register.
Most UX designers at Amazon suck at visual design, which they’ll justify by saying data never proves that exceptional visual design is “worth it.” And that’s sorta the crux of the problem: design isn’t seen as being worth that much. It’s not regarded as worthless. It’s just...not regarded.
Then to other specifics, the design/component library is ugly and is used poorly. AWS, which would benefit from great design and used to have pockets of really cool work in it, is mired in an increasingly bureaucratic process in service of another dog-shit design language.
There are talented designers there in Devices, Kindle, and a handful of associated teams, but they rarely are given power to do much.
It’s just disappointing, really. Such a smart, innovative company that shrugs at doing anything stylish, engaging, or magical.