Get to know Skedulo – Richard Dobson
I’ve always had a love for creative design, and it followed me as I moved from my hometown in England to Saudi Arabia, back to England, and then to Australia.
Right out of school I decided to study interior design, but eventually found my passion in visual communications at Griffith University.
It was quite by chance that my first role in the space was with a real estate software startup. Being a startup, I learned fast and was able to work across the full spectrum of design – from marketing and branding, to design and development. It was here that I gained my first real exposure to product design…and I was hooked!
By the time I left the company 5 years later, it had grown from 6 to 70 people. I needed a new challenge, so I moved to another software company at a time when UX (user experience) was starting to gain traction. I had the chance to attend tech conferences in the US and it really opened my eyes to where the field was heading and how much impact you could have as a designer.
I learned new skills such as wireframing (which weren’t taught in uni back then) and coding, which empowered me to chat with developers in a way that made sense to them.
Ready for a new challenge
One fateful day, I received 2 separate emails asking if I was interested in applying for a role as a designer. By chance, they both turned out to be for the same position – at Skedulo!
After interviewing with Skedulo’s founder, Matt Fairhurst, and Head of Design, Dave Isaacs, I landed the role and came onboard.
It was 2017, and although Skedulo only had 4 product designers and around 80 staff, I felt connected to the people from day dot. Everyone here shares similar values, and I think it’s impressive that the company has such a diverse group but a total alignment with Skedulo’s culture.
In the early days I mainly worked on the platform’s core web app. I’m not going to lie – it was a lot of work! We had a roadmap of features we wanted to achieve, and were constantly taking core needs, wireframing them, collaborating with developers and product managers, gathering feedback, and talking with customers.
We also had to ensure consistency with the web app, which is a feat in itself. But we were committed to an exceptional user experience, so we kept evolving the platform to meet customer needs. And as we did, Skedulo kept growing.
Why I left Skedulo…and came back
In 2020 I was approached by a startup in the real estate technology space. It was an intriguing offer, so I left Skedulo on good terms to give it a go.
However, in 2021 an exciting opportunity came up to come back when I was offered a role as product design lead on the new vaccinations team.
It was a no-brainer to accept it because, as well as working on a life-changing project, I knew these unique aspects of working with Skedulo were really important to me as I entered the next phase of my career:
- Drive and alignment across the business
- Working in a team with talented people who have varied skillsets
- Being able to continually learn from the people around me
- Being part of and helping a company grow to the next level
My day to day now consists of an early stand up where we find out what’s happened overnight in the UK and US offices. This helps us know where we’re up to so we can hit the ground running as we work through our priorities.
The work is a lot more fast-paced than my previous role within Skedulo. There is an urgency and it’s completely new territory so we’re solving all new issues and testing new theories every day. Customer and patient needs are our roadmap, so we have to listen carefully and think through solutions.
Since coming back, I’ve certainly noticed how Skedulo has matured. We’re also about to go through our Series C funding, so it will be exciting to be part of this next phase of growth.
Work hard, play hard
I think the great culture and work environment at Skedulo comes down to leadership. Matt and all our leaders live and breathe our values, and they haven’t changed as people – no matter how much the company has grown.
We work hard, but we enjoy life. I now have a 1 year old and working with Skedulo means I can work from home, or be flexible with my working hours if I need to. I’ve also met some of my best friends here, which isn’t something you can say about many places you work.
As a team, we attend overseas design conferences which really helps with professional development. We also have lots of company-wide events – such as our upcoming family BBQ where we can all get together outside of the office for a day of food and games with everyone.
Skedulo has given me the opportunity to be creative in ways outside of my daily product design role too. I’ve been able to design company-wide fun t-shirts, hoodies, and even random designs for a basketball machine we have in the office!
It’s the little things, and the big things, that makes Skedulo a great place to work. And I can’t wait to see what the future holds as we continue our journey.