I’m Tim Whalin, a designer by trade and a wannabe comedian pretty much all the time. I’m recently (Sept 27) joined Google’s Ad Search team as a Sr. Staff UX Designer. Prior, I spent either years working as a Principal UX Designer at Amazon and also previously an instructor as the School of Visual Concepts. I’ve spent the last three years working across Alexa North Star, Alexa Shopping, and Alexa Automotive. Before that, I worked for almost five years in retail spanning many v1 devices like Dash Button or smartwatch shopping apps, or nerding out on the information architecture and navigation for Amazon's shopping apps. Prior to Amazon, I got my start in UX in Denver working at a design agency, closed captioning company, and even a DoD contractor.
While I don’t consider myself artistic, I’ve always had an appetite for design. When I was 11 years old, I downloaded an illegal copy of Photoshop and started creating shitty websites for friends and family. As I continued my career in design, I explored print, web, and eventually stumbled my way into UX. For the past 12 years, I’ve designed across a range of modalities (voice, touch, camera, device orientation) and device types (smart speakers, phones, smartwatches, smart glasses, TV, in-car IVI). I’ve worked in industries including automotive, e-commerce, healthcare, education, television, nonprofit, and government.
I’m a firm believer in making authentic, trustworthy, and ethical designs. At Amazon, I created an accessibility program that trains designers how to create inclusive experiences with practical resources to help integrate inclusiveness into their work. I believe good design starts with making purposeful, thoughtful decisions and gathering a diversity of perspectives to inform your own perspective.
I spend my free time seeking new life experiences and adventures. In the winter, I’m a ski instructor for the Special Olympics Nordic athletes and during the summer you’ll find me climbing mountains or crafting cocktails.
Okay, so what is this newsletter?
I spent two years at Amazon publishing an internal publication. I started it as an experiment as a way to scale myself mentoring others and to share what I've learned from others over my career. After growing to over 5,000 subscribers, I’ve moved this blog externally to share my career lessons, stories from my world as a UX Designer, and approaches to being successful in mega-corporations.
You can expect to see posts about being a UX Designer, topics that people in all roles face as they navigate the corporate world, and answer questions individuals have about being successful at work.
For my internal blog at Amazon, I’ve published on a wide range of topics:
How do I grow my career?
How do I effectively manage up?
How do I get visibility?
How do I overcome imposter syndrome?
How do I manage my time and priorities?
How do I deal with ambiguity?
How do I delegate effectively?
How do you get the most out of 1:1 mentorship and coaching?
How do I avoid being in meetings all day?
How do I effectively structure my writing?
How do I handle urgent requests that randomize my work?
How do I find flow to deliver results faster?
How do I organize a working group?
How do I find and prioritize opportunities to volunteer above and beyond my role?
How do I know what my super powers are?
How do I avoid FOMO at work?
How do I set boundaries at work?
How do I deal with bullying?
Here's what subscribers have to say:
“I really appreciate your blog. The transparency and authenticity of your blogs have been a constant comfort to me. I don’t know how long you have been blogging but I joined about a year ago, and you have been a great teacher.”
“I have never met you in real life, but I must say that I am absolutely stunned and thoroughly impressed by how vulnerable and transparent this post is. Your below post touched me profoundly this morning. Thank you so much for sharing and providing an alternate example of what leadership looks.”
“Thank you so much for this blog post, it was something I thinking about, but not only have you articulated it so well, it really helped me to empathize with folks who might be dealing with their own issues silently.”
“About a month ago I have completed my first year at Amazon. One of the things which I have really enjoyed in my journey so far is reading your blog. It has provided immense insight which helped me get better acquainted with what being an Amazonian means. Thought of expressing my sincere thanks for this.”
“You have become a huge part of my coaching and motivating sessions with my teams and various people who ask me about career advice. I often find myself asking them if they are familiar with “Tim’s Blog”??? Just wanted to say thank you! I absolutely LOVE your blog and it is ALWAYS right on time!”
“Tim huge fan on your content. you pack a lot in each installment and it only seems to be getting better. some of your questions are very thought-provoking and at times I feel you make me confront things I am uncomfortable asking myself.”
“Thanks so much for writing these. I feel like these pop in my inbox at just the right time with just the right message of encouragement. They are super energizing and so thoughtfully written.”
“I just wanted to share how grateful I am for your blog! I always find some very useful and actionable tips to improve the way I work. You articles are the right length, concise enough to be read quickly during a workday yet full of important information.”