PROJECT

Design Buddies Community

Founder & Design Lead | April 2020 - Present

PROJECT

How might we help designers level up in their careers online?

In April 2020, I founded the Design Buddies Community. As of May 2022, we have 37,000+ members. You can join, too!

Skills

Leadership

Product Design

Product Management

Tools

Discord

Figma

Notion

My Role

Founder

Product Design Lead

A bit of everything

Teams: Admin, Product Design, Graphic Design, Content, Events, Public Relations, and Mentorship. See everyone on our teams here!

Strategic Advisors: Jonathan Javier, Jerry Lee

Mission & Values

Design Buddies is an inclusive design community where all designers can level up.

Design Buddies Website - designbuddies.community

Our values

  • Inclusivity: Anyone should be able to be themselves without needing to change themselves in order to fit in
  • Education: We host workshops, design challenges, speakers, and more to help you level up your design career
  • Playfulness: We help make learning design fun while connecting with our fellow buddies. We hope you can not be afraid to be yourself in our community. Our friendly mascot is also Fluffle, the bunny!

Impact

Overall

Social media following & newsletter subscribers

Partners & sponsors

Process

I work closely with our whole team to strategize to improve our community. We like to test and learn quickly and at scale.

Features

Discord Community

We have 37,000+ members on Discord and counting. We have channels for design resources, general discussions, asking for help, specific topic discussions, critique, interest clubs, showcase, social media engagement, non-design discussions, and voice channels where Buddies can work/study together, live.

You can join us on Discord here.

Job Board & Talent Collective

We want to help our Buddies land jobs and hire!

You can find jobs here, post jobs here, and apply to our talent collective here.

Events

We've hosted 100+ events relating to leveling up your design career, interactive workshops, giveaways, game UX, soft skills, portfolio reviews, special topics, working cross-functionally, and Diversity & Inclusion.

You can also sign up for our upcoming events here and view all of our event recordings on our YouTube channel here.

I also design the banners for some of our events!

Merch Store

We have fun merch designs inspired by art, tech, food, and more from our community. You can visit our shop here.

Hop Land Community File

As part of Camp Figma, I teamed up with Nadia and Marissa from our admin team to build Hop Land – a level design system in Figma. You can make your own Hop Land here!

Mascot - Fluffle

I designed Fluffle and collaborated with our teams to craft Fluffle's persona.

Fluffle, by English terms means a group of bunnies. As we are a community of designers, Fluffle represents all of us! Fluffle is your friendly guide to help support you in your design adventures.

Appearance

Fluffle is a bunny with light fur, red & pink eyes, and pink tips on both ears. Everything else may be interpretted by the artist - we’d love to see Fluffle in your own unique art style!

Here are some Fluffles by our graphic design team:

Artists featured: Me, Brian, Orbit, Yumi, Hannah, and Gazal

Personality

Creative, energetic, adventurous, wholesome, ambivert, class clown, and curious

You can learn more about Fluffle in this carousel I created.

I've also created a lot more art of Fluffle (emotes, cafe series, and more) on this page of my portfolio and art Instagram.

Future Plans

We have a lot of new features coming up centered around helping you level up your design career and connecting with other fellow designers! Some of them include:

  • 1:1 mentorship program
  • Even more giveaways and workshops
  • Even more content - YouTube, Tik Tok, and more
  • App
  • Podcast
  • In-person events
  • Much more - you can let me know what else you'd like to see!

Lessons Learned

  • Fostering an environment with psychological safety. It's important to me that everyone feels comfortable being themselves free of judgement.
  • Building in public. I like to be directly involved with the community to understand their needs. I also like to share my works in progresses regularly for feedback to iterate on. I also like to show my work, loud and proud.
  • Teamwork & delegation. Life isn't a solo journey. It's fun to vibe and level up with others.
  • The best way to complain is to make something. Design Buddies all started because I didn’t feel like I fit in as a beginner in other design communities at the time.
  • If you try to satisfy everyone, you will satisfy no one. It's not scalable to please everyone.
  • You don’t need permission to start any projects that interest you (as long as it's legal). Don't be afraid to take risks, everything is a learning opportunity. I had very little community and leadership experience prior to Design Buddies. I created it anyways.