The past year has been a busy one for us here at QuotaPath. We have grown our team to 17 and put in a lot of work to reach our official launch on August 1, 2019.
Our Head of Design, Ralph, just celebrated his one-year anniversary with us. He’s helped build QuotaPath from the ground up, define processes and has been key to our success so far. And he’s an integral part of our culture as our lead (and only) product designer, a collaborator, a fantasy football player, and a room-escaper. He’s also active in the Philadelphia design community and returns to his alma mater, La Salle University, every semester to inspire the next generation of creatives.
Tell me about your journey that led you to becoming Head of Design at QuotaPath.
Well, the first project I ever designed was fan art for one of my favorite bands, Boys Night Out. I used Microsoft Paint to crop out each band member’s photo, change it to black and white, position it. I kind of liked what I put together, sent it to them as fan art, and a couple of weeks later it ended up on the band’s site as their splash page (back when that was a thing). I loved the fact that the work I did could be appreciated by not only the band but also their fans. It was the first time I saw the path to becoming a designer. I started thinking, I could have done that better, or maybe I should’ve tried different arrangements—it led to more iterations, improvements, and I loved the process.
I went to La Salle University to study Computer Science and quickly realized Digital Arts was more aligned with what I wanted to do. I added a minor in Marketing so I could get a sense of what and who I’d be designing for. My advisor Conrad Gleber, former Director of Digital Arts & Multimedia Design at La Salle, emphasized the importance of not only understanding the big picture of a project but also pushed me to add value and go beyond what was being asked of me. That advice has had a major influence on my perspective of the industry and has forced me to constantly challenge myself through design.
I’ve had the opportunity to work for various sized companies, big and small, and contribute to both design and front-end development. I’ve never been one to sit back and pass up an opportunity, so when I heard about the opportunity at QuotaPath everything seemed to align and I was eager to take the next step in my career.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Music inspires me and gets me in a flow. From the first project I ever did for Boys Night Out, to designing show flyers and promotions for the Draft Horse Pub while I worked security, music seems to be a constant that flows through my experiences as a designer.
I listen to all kinds of music. Everything from RnB, rap, alternative rock, pop-punk, post-hardcore, emo, screamo all the way to today’s hits. If I ever feel like I’ve hit a roadblock with what I’m working on, I’ll switch genres to something completely different until I’m grooving again.
[Aside, Ralph is constantly breaking into song in the office so this was not a surprise.]
What’s the best thing about being a designer?
That moment when you take a thought, idea, or random back-of-the-napkin concept, and present it visually to someone is exciting. Seeing that reaction is fun and it’s always unique.
Solving problems for people is a great feeling. I love being the facilitator of ideas—I can barely organize my closet—so being able to help someone visualize an idea is really rewarding.
What excites you most about the work QuotaPath is doing?
What’s interesting to me is solving a problem and shaping a shared language between companies and sales communities through our product.
It’s interesting to learn about a new industry and a group of people and see repeatable patterns that I’m able to solve for by drawing from my past experiences. There are also new layers that push me, like the team here at QuotaPath, to improve my craft and continue to challenge me. I never want to feel stagnant or like I’m not improving, so new challenges are very important to me.
If you could give advice to anyone who is looking to grow their career, what would it be?
Don’t try to be like someone else. Growing up I spent a lot of time looking at sites and portfolios thinking that’s cool, how do I replicate it. But I know now that everyone’s work and portfolio is very unique to them, it’s their craft and specialty. Focus on where your talents lie, carve out your niche, and travel your own path.
Rapid-fire quick facts:
What’s your favorite tool? Spotify
Your most-used keyboard shortcut? CMD+Z
Number of coffees you consume per day? 2.5
And, describe your design style in 3 words. Clean, Simple, Scalable