How Whereby Helps Growth Designers Learn Together and Build a Community
Read how Molly Norris Walker and the Growthdesginers.co team uses Whereby for their design community events to learn and work in growth.
By day, Molly Norris Walker is the head of design and user research at InfluxData. By evening, weekend, and everything in between, she manages GrowthDesigners.co, a community for design leaders and design practitioners learning about and working in growth.
The concept of “growth design” has been around for a while – essentially, it describes design work that is equally focused on delivering a user-centric product and driving scalable business outcomes. In recent years, however, the term has taken on new life, with more businesses hiring for explicit “growth designer” roles and building “growth-driven” design teams.
Five years ago, Lex Roman, saw an opportunity to create a community specifically for growth designers, whose day-to-day work and criteria for success can be markedly different from that of other designers or growth practitioners. What began as a small Facebook group is now an active Slack community.
The group’s newest program is called Growth Design Fellows. Powered by Whereby, it allows paying members to access three types of events: monthly technique deep-dives on specific topics, small group meetings led by mentors to reflect on challenges in their work, and curated interactive workshops featuring special guests from Google, Netflix and more.
“We’re trying to make our program more human and more inclusive,” Molly says. “Whereby helps with that because it’s a little bit different from what people are doing, and it enhances the quality of our programming.”
Another reason the group has come to rely on Whereby is the product’s tight integration with Miro – a whiteboard platform that lets users interact and workshop designs together. Because growth design and discussion is naturally such a visual process, Miro allows Fellows to collaborate and discuss projects without having to switch between apps, open multiple taps, or share links – all in real time.
Whereby also saves Molly and Lex time, since meeting links never change. “Because we’re organizing across so many different channels, having to keep track of the different video links was too much admin,” Molly says. “At the end of the day, this is a passion project for us, so we have to keep it as lightweight as possible.”
By making the process easier for themselves (not to mention the group’s Fellows, who don’t have to worry about installing, downloading, or logging in), Molly and Lex are able to spend more time focusing on building and supporting their community.
In addition to attending monthly group events, Growth Design Fellows benefit from meeting other individuals who are working toward similar goals. This can be super helpful for new growth designers who don’t have mentors they can turn to in real life.
Through regular one-on-one video meetings, Fellows are able to get to know one another and connect outside of the group setting, using separate Whereby rooms. Some have written forewords for each other’s books, others have hired each other, and a few have even launched startups together that have later been acquired.
“It’s been really cool to see people break off and start connecting with each other,” Molly says. “Often these are people who were previously quite isolated professionally, since they were among the very few practitioners in this new field.”
When Molly and Lex were looking into video conferencing software options, they knew they wanted something flexible, easy-to-use, and that would set them apart as the growth design leaders they are. Not only does Whereby save them time on tedious tasks like managing multiple meeting links, allowing them to focus on growing the GrowthDesigners.co community, it has also helped members make new friendships, grow their businesses, and more.
“Whereby feels like a departure from work,” she says. And for Molly, who gives so much of her time to this passion project, that counts for a lot.