Hi! I’m Catt Small.
People are at the center of everything I do. Over the past + years, I've championed digital design at increasing scales, mentored and managed junior and senior designers, and collaborated to craft inclusive user experiences with agility and thoughtful consideration.I work with designers and product development teams to gather insights, prioritize customer pains and opportunities, create an inspiring strategic vision, and bring ideas to life. In my spare time, I make games, write, speak publicly, and work to make the world a better place by organizing events across the tech and games industries.
I lead teams of product designers to success.
I’m a participatory, goal-oriented designer who leads with compassion and transparency. Since 2016, I have managed and mentored designers in various capacities. Through my work as both a product design leader and workplace community organizer, I have learned to create inclusive working environments that increase both team cohesion and the achievement of business goals.
Recent design projects
Asana Goals 2-year vision
After the Goals MVP was released, I led the design of a product vision that helped the team move from a short-term roadmap driven by feature requests to an opinionated, multi-year outlook.
Over six months, I coordinated efforts across myself, five product and engineering squads, several other Senior+ Product Designers, and two Brand Designers to design and launch a new product area.
I also teach and organize communities in tech and gaming.
Since 2012, I’ve organized community events for creative technologists. My most successful community so far has been the Game Devs of Color Expo, an annual gaming festival with a 10,000+ person audience. I currently lead their communications committee and contribute largely to the nonprofit’s culture — I wrote the original code of conduct and regularly propose as well as implement operational changes that increase both efficiency and transparency around expectations.
Writing makes my thoughts permanent.
When I release something new, you can hear about it first by subscribing to my newsletter and RSS feed or following me on LinkedIn. I always post here before Medium.
Recent blog posts
What I learned after shifting from in-house to consulting
Lessons from my time as the Director of Product Design at a consultancy after 12 years in-house.
Moving from execution to strategy as a designer
Designers often find themselves under pressure to focus on aesthetics rather than impact and outcomes. Let’s explore techniques to shift toward a more strategic role.
Finding Meaning In Design When Nothing Is Fine
We’re all aware: working while under duress is terrible! Especially as a designer. People often talk about design as a superpower because you can illustrate the future—and it often is quite magical. But when your skillset doesn’t feel immediately relevant to your survival, the magic evaporates. In this very personal and relatable talk, I will share my experience with navigating hard times and experiencing a career block. Attendees will learn techniques for overcoming the malaise and building a guided, sustainable design career.
I also make games.
Since 2011, I have designed and built a variety of human-centered video games. My games have been shown in spaces around the world including IndieCade in Los Angeles, Fantastic Arcade in Austin, and the V&A Museum in London.
Most recent games
SweetXheart is a slice-of-life game about microagressions, race, and gender.
Breakup Squad is a fast and asymmetrical team-based game for five players. It was created as a part of NYU's 2016 No Quarter Exhibition.
Tools for self-improvement
Over my many years in design and technology, I have created a variety of free and low-cost tutorials, printable worksheets, and more.
Want to talk?
Got feedback, looking to suggest a future writing topic, or want to invite me to speak at your organization? Send me a message and I'll get back to you as soon as possible!