initial thoughts on leaving Yahoo!

so yesterday I told my team that I am leaving Yahoo! after 4 1/4 years. i am torn about this move – super excited about the next step in my life and career (more on this later) but sad about the prospect of leaving Yahoo!

the company is being whipped about in the press daily and it’s not pretty. but internally, at least in the YDN group and the larger open strategy teams, there is a lot of really interesting stuff going on. since I made the decision to leave, I am asking myself every day if its the right move, if its the right time, if I am making a mistake. i have a lot invested in the pattern library and want to see it continue to grow and be an asset to the design community and am extremely proud of the people I have brought into the company. i have been driving the redesign of the Yahoo! Developer Network and hate to leave before it’s finished (I hate unfinished projects) and I want to know how it all turns out for the YOS launches. Note: I am one of those people who skips ahead in mystery books because I CANT STAND not knowing what happens.

but deep down, I know I am doing the right thing for myself and that the time is right – otherwise why would I have been thinking about this since February; why would I have been open to listening to what recruiters and other hiring managers at other companies had to say; why would I have sought out this opportunity I am about to go be a part of?

in some ways, i think its good to be torn. to leave on good terms and know that if I ever chose to come back, that the door is open. i’d much rather feel this way than to be running from the place.

over the past 4 years I have seen the company triple in size and scale, I have hired close to 30 people – some of who are still here and others who have moved on. i have done some amazing things – most notable the internal and the public pattern libraries. i have learned so much about managing, about creative teams, about brand and customer experience, about user research and really probing to understand what users need even when they dont know it and about what really makes me happy in my day to day work. i have made some great friends, met some amazingly smart people across all the disciplines and I hope that I leave Y! a better place for the efforts I have put in.

my last day is July 11th and then a brief break before moving onto a new adventure.

erin

current: partner, tangible user experience :: a full-service user experience design consulting firm.

former Yahoo! founder of the public and internal Yahoo! pattern library. dse. design director of ued teams responsible for designing solutions across key yahoo! platforms: social media, personalization, membership and vertical search.