Hi. My name is Daniel Ritzenthaler. Most people call me Dan or Ritz. I'm endlessly curious about how stuff works. I'm at my best when I'm helping people fix things and fixing things that help people.

I recently joined Rocket Insights to help their clients build better products. Right now, I'm augmenting ezCater's design system and growth teams to help them accellerate their efforts to build an effective and enjoyable product and working environment.

Previously, I was with Iora Health for five years. Our web development group was small enough to require wearing several hats. I managed their design team, designed for a development team, and, for a short time, managed a development team. I started as the second designer when they had seven clinics in a handful of cities. I left when they had 49 clinics all over the country.

Before that, I was with HubSpot. I helped coach their product managers to be more user-focused, establish their original design system, and build their original design and research teams. I started as the second designer and left a few months before the company went public.

Is everyone a professional designer? No (including many with ‘designer’ in their titles).

The goal shouldn’t be to have all design decisions be made by people with the word “designer” in their title. The goal is to make sure every design choice is made with rigor. With skin in the game.

Hey, designers! Stop fighting for users.

Stop fighting for users. Stop fighting for the business. Start fighting for every single choice to be made as though the business and its users are inextricably linked.

The problem with problems

Don’t talk about problems (or solutions). Instead, talk about progress. Only then can we be precise without dictating implementation details.

Writing a good objective

Working with abstract concepts doesn’t make us more strategic. It doesn’t mean we understand the big picture. It doesn’t mean we’re doing something more valuable.