Product by design, UX by necessity

The Loudoun Design Company is a UX and product design agency created by Greg Shuster. Through his 10+ years of experience he’s guaranteed to bring successful product design practices and UX processes to your company or product. Over the years he and his team have been a part of some of the most successful startups and fortune 500 companies to come out of the DC Metro area (AOL, Custom Ink, Canvas, Audax/Rally Health, Ruckus).

Greg also has the ability to leverage his local network of UX, UI, product, dev, and branding consultants from Northern Virginia. Our rolodex of trusted consultants is always growing, we’d love to chat with you about becoming part of the team. Reach out and connect.

Services

We serve as UX and product design experts for software tech companies from pre-seed to post-IPO. Typically, this translates to an advisory board member for VC-funded startups or a UX consultant for more established companies.

Advising

As an advisor to startups and well known businesses , I help companies optimize their product UX and their UX practices. Advisory board positions can be structured many ways, but a typical advisory role includes:

  • In-person meetings with CEO, other advisors, and heads of Product, Design, and UX
  • Tackling the hard questions, challenging assumptions, sharing best practices, providing feedback  and guidance on anything and everything as it pertains to the product or offering
  • Proactively finding the highest-leverage ways to get involved, doing what it takes to achieve company success
  • 1-2 year contract at 3-5 hours per month

Consulting

Consulting services cover a wide range of topics. Most consulting arrangements:

  • Focus on specific deliverables or accomplishments, such as a refreshed product vision, detailed UX audit, new roadmapping process, set of requirements/user stories, or even hiring
  • Include work performed directly in the office and remotely
  • Can be completed independently or working alongside the existing team
  • Are estimated up-front and billed hourly

Mentoring

UX, product, and design management gets exponentially more complex as companies scale. Founders/CEOs need to balance delegation with personal involvement in product decisions. Smart but unseasoned employees get thrust into senior positions, and new hires are expected to hit the ground running. For all these reasons, we frequently play the role of a coach and mentor for a product management individuals and teams. We help by:

  • Focusing their time and attention on what matters most
  • Providing a second pair of eyes on their deliverables before they’re published
  • Acting as a collaboration and brainstorm partner
  • Being a valuable resource they can come to with any question or concern I don’t evaluate PMs as an outside consultant. My focus is always on providing constructive guidance, making product teams better, and accelerating professional development.

Hiring

We frequently help companies hire Product and UX Managers, whether it’s making their first hire, scaling the existing team, or bringing in the right leader. We partner with the hiring manager and interview team to ensure A+ talent is hired each time. This usually includes:

  • Identifying company needs, optimizing job posts, determining minimum qualifications and required experience and expertise
  • Organizing the end-to-end hiring process, identifying important questions to ask, dividing responsibilities across the team, ensuring process consistency
  • Creating challenging homework assignments, evaluating candidate responses
  • Filtering resumes, directly interviewing candidates, identifying and following up on yellow and red flags
  • Managing candidate debriefs, ensuring a high bar is maintained, selling the right candidate,  and even onboarding.

Teaching & Speaking

We also do speaking engagements for larger audiences as well as individual classes on topics related to Product Design, UX strategy, and product/UX management. We can present at any of the following:

  • Conferences
  • Corporate events
  • Executive team & board meetings
  • Product management offsites
  • Business school programs