May 23, 2022 Shaping Up A UX Team With Trevor – The Topcoder Nation Show #16

Design month is all over the place. This May we had the honor of a virtual visit from Trevor (tgerring), a beloved staff member who works in the Topcoder internal UX team. Let’s talk design!

First and foremost you must know that Trevor has been around in the community for almost eight (8) years, leveraging crowd talent to deliver projects for customers through different departments, including marketing. He is known among members for his deep insight on design matters.

“The community in general is just really inspiring. The things that the community has done and solved collectively are just super inspiring”

— Trevor on his favorite community trait

It is one thing to work with the community to build solutions and another to work on an UX team with a formal process. Trevor broke down the challenge of shaping up a team strategically purposed towards creating solid foundations of design while streamlining the production of visual design through the community; definitely challenging.

Trevor enjoys deep conversations on design principles and he didn’t disappoint us. He shared golden pieces of knowledge throughout the whole episode. Among my favorites is his approach to problem-solving, keeping in mind the user experience happening in the human brain, which is why as designers we should learn about psychology to understand better how we interact with products and how we perceive experience.

I won’t spoil the content for you. As a designer myself it is my duty to encourage you to profit from this episode, to listen to Trevor’s principles on design. Enjoy these pure gems. 


These lessons, tips, and advice captured my attention, they may also help you:

  • Trevor switched from a filmmaking career to digital design. It started as a hobby, filming his buddies skateboarding.
  • Having a dedicated UX team working on internal projects to lay out the foundations for design will smooth the design process for community members. They will profit from opportunities for competition and more time to dedicate to solving problems.
  • Feedback and experience lead to deep problem-solving skills.
  • He suggests studying psychology to deepen the understanding of the mind and creating thoughtful solutions
  • Approach negative feedback as a learning opportunity while not taking it personally.
  • Take a break from projects when you get stuck on ideas.

Topcoder Nation Show #16 is up on YouTube. See timestamps below for a summary.


  • Trevor’s journey from advertising to UX product design: 02:54
  • Learning design since high school: 06:28
  • Pursuing a leadership career: 07:20
  • Skateboarding for fun: 09:00
  • How to learn design without going to school: 11:45
  • Shaping up the Topcoder design process: 16:25
  • Leveraging design work for the community: 23:55
  • What makes a great design: 28:39
  • Why designers annoy with tons of questions: 30:42
  • Design is everywhere: 40:07


We held an AMA (ask me anything) with Trevor. Curious community members asked questions for him to ponder. Watch the video from 42:20 to check out the replies to questions such as:

  • What is your favorite car?
  • What is the right way for a newbie to learn design?
  • Any resources outside the design domain that would be useful in a design career?
  • What tools or software do you use everyday in your work?
  • How can I deal with negative feedback on my design and/or portfolio?
  • Who is your favorite Topcoder member?
  • What’s on the top shelf behind you?
  • How would you describe the learning curve for designing and design tools?
  • What do you do when you get stuck without ideas or inspiration to complete a design?


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Peace out.


Are you living the gig economy lifestyle at Topcoder? Want to join fellow members? Share your story, your travels, and experiences about the ultimate goal of working at Topcoder; the freedom, the flexibility, and the earnings that make it happen! Join Topcoder Nation.

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