After four years as the VP of design at Twitter — and two years on his couch — Mike Davidson is returning to work, accepting a position as the head of partnerships and community at InVision, the digital product design platform.
In a post on his personal blog, Davidson wrote about his excitement in joining one of his favorite companies after what he called a “refreshing two-year sabbatical from work.”
A Seattle-based tech veteran, Davidson led the design and user experience team at Twitter from 2012 to 2016, where he built a 100-person team touching on all products and services at the social media company. Prior to that, he founded Newsvine in 2005, the community-powered news website that was acquired by msnbc.com in 2007. Davidson stayed on for five years as a VP at NBC News until 2012.
A 1997 University of Washington graduate, Davidson also worked as an art director at ESPN.com and as a director of media product development at Walt Disney.
In his post, Davidson credits his success through the years to being a “tool nerd” to make up for what he may lack in “talent, vision, persistence, or a host of other superpowers.” But at InVision, he won’t actually be working on products themselves, but rather better understanding how companies and design teams can be better served by what InVision has to offer.
“InVision doesn’t really touch consumers directly, but rather, it touches the designers, engineers, PMs, researchers, writers and others responsible for making the products that touch consumers,” Davidson said. “In that sense, it’s hard to trace the social impact of your work because you aren’t even aware of all the products that are being built with it.”
According to the company, Davidson will oversee partnerships, product integrations, strategic acquisitions, and community building, and will work closely with InVision’s newly formed Design Transformation team to create educational experiences for InVision customers.
Davidson will also emcee InVision’s Design Leadership Forum, which hosts private, invite-only events for design leaders from companies like Facebook, Google, Lyft, Disney, Charles Schwab, Samsung and NBCUniversal in dozens of cities around the world.
And he won’t be doing any of it from an InVision office, as the company is fully committed to remote workspaces. In his post, he expressed his apprehension about not being face to face with co-workers, but said company leaders have convinced him he’ll never want to work any other way again.
“It’s great to be able to spend the first few hours of your day working from your couch, then go on a run whenever the weather clears up, and then spend the rest of the day working from your patio or your local coffee shop … all without ever getting stuck in traffic!” Davidson said. The company even offers a $100 coffee and tea credit every month to encourage remote employees to explore new surroundings.
The company’s philosophy around design and user experiences makes Davidson feel at home, he said, adding, “Also, I *am* at home.”