Work at a Startup

Y Combinator redesigns its engineering placement platform homepage

The challenge

Y Combinator (YC) is the world's leading incubator for early-stage startups. Among other things, YC offers talent recruiting as a value-add to its startup network. The YC team created a web-based app called 'Work at a Startup' that allows job-seeking engineers to submit a profile to get direct exposure to all engineer-seeking companies and their hiring managers. The app helps engineers find a job and helps YC companies fill engineering vacancies. The YC team sought to increase the number of engineering placements each month through the app and planned to do so through an end-to-end redesign of the Work at a Startup homepage. To achieve the desired outcome, 3 content strategy goals were established: 1) Better communicate the value of working at a startup, 2) Better communicate the value of working specifically at a YC startup, and 3) Better communicate the value of the Work at a Startup service. I worked directly with partners at YC to execute this design challenge.

My contributions

Content Strategy
UI Patterns
Website Design
UI Design

Tools & tech



Jamison Hill

Design Lead

Gustaf Alströmer

Partner, Y Combinator

I walked the stakeholders through a series of questions to help me understand what the expectation were of the design outcomes, what we'd define as success metrics and understand any design constraints or boundaries with the designs.

Before jumping into visual designs, I first sought to clarify the core pieces of information that needed to occupy the content body of the site.

With clarity on what users needed to know and do, I laid out an option for how the content could be structured by modules on the Work at a Startup homepage.

I felt it was important to explore a variety of ways the content could be exposed to job-seeking engineers. For each body module, I hand-sketched several possible directions.

There was a very specific requirement that the final visual design mirrored the aesthetic style found on I used the styles found there as a benchmark for the new designs.

I selected one layout direction for each homepage module and created a final visual design based in the styles found on

The new design for the Work at a Startup homepage was anchored in the goals and requirements set and followed throughout this design process. With the newly designed content and layout, engineers are sure to see the value and be inspired to join a YC startup.

Design process:

Website Design Process

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