Past IDer: Cobie Everdell

by New Idiom


My name is Cobie Everdell. I grew up in San Francisco but attended high school and college in the East. I graduated from ID in 2005 and I have since been in California – first working for Mattel, then IDEO and now frog design where I am a senior design analyst. I got engaged in January to Lillian Askew, my sister’s college roommate.

In which ways and dimensions do you think ID changed your career?

I had aspired to work in a product design consulting role since learning about the profession in high school. I took a long road to that goal, but ID gave me the final skills to get my dream job.

What are the skills learned at ID that you use the most in your current practice?

I use many of the research and analysis tools ID teaches. These skills are directly applicable to the work I do at frog. The framework I use most often these days is an Insights Matrix. When we present concepts, our clients tend to like to see how the concepts are connected to specific data points collected during research. The Insight Matrix allows us to tag and track data, build insights, and support concepts.

What hard times did you have at ID while a student, and what got you through them?

To be honest, I really enjoyed the ID experience. I got lucky with professors and summer internships, and I valued almost all the classes I took. I did switch from Planning to Product after Foundation but that seemed like a clear choice for me. ID was physically taxing. I ate a lot of frozen meals from 7-eleven and I looked pretty bad. I tried to exercise regularly to avoid stressing out too much.

If you could have changed one thing about your time at ID, what would it have been?

I have nothing to complain about.

How many nights did you sleep at school?

I never spent the night at school but I got close on many occasions. It was a full time experience. During my foundation year registration, an older class-person told me it would be 16hrs a day 6 days a week. That was pretty close.

What presentation at the Research Conference did you find the most interesting and why? (besides Jason’s, of course)

I liked the Mode Mapping presentation by Stuart Karten most. I thought his methodology was both useful and easy to explain to clients.

What other advice do you have for current and/or future ID students?

I would develop a sense of what you want to do after ID early on and make choices to achieve that goal. Think of every project as a portfolio piece – try to create project artifacts that explain the process and highlight the solution.