- So how did you enter the Product Design path?
- Did you find OG, or did OG find you?
- And how do you rate the atmosphere in the company?
- What were your first days at work like?
- What do you like about the work of a Product Designer?
- What is your biggest professional challenge now?
- What qualities should a product designer have?
- So, let's take some OG Shots!
So how did you enter the Product Design path?
It's hard for me to pinpoint a specific moment because this path was made up of several minor situations at different stages of life. However, designing has always been in me because since I was a little kid, I sewed clothes for my toys or designed bags out of paper.
Regarding Product Design, it all started in middle school when I was passionate about coding websites in HTML and CSS. Unfortunately, at one point, I lost access to my computer, had to write code on paper, and eventually abandoned Web Design for other activities.
Product Design circled back to me at the Academy of Fine Arts years later. I studied Design itself, where, among designing leaflets and kettles, we also learned how to create digital products.
I had a chance to deal with modern UI and UX for the first time. I also took Interaction Design classes, where we learned how to design things to solve human problems. At this stage, however, I never had a mentor or practical advisor and again abandoned the idea of Web Design for a while.
Another Design Wave came to me rather quickly while studying Fashion Design. It wasn’t Product Design per se, but we learned how to create pretty AND functional shoes that meet many requirements and limitations. I enjoyed the idea of combining both a product's beauty and functionality.
Eventually, after graduation, many of my friends went into Product Design, and I also wanted to try this path. I felt I could fulfill myself creatively and artistically while doing useful things.
Did you find OG, or did OG find you?
I was looking for job offers and found an advertisement for Order Group. I applied to several places, but the OG ad encouraged me with the description of the unique atmosphere at work. They wrote about a "family atmosphere," and I was curious if it was true or just a recruitment slogan…
And how do you rate the atmosphere in the company?
They were definitely telling the truth. :) It may sound strange, but what stroke me the most was when I first came to work and talked to people, I could never tell the difference between regular employees and board members. Everyone's equal here.
This is a significant change compared to my previous professional experience. Then, because of the rigid hierarchy, people were often afraid to say that they'd done something wrong or that someone may have something to work on. There was no free exchange of opinions, which ultimately made it harder to grow professionally and do better things faster.
It's different here. We have a very open feedback culture, which makes it easy to resolve issues quickly before they escalate.
What were your first days at work like?
It was a big surprise for me that from the very beginning, OG got me directly involved in projects that go out into the world. I immediately started working on the company's subpages, which was quite a challenge because customers visit them daily, and they're an integral part of the company's image.
I also quickly started working on commercial projects and contacted clients directly. I talked to them and influenced the direction of the design work. It was and still is a great responsibility and a unique opportunity for growth.
What do you like about the work of a Product Designer?
I like to create things that combine great looks and functionality. I discovered it while studying shoe design, and it works the same in web and mobile app development. At the end of the day, you want the app to be practical AND pretty. And it's an enjoyable challenge.
In addition, unlike the textile industry, we don't clutter the world with new materials in IT. Of course, the industry isn't crystal clear regarding ecology, just like the textile industry is not unambiguously bad. However, I feel that I’m not contributing to the planet's pollution like other industries.
What is your biggest professional challenge now?
Working directly with the client is a big challenge for me; it's a great responsibility but, on the other, a massive field for development. So I'm currently learning to take on this responsibility.
What qualities should a product designer have?
Empathy is the most crucial thing in a designer's work because when designing things, we tend to forget about the other side's perspective. I often feel that something I came up with could be cool, but then I confront my idea with the client, and it turns out that their perspective is different. My private preference or design principles sometimes differ from the client's perspective and industry practices.
That is where empathy is needed: you want to start each project with the assumption that the client, although they might not know Design, certainly knows the industry better than you. And this is a critical perspective you need to include in the project. Often at the expense of your own beliefs.
Of other things, the ability to research and the willingness to learn new things are also important. As I said, our clients work in specific industries that we must learn to a certain level. Customer industry research always gives you many design ideas and lets you meet the customer halfway, so you must be willing to find and possess knowledge outside your domain.
So, let's take some OG Shots!
Favorite movie → Guilty pleasure, but still: Seventeen Again
Favorite series → Death Note (the anime, not the Netflix series)
Favorite band → Gorillaz
Favorite game → Cartographers (a board game).
Favorite book → "Starsight" by Brandon Sanderson
PC or smartphone or console → Smartphone
Android or iOS → iOS
Windows, Mac, or Linux → Mac
Netflix, HBO, Disney, or Amazon Prime → Netflix
Thank you, Joanna, for the interview; combining the usability and looks of things we design is at the core of OG values. If you wonder why, here are a few pieces of content about UX and its importance: