Tell me about your design process on new features, from idea to launch.
It depends on the project, but we usually start off outlining and defining our requirements through business goals or functionality improvements energized by user research and understanding. We brainstorm, research, and conceptualize in the early stages in order to come up with ideas and bring in new and unexplored discussion points.
We tweak and iterate designs accordingly before translating them to high-fidelity and passing them onto the development teams. It’s so important not to lose traction of your process—designers should always be in tune with development teams and be there to mentor and inform where necessary.
Before deployment, we also test thoroughly and listen and respond to user feedback.
What’s a typical day look like?
It always starts with good coffee and a few minutes of catching up on reading about inspiring designers, projects, or case studies on news boards. You never know—reading a particular article might influence your work that day.
Mid-morning, the team shares achievements from the previous day and talks about tasks for the next day. It’s beneficial to know what we’re all working on so that we can help each other if necessary.
From there, the day’s normally a mix of focused design work (both exploratory and task-led), discussions with project leads, and cross-collaboration with other team members.
Are there any qualities in your design process that you consider unique or proprietary?
I adhere to some personal approaches that help with the fluidity of work:
- Gain, share, and discuss knowledge. Be as transparent as possible with your team. Be open to other people’s ideas and unify your own.
- Spark innovation by exploring methodologies and absorbing information from articles, books, blog posts and case studies.
- Understand and prioritize your users. Research, observe, learn, and evolve.
What do you think is the most powerful part of your design process?
Providing space for ideas, thoughts, and inspiration to materialize and grow—the ability to explore and conjure compelling ideas and influence that within your designs to create valuable and engaging experiences.
Unified principles are important as a general understanding within design, but it’s in our nature as designers to be explorers: we create and evolve ideas while retaining a certain quality.
What are some of the more important values that you try to see reflected in design changes?
Our audiences and users are at the heart of everything we do here. We’re always aiming to improve the quality and the general presentation of our content and the overall experience.
“The more we learn from our users, the better understanding we have.”
How do you make design decisions when you work for clients with such a massive and diverse global audience?
We’re continually coming up with ways to present our content. Creativity is the lifeblood of our organization. We’re always transparent with our ideas and thoughts to develop them and maintain memorable experiences.
What kind of metrics do you watch?
We focus, manage, and monitor user engagement levels—their time spent on pages and their depth of visit. With Earth, we’ve seen an increased dwell time on stories and more shareability across social platforms because of share tools on all the pages. We use various metric tools to shape, build, and evolve our designs and create a better experience.
“We’ve seen an increased dwell time on stories and more shareability across social platforms because of share tools on all the pages.”
How cross-functional is your organization and how do you work successfully with other departments?
It’s a mix of the culture and collaboration efforts of the teams. We all have different thoughts and opinions that we all respect, and out of that we can create some amazing things.
How do you continue to innovate.
You could call it our design lab—we’re always challenging and envisioning new ideas, and we try to encompass all the new trends happening online while exploring our own features. We’re all passionate people working towards creating the best content and presenting it in the best way, and that’s what I really enjoy about working here.
It’s easy to get bogged down by principles, but I try to keep a clear mind while I’m designing.
“Be as transparent as possible with your team.”
How do you address the death of print media? Do you have any insights for people who are working on a similar problem?
We don’t have a legacy print business, but our design team has been instrumental in building the success of our native offering for advertisers. Having a very prominent past dealing with the print media, it’d be wrong to think print media is dying—it’s the only current media format that doesn’t require a constant connection, or even a charged battery, to engage with. Sometimes we forget that.
How do you get inspired?
Individual designer’s blogs are inspiring as well because you get a personal and emotive response from like-minded people in the design community. We’re such a passionate community, so this can spark friendly debates.
Observing how others communicate with interfaces and environments is another one. User engagement is all around us, whether it be digital, tangible, or in the real world. Being extra observant helps influence your perceptions, patterns, and ideologies.
Do you have any insight for younger designers?
Listen to your colleagues, learn from your users, and stay inspired.
Published by: suzanne in Uncategorised