My first year as a product designer – UX Collective

Taking an initiative or starting anything from the scratch has been the hardest job, either its simple task of logo designing or switching the organization yet meeting the expectations which come to your way. My journey at AT-Tech began with mixed thoughts of embracing new challenges and fear of not meeting the expectations.

Breaking the norms by moving out of your comfort zone

Moving out of the comfort zone is a sign of keep growing. One has to leave the old patterns and start making new paths to achieve a definite goal. Being product designer, I wanted to explore a new dimension- healthcare services. After making the decision of joining healthcare sector, next thing was standing by to it. I populated my surroundings with health related ideas, products and businesses. For that, I even followed the competitors on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube channels to give my thoughts a right direction.

First week at AT-Tech

And here I joined AT-Tech! That happened to be my first roller-coaster ride. I entered into the office and soon was called for a board meeting with the stakeholders of the company. Whoa! What a great opportunity.The agenda of the meeting was our upcoming product for that everything had to be finalized yet. I turned the engine on of my mind and started the ride to the new world of design. After collecting the product requirements, I took a leap of faith and set a meeting with company’s high ups. Pitched in my ideas, decided the wire-frames of the interface, showed prototypes and got the approval for every single thing in one go.

Understanding the organization

To proceed with the chosen path, you must know that where are you standing and why are you standing. Knowing the company’s goals, vision and mission and aligning your efforts to achieve the same goal is a key to organizational success. I assessed every single thing in the organization, observed what needed to be done to bring reforms about and what needed to be fixed also within myself.

Finding out and fixing the loopholes

Subsequently observing the system for weeks, keenly noticing every bit of it I could finally figure out few loopholes in the organization. There were the gaps, which had to be addressed on urgent basis for that were playing a role of more like a hindrance in our success. I pointed out some shortcomings like improper task management, wrong designing standards, less priority to User Experience, communication gaps among the designer and developer, design file storage issues and even the file-naming thing. Though they may sound usual or mainstream but cause major obstructions.

The next step was bridging the gaps and unfollowing the old practices. Firstly I started with file and data organization- named them up properly, exported in suitable and less heavy file formats, converted all design files from PSD to Sketch, made it official to follow design standards and lastly introduced a collaborative tool among designers and developers- ZEPLIN. This provides a platform for assets sharing and pretty handy also.

First Product at AT-Tech

‘Dr. iQ’ happened to be my first product at AT-tech. For which I completed my research regarding product requirements, target market, followed all designing standards, arranged meetings, took the feedback from clients, observed iterative sessions of via prototype screenings to make it a standard practice in the organization.

Dr. iQ Product Web App, Mobile App, Tablet view.

Pitching in new ideas

Art is to come up with new ideas but the real art is how to present that idea to you. Presentation is one of the integral phases if done rightly can elevate your learning and career eventually. Taking all client requirements into the account, taking care of user’s ease of using the product, later aligning your ideas in same stream and presenting it in a way that it does not miss its target, is all what I pitched in with.

3-meeting pattern

Everyone has a formula or a pattern of turning idea into reality. In order to get on one page in a team, entire team has to go through a drill to understand the goal and pathway. Likewise, I also follow a pattern that has few steps from ideation to execution i.e.:

· Wire-frame meeting

· Design Meeting

· Prototype Meeting

Dr. iQ Product Wire-framing, Design Screen, Prototyping

From ‘I’ to ‘We’

In the beginning, it was only I in the design department who had to look into every project w.r.t designing. I took the concerns to my managers who have been considerate enough in allowing me to hire a team. Hearing that I started looking into the job portals where organization take the resumes from, called whoever looked right fit to make a team with, interviewed the shortlisted candidates and assigned a demo task to assess them better that resulted in hiring 3 talented minds and skilled individuals.

Daily Stand Up

One of my mentors from AT-Tech once gave me a tip of identifying and sharing the SMART objectives with team to stay on one page and progress with same pace as a team, that I religiously follow as a practice. For that, I made it a priority of managing all and upcoming tasks on a management system- Jira and got appreciated for that as well.

AT Tech Design Team Jira Board

Keeping the zeal alive in team members

To keep my team motivated, I encouraged them of updating their skill set, introduced new ventures of showcasing their talent, got enrolled to various design related courses, gone to conferences with team for industry exposure and team-building activities so they love what they do. They adapted a new attitude of looking at user working and started thinking more towards user experience that resulted in enhancing our existing and upcoming products i.e. Dr. iQ, EZ Analytics, EZ Web, EZ Nav.

Ranking Table for User Experience course: IDF
If you are also interested in taking UX courses, you can follow the link:
https://www.interaction-design.org/

Feedback by collaboration

Taking and giving the constructive feedback is what we practice here at AT-Tech where you go to the relevant and concerned parties and ask for the suggestions to make your product better. It not only gives you the confidence about your efforts but also provides with an exposure of thinking from variant perspectives.

Bold initiatives

For evolution, one has to take bold initiatives and proving it right. Our company’s logo needed greater attention, as it works as an ambassador. So in a meeting I shared my thoughts regarding the logo, which were praised by the stakeholders and was given the autonomy of revamping it. After few iterative sessions, I got the new logo approved and launched. Later, to encourage the employees, I proposed an idea of company’s award ceremony that was also a hit.

AT Tech Logo Rebranding

Best Employee of the year

Whenever you put in your efforts, it really gets paid off. In my case, it was the same. For my tireless efforts and dedication towards my company I was awarded by the title of ‘Best employee of the year’ in my first year. And not only I, my other 3 team members also got the awards in their respective fields that was a huge success for Us as a team.

Best Employee of the year award

Conclusion

So in this journey of one year, I got to learn about how international businesses work, versatility of clients(doctors), how to deal with them, in fact learned how do they cater their patients, how to take your work on the level of excellence, justifying your ideas after an intensive research work and most importantly about the feelings of people/patients, in short, It has been a learning year!

Thank you Ayesha Khaliq and Irum Tariq for reviewing early drafts of this article.

Author: Sajjad Ahmed

Collect by: uxfree.com

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