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Gabriela Muñoz
Gabriela Muñoz

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A little bit about my career

A few days ago I wanted to write an article about my experience as a UI/UX Designer and then how I got involved in Product Design.

Let’s get cracking!

In 2018, I started my career as a UI/UX Designer in a small consultancy where I had the opportunity to work with a UX Manager. I remember that at this time I didn’t know how to do information architecture. I learned to do it. We designed apps and dashboards 😊

Then I had my first opportunity to work in a startup where I learned the difference between consulting and startup. In this team I collaborated with the Product owner, UI/UX Designers and Developers. Although my experience there was limited, I learned what the key points are to take into account at the moment of designing a product, but I didn’t know what the role of the product designer was.

In my last experience, I worked in a startup that provides online therapy. When I joined them I started as UI/UX Designer.

At the beginning I designed an agenda. I remember this project was big and I took a lot of time to do it. I ran some remote tests with users and I improved the design. At this time I was disorganized. I never completed my deadlines and I felt lost. I recognized that and I started to work on it.

The first thing I [did] was define a template for projects. It helped to me have the information in one place. I use a Shape up template in my own process. 🚀 [check it it out]

And well, every day I worked more in Product Design. I started to understand some key points:

  • Psychologists: Experience, technical abilities, ages, how to talk with them, etc.
  • Patients: Who are they? How are old they? What difficulties do they have?

For few months I gave customer service that helped me to understand what problems users have on the platform.

I had the opportunity to manage the product in this startup. Also I collaborated with other teams and together we did a product. 🤘🏻 
I think the best ability I developed in this product was to see the entire product as a big picture.

What I do as Product Designer?

I’m thinking, thinking a lot! As a mentioned above Product Designer is more strategic, as much of my day is dedicated to product planning, doing roadmaps, next steps, launches, and evaluating products.

At the beginning of each project I started with a plan. In other words, a general document of the project which anyone can consult.

What is the plan?
The plan helps us to describe user needs and how we will satisfy their needs. Sometimes designers think it is not necessary to do it, but If you have a plan you save time in the future.

In this document I describe the following:

  • Articulate vision
  • Conduct user research
  • Write product requirements document (PRD)
  • Write critical user journeys (CUJ)
  • Establish service level objective
  • Draft landing metrics
  • Write design docs
  • Create schedules and plans
  • Test using prototypes

In this phase I add deliverables such as customer journey, user personas, insights, research plan, etc. Additionally I like to add pages for the rest of the resources such as: content, images, planning, etc.

Develop and test

  • Create development schedules
  • Document dependencies
  • Make mockups
  • Do instrument tests
  • Plan integrations
  • Start product evaluation
  • Start approvals (security, privacy, legal, etc.)
  • Run documentation usability studies

In this phase I add deliverables such as mockups, diagrams, wireflows, usability test.

Launch & land

Get approvals, do gradual rollout, and earn happy users.

  • Launch into alpha, beta, or general availability
  • Regularly review how customers use the product
  • Nurture growth and check on adoption goals
  • Track success metrics
  • Add and launch new programs or features as needed

As you can see the work of a Product Designer is very broad. Of course, the tasks you will do depend on the project, time and resources.

I want to give advice: In my last experience I worked a lot a lot… for me it was difficult to stop working or delegate a task to someone . Please don’t do that! I had burnout. I learned my mental and physical health is more important than any work.

If you made it to the end, thanks for reading me!

Gabs :)

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