Design is Much More Than “Making It Pretty”
Is design more than just making it pretty?
Marcos is a Product Designer at Quipu. This function requires making important decisions before tackling the visual part of new features. The multi-step process consists of structuring and simplifying the product, talking about it with the potential users, and, finally, making it look good.
Recently, Marcos became Project Manager, on top of his design work. He is in charge of coordinating a brand-new key feature in Quipu, the All-In-One project. This challenge allows for cross-functional cooperation between the different teams in the startup.
The multi-step journey of a Product Designer
According to Marcos, it is very difficult to fully describe what his job consists of. People usually think the design is just about making things pretty. But this part is just the final step of a long journey.
“To create a beautiful thing, there are a 1000 decisions to think about.”
First of all, the product designer needs to fully understand the goal of a particular project. It is important to investigate what the users are expected to accomplish with the product to make all the structural and functional decisions. To meet the users’ expectations, he needs to take into account what they want to achieve and how to interact with them.
“These decisions are more about “How does it work?” and not “How does it look?”
Secondly, once the structure is established, it is time to make it clear and easy for users. This means structuring the information and interactions, and deciding what is going to be shown on particular pages.
“If you make the right choices, your visual design is gonna be easy. Because in the end, the simplest things are usually the prettiest.”
Thirdly, it is important to focus on the language. The design is not just about layout, it is also about content and exchange of information, this is why the product designer needs to figure out how to talk to the users.
“If you have a beautiful design but the wrong words, it will confuse the user.”
Make it pretty
Once these steps are covered, the product designer can tackle the visual part. Visual design and launching things are the moments Marcos enjoys the most. Once all top decisions are made, it is time to make it look beautiful.
“I enjoy it the most, it is more relaxing and visual. We all worked together, we like this, let’s make it beautiful.”
Successful cross-department communication with the engineers
Marcos is working with the engineering team every day to anticipate potential issues in his design work. The engineers see the whole process and investigate if it is possible with the technology they have. If it is not, Marcos can see the limitations before finishing the design thanks to this real-time feedback. This collaboration allows him to have more control and visibility.
Marcos’ everyday life at Quipu
What Marcos likes the most about his job is the team he is working with every day. According to him, they are really fun to work with, and they are committed to move fast and don’t waste time. They focus on things that are going to impact consumers and the business. Want to get to know the team better? Meet Judith and Ana!
These are the things that Marcos likes about working in a startup: the team can move faster. He also likes the fact that you have more control of the project, more freedom and more impact on the organization, the product and the decisions that are made. This is the reason why Marcos has always worked for a startup, including one located in Silicon Valley. Discover his journey from Spain to Silicon Valley in our podcast.
“In Quipu, your opinion is one out of 20. In a company of 3000 employees, your opinion is one out of 3000. Here, even if you don’t end up with what you wanted to do, you have been heard, your opinion has been considered.”
All-in-One Project Management
The new “All-in-one” product allows a new structure in Quipu which aims to create cross-functional teams with employees from each department. Therefore, each team can benefit from the talent of Design, Sales, Engineering, Success, etc. In the past, it felt that the team was fractionated, there was a lack of information between each department. This multifunctional team structure has worked really well, allowing employees to see the bigger picture by taking into account every perspective.
Marcos started experiencing the function of a Project Manager with this new project. For this to be a success, Quipu needed people to lead those multi-functional teams. Today, on top of his design function, Marcos has the responsibility of coordinating all the people in the team. For him, this means listening to everyone and trying to find out what the best solutions are.
The launching of this project is one of his best memories in Quipu. This is a complete change of the business model Quipu has had for the last 4 years. It was a very important moment because they worked a lot together.
“It felt like a real team effort, it feels great to have built something together.”
Another good memory he has in Quipu is the Oscar Party, which he helped prepare and presented. That night, he won the Oscar of “the most stylish person of the office”.
To sum up, Marcos chose the three following words to best describe Quipu: Young, Committed, and Brave.
If these 3 words match your job expectations, join our team!