I’m just over half a year into my time here at Propel, and to say time has flown by would be an absolute understatement. You only have to look at the other blog posts with our consultants recently to see just how crazy the market has been across all teams and how exciting this is for Propel. So, it’s probably about time to dust off my degree, and discuss the world of Product Design at Propel.
How I fell into product design
I joined Propel as a wide eyed graduate, straight out of university and having completed a placement year in a completely different field of recruitment, I had limited knowledge of the world of tech, but it’s always been an industry I found exciting. I joined the tech team and tried out all areas that tech had to offer, from DevOps to Product Management, I was quickly able to build a picture of what was required for the industry.
Within this, I stumbled across the design desk and given the more consultative nature of conversations I was having with designers, I quickly discovered just how incredibly meticulous and methodological the world of product design was. It was much more complex than I had initially, and naively, thought.
I can’t lie, coming from a background where I had limited knowledge on tech and thereafter tech products and structures (I really only knew the term ‘product’ to mean items on shelves in supermarkets) I struggled as I was adapting and understanding the space – Cucumber was no longer a nice addition to a salad and Mocha no longer an overrated way to drink coffee.
But I sat down with Joe, who leads the design desk, and who I must give a shout out to, for his commendable amount of guidance and patience even to this day (still has to deal with my near constant emails, soz) – whilst I was navigating a completely new industry. We talked through product design’s many layers, as well as what to look for in portfolios, and I felt a particular enthusiasm within this space. Which, I suppose, leads me on nicely to […]
How I knew product design was right for me
Being someone who has always had a passion for integrating creativity into business, and coming straight out of university with an arts degree, I really enjoyed the avenue of creative recruitment as it combines the more commercial aspects of business with a more human, and psychological perspective within tech.
I think in the past, and even today, a lot of companies can overlook just how essential design is to any establishment. If your design and user experience isn’t thoroughly assessed or it’s inaccessible, you will simply not retain users or business – and such retention is essential for businesses that are starting up and scaling out. Design truly is such an integral part of the way that we experience tech, be it specific SaaS platforms at work, social media or e-commerce – we interact with it near constantly.
I knew it was right for me as I enjoyed these human and creative elements to tech, people are super passionate about their work particularly when it comes to design, and I found these interactions all the more meaningful, especially when people are talking through projects that they had completed copious amounts of research for. Design is subjective and leads to vast amounts of imagination and creativity within the space of technology.
Why Product Design is my favourite avenue to recruit for
I think recruiting within design is completely unique to any other area in tech. I get a real sense of connection with candidates when they can actively display, as well as explain, the solutions and problems they’ve solved throughout their career.
As mentioned above, design is such a subjective area to recruit within, but it provides an exciting challenge. It reminds me that technology is still fundamentally such a personal experience. Each person’s approach will be different to the last, and bringing together and working on memorable experiences is an integral part of the job. Not one portfolio looks the same, and it adds a really human element to the world of tech. Understanding psychological reasonings behind products and their placements is extremely fascinating - after all, technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives as human beings.
Of course recruiters love to use the term ‘no one day is the same,’ and whilst perhaps cliché, I think this goes an extra mile further when it comes to design. Whilst the essentials of ‘UX/UI’ may perhaps stay the same, every designer’s approach is distinctive.
The market itself has especially exploded in the last year, it’s all I ever hear designers talk about – some being in the industry for years and seeing nothing like it. As is the case with all avenues of tech, product design is a realm that’s fast changing and adapting. I truly love design, I can’t wait to see where it goes next - particularly as we gravitate towards different experiences such as web 3.0 and VR platforms.
By Alana Bradshaw, Design Consultant