Life at Springworks: A day in the life of a Product Designer

Each day, everyone at Springworks comes into work with a true passion for building products and tools for the HR ecosystem. We are artists, innovators, achievers, and dreamers, with a one-track mind to fine-tune the products that we build. Through this series of posts, we showcase our team members, their roles, and what a typical day looks like for them. You can check all the posts here.

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Abhishek Kulkarni joined Springworks remotely as a product designer in December, 2020. He started his career in designing as a UI/UX intern working for a designing studio and then got turned into a full-time employee there as a junior UI/UX designer.

An interesting fact about Abhishek is that he was a cricket player and played South zone national-level matches. His love for cricket drove him into joining the cricket club from just 8th standard. 

With over three years of prior experience in designing, he decided to join Springworks. Here he works as a designer for our product EngageWith– an employee reward & recognition app for Slack and MS Teams.

Let’s take a peek into the life of a Product Designer at Springworks.

What does your job entail?

My responsibilities range from understanding the product features and then come up with a few design ideas and present them to the team. Once all goes well and the product manager gives a go-ahead for the designs, then I have to work on my designs. We use a Trello board to manage our projects.

Thus, I get involved in Identifying opportunities for new products, analyzing how a new product ties in with market needs and consumer preferences, setting design requirements based on briefs from internal teams.

For all this, I have to research materials and techniques, produce prototypes and test functionality, improve the design of existing products and also, gather feedback from product users.

Tell us about a time when you simplified a complex situation or problem. What made you seek out a simpler approach?

It is about the time when I was working at my previous organization. We were a team of two designers where I was responsible for the UI designing and the other guy was taking care of the UX part. However, due to some circumstances, this guy left in the middle of the project. 

Since we were very close to the deadline, it was impossible for us to get someone else into the project and made them understand the product features. Hence, considering the situation, I had to take the lead and take care of both the UI and UX designing part of the project. This seemed to be a much simpler approach.

Not just this, but I did attend all the client meetings and made sure we delivered the project on time with good quality.

What’s the most important aspect of your job?

The most important aspect is to standardize things in the product. The main purpose of a design system is to bring standardization in design and code. Design standards are acknowledged as an essential design principle and should be applied throughout the content and interactions within your product. Making things easier for your users means not forcing them to learn new representations or toolsets for each task.

Experimenting with the designs is also something that I enjoy the most. Simply put, experimentation is about quantifying how people respond to a change in a design. It could be as small as changing an icon, or as big as a redesigned checkout process. The intent is to make better decisions regarding design improvements and find out quickly which design solution works and why.

What are the challenges in your job? How do you handle them?

Critical feedback. There are times in every designer’s career spent on the receiving end of some critical feedback and it is natural to become defensive. The important thing to remember is to not take it personally.

To avoid getting flustered or losing a critical point in the response, I jot down a few notes as the team/client is giving feedback. 

A side bonus to taking notes is that it will mitigate the impulse to interrupt. Highlighting key takeaways from the discussion does not only help me organize how to respond in turn but also helps to strategize and apply the feedback to the next design iteration.

Walk me through a day in the life of Abhishek!

  • Wake up at 5.30 am
  • Workout
  • Spend time with my family
  • Breakfast
  • Start work at 9.30 am
  • Plann out the day
  • Understand the product features
  • Start designing on Figma
  • Day to day tasks
  • Stand-up calls
  • Have lunch
  • Work until 6.30 pm
  • Go out to play basketball, hockey or volleyball.
  • Watch online videos
  • Have dinner
  • Sleep

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I love to play sports in my free time. I play Cricket, Basketball, Hockey and Volleyball whenever I get time to go out with my friends.

What advice would you give someone seeking the same line of work?

If you love your product. It’ll show up in your designs

What is the Springworks team like?

My experience working at Springworks has been great so far. Every employee is really good here and just one call away.

Team members are supportive and give the right feedback. Best work culture you can ever think of. The organization also offers amazing perks and makes sure to reward and recognize the employees.

Want to join the team? Check out open roles at Springworks.

Priya Bhatt

I cover Employee stories at Springworks.

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