Building on Blockchain: 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.

Dinesh Senapati joined the SpringRole team in May, 2018 to design user experience (UX) on Blockchain for our platform. Dinesh comes with a unique skillset — 3 years of experience in Marketing. He spent 3 years in Advertising and Marketing before switching over his focus towards Product Design and working on core product experience.

Here’s the interview with this creative and curious member of SpringRole.

What does a Product Designer do?

“A Product Designer writes the story, and then observes how people translate that story. If it doesn’t resonate with them, the Product Designer then modifies that story.”

I read this somewhere and I cannot think of a better way to summarise the job of a Product Designer.

Specific to India, a Product Designer is also referred as a UI/UX designer handling both the user interface design (the visual part) and user experience(responsible for product experience and user flow) and sees this project from end-to-end.

Typically the journey for a Product Designer looks something like this — gather requirements, ideate on the possibilities, come up with wireframes, design the interface, prototype (if need be), hand off to the developer and make sure the design gets reflected in the final outcome (in co-ordination with the testing team).

Some take it up a step further in larger teams where they evaluate the metrics of the features being deployed by various means (Analytics) which helps them gauge the efficacy of the solution.

All in all, the job description of this role is extremely versatile. Do a quick google search and you’ll realise. I recently came across a job role at a startup (Notion) monikered ‘Hybrid Designer’ — a Designer-Developer combination.

Side note: Not many people know but this role was largely popularised because of Facebook.

Being a Product Designer designing for the Blockchain must present a unique set of challenges. How do you go about solving for them?

Figuring out ways to make it usable i.e. adoption of a blockchain product in the mainstream is the most challenging part. The learning curve for signing up for a blockchain product can be intimidating for a user who’s uninitiated to the blockchain ecosystem.

On-boarding users with minimum steps is also critical, thanks to a decreasing attention span — especially a new user when faced with the technicalities might consider the easier options available (which most likely won’t be decentralised).

This is why convincing the user in minimum steps about the what, why and how of a product becomes so important — all the while keeping them engaged. To put it simply, making the learning curve fun and easy without intimidating user with technicalities is our objective at SpringRole, while adding delight is the ultimate goal.

Mostly it becomes easy in a place like SpringRole where everyone works towards the same goal — delivering value to the end user with better experience.

What’s your favourite part of your work?

The pursuit of 3 things:

Getting to see your design shipped that solves a problem while bringing delight to users.

At the risk of sounding preachy, I want to say that ever since I started designing, I’ve always considered the role of product designer to be like that of a craftsman and getting to practise everyday on sharpening my skills in itself is hugely satisfying for me.

And lastly, overcoming my earlier drawbacks is a rewarding experience.

Walk us through a day in the life of Dinesh!

The schedule changes frequently but overall looks like this:

8:00 to 8:30AM — Wake up, read a newsletter (can’t start my day without this — not naming it 😛).

8:30/9:00 — Get on slack and check for any important tasks.

9:30–10:30/11:00 — Gym

10:30–11:30 — Back from the gym read some design newsletters/listen to podcasts/or watch videos depending on the day of the week, this includes spending some time on Twitter as well.

11:30/12:00 — Set up my personal Trello board for the day and start working.

1:00/1:30PM — Leave for office.

8:30/9:00PM: Get back, have dinner.

9:00–11:30: Catch up with flatmates, spend time on youtube or try out design experiments/learning.

12:00–1:00: Some daily chores and reading myself to sleep.

What is the SpringRole Product & Design team like?

It is lean but packed with all the positives a great workplace should have. Everyone on the team is ready to help each other out.

Since the company is in its growth stage, being part of the product team lets you have a peek at the upcoming roadmap and keeps you on your toes to learn more.

What I like the most is a no-question-is-a-bad-question culture and the same goes for feedback and ideas.

What advice do you have for other Product Designers in general, and specifically those designing for the Blockchain?

“Bite more than you can chew and then chew like hell” has been a favourite quote of mine as a beginner. I wish to share the same with beginners. That’s how you’ll learn and grow.

Iterations are critical in design.

Disagreements are great because it makes you think — the only way to resolve it is reasoning. Constructive criticism is critical to your growth.

Your job is a craft and a craft is always a WIP (Work in Progress). This job demands great amount of focus and practise. The quicker you learn, the better you will be.

The potential of blockchain technology is huge. As designers we can’t afford to take this opportunity for granted. Especially, when you know that your design solutions might have the potential to set standards in designing in a space like Blockchain.

Your questions are often more valuable than your opinions.

Principles of design are always applicable, irrespective of the platform you design for. Do not ignore them.

And lastly, your productivity does not equal your worth as a person.

Don’t miss the first two posts in this series.

Building on Blockchain: a Day in the Life of a Blockchain Engineer

Building on Blockchain: a Day in the Life of a Product Manager

About SpringRole

SpringRole is enabling everyone’s #VerifiedProfessionalProfile on the Blockchain. It is a decentralised attestation-based professional network platform powered by the blockchain.

SpringRole is the platform where people can view, share and get attestations on their professional profile, thereby creating a verified resume that they can share and use. A user’s educational qualifications and work experience are verified by the organisations themselves and written directly to the blockchain. To assess a user’s skill set, SpringRole has a system of weighted endorsements that let users objectively look at people’s profiles and assess their skill level.

Learn More

To learn more, and be up-to-date about all-things-SpringRole:

Springworks Team

Building products and tools to simplify the life of an org's HR function in terms of recruiting, onboarding & retention!

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