My First Month as a Product Designer @ MiniCorp

Published on September 15, 2017 by Andrew McDonagh

The Road So Far….

When I landed my first job in design, the joy was so overwhelming that I thought I might be brought back down to earth once I started. Maybe the role would be too demanding for someone without a lot of experience in the industry. Perhaps I wouldn’t get on with the people I will be working with. However, when I landed in MiniCorp for my first day, it was the polar opposite. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming and I immediately felt right at home here. There was an air of positivity and fun about the place that made the settling in process a breeze.

After getting set up on Sketch, Slack, Gmail and all that jazz, my first project was soon thrust upon me. The client was a company called Unity Street, an app to discover brands, share their products and earn commission from sales. The first version of the app had already been shipped, so, my first task was to take a look at their sales flow and see if I could improve the process going forward into V2 of the app. It was time for me to apply everything I learned from my studies and, without sounding too big headed, it all went really smoothly and I was a lot quicker at the process than I had first imagined I would be. I did my research, developed user flows, low-fidelity wireframes, high fidelity designs and even got to conduct a usability testing session. I had done all this before in college but getting to apply it to a real world product was such a great experience.

From here, I iterated quickly on the feedback from the usability test and after having another feedback session in-house, I handed the designs off to our senior engineer, Steve. The feeling that I had just completed my first project for MiniCorp was awesome!! To be able to finally say, “My designs will be in the App Store” was just amazing!!

But, of course, as soon as I was finished this project, I was straight on to the next one, which was the complete redesign of the Unity Street website, with the objective being to make it more informative for the users. On top of that, I was also tasked with the redesign of the MiniCorp website. Two complete website redesigns on my agenda, a jam packed few weeks ahead, this was the stuff I was hoping to be doing when I finished studying. Being given the creative freedom to experiment and really think outside the box, it was so exciting. At this stage I was really settling in at MiniCorp and what I had thought would be quite overwhelming (being handed two big projects at the same time), I was able to take it in my stride and get cracking. I really felt as if I was finding my feet as a product designer at MiniCorp and my confidence was really building. The main factor behind this being the constant support, motivation and recognition from everyone on the team here at MiniCorp. I was able to go to them for help, feedback or even just a chat. Their feedback was always constructive and I never felt out of my depth as the designer here.

And now, V2 of the Unity Street app has shipped, the redesigned Unity Street website is live and, soon, the brand new MiniCorp website will also be live. All of this within my first month (5 weeks really, but, that doesn’t have the same ring to it as a blog title). I am super proud of the work I’ve done to date and I’m loving every minute of being a part of the MiniCorp team. Long may it continue.

What Have I Learned?

Starting a new job can be scary. Especially if it’s a job/role that you REALLY want to do well in. My advice for anyone in that position, dive straight in and believe in yourself. You already have the tools to do the job. Couple this with your passion for what you do and you’ll be flying in no time.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you are unsure about a certain aspect of a project, don’t be afraid to speak up and say “Hey, I don’t really understand this. Can you explain what it means?”. This is WAY better than ploughing ahead and realising at the end you were on the completely wrong track.

Don’t take feedback to heart. You work on your designs for hours on end and you put a lot of effort into them so it’s easy to get attached to them. Everyone sees things with a different perspective and may see things that you missed or could be portrayed in a better way. You need to be able to take this as constructive criticism. Remember, everyone on the team wants the product to succeed as much as you.

What’s Next?

Without giving too much away, we have some big projects coming up here at MiniCorp so I’m really looking forward to working on them with the team. I will also be setting up the MiniCorp Dribble account and creating content for that from our previous case studies.

On a more personal level, I have started learning how to illustrate. Just sticking to smaller objects to begin with such as icons and simple illustrations of small physical objects but I hope to move on to more intricate illustrations soon. I also want to get better at writing. Therefore, I will be challenging myself to write a monthly blog for MiniCorp on my top 5 favourite Designs of the month. These designs could be UIs, illustrations, websites, graphic design, all the way to physical objects. Anything creative that tickles my fancy, really.

It’s an exciting time here at MiniCorp. It’s awesome to be a part of it!!

Written by Andrew McDonagh

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