Mar 10 • 44M

The latest trends in Product Design and launching Brick with Lena Grechits

A small celebration of Brick and more collaborative wins from the Paralect Design Team 🥂

 
0:00
-44:29
Open in playerListen on);

Appears in this episode

John McTavish
The truth about building startups? It's messy, fun, miserable and amazing — if you've got the right team in the right places. Ship it and Sip it sits right in that time after you start gaining traction, launch a new app or deploy a fab new feature. Well done, let's grab a drink and break down what got you here and where you're going next. This is our goal for Ship it and Sip it. We'll talk about small and big wins, about challenges and about what keeps us excited to work creatively to build the tomorrow we deserve. Powered and produced by Paralect.com
Episode details
Comments

Every time we kick off a fresh product build with a founder, a creative designer is one of the first on the scene. Most times, a quick design prototype is step 1 to a successful launch.

So how does it happen? And what does the environment that supports each product designer look like?

Let's pull back the curtain on our design process this week with Head of Design Lena Grechits 🥂

Highlights from the show 👇

Can you just describe from a high level what the design team looks like now?

So we have a team of 15 really, really good professionals and not just professionals. They're great people and we are friends with all of them.

For me, the design role is really important in startups for sure, because the designer is the person who starts in the very beginning with a business analyst or product manager. They understand the application from a really basic level in the very beginning.

Not just understand, but create something that will fit not only for founders who want to create this product, but also for users and people. I don't really like word users, you know, let's just talk about people.

How do you sort of cross-collaborate, cross-pollinate ideas and share feedback with each other?

I really like the atmosphere in our team because we not only work on projects and sometimes see other designers, but we have special meetings twice a week.

We share our latest updates, our new projects, maybe some tools that we found, some new techniques. We also share experience and have one moderator every week who is responsible to find a newer topic, a new tool, or something to share.

The second meeting is our design review. We share our work like really sharing our screen in Figma and show interesting solutions. Or we can ask questions like, can you review please this? Like the colors? Are they good or not? Or I mean it's not only about colors for sure…

So each designer has broad support from the whole team?

Every designer has their own experience. Some of them create cool logos. Some of them can work with typography or with animation or with 3d. And when you work on a project and you don't have some skill, you can ask anyone. You can ask another person as a designer to help with conducting in usability interviews.

You can ask the help to create some 3d, some logo, etc. It's really cool that we are collaborating in this way with our team and we are really close for sure.

Tell us about the latest design collaboration — Brick?

It's a new initiative and I'm really proud of publishing — now it can help anyone in the world and we can receive feedback from everyone and improve it fo many teams and products.

So it's a design library where we collect tips, knowledge and processes. My favorite part is the template for usability testing. So you can basically take all the scripts and just prepare usability testing in just one hour.

We just realized that it would be good to have one source of truth — collect all this knowledge and it's always there.

Have you always wanted to grow into a leadership role?

Actually, half an year ago I thought about this journey and I thought that I want to improve my skills as a designer — I want to do more research, I want to be a really good specialist.

But then I just got this opportunity, and I took it. But now I see the background, my background — for example, my parents — they've been managers for almost the whole their life. My grandfather was a principal in a school.

So it seems like something is inside me about management. It's just really a new role for me and it's really challenging. But this is just an opportunity that I caught and I'm really happy about this.

What products bring you joy from a design perspective?

For sure one is Notion — it really fits my needs and I follow the journey of the designer who created Notion — it's interesting to see how they work.

Huge brands like Figma and Spotify and Netflix. They create great things. These are products I use every day and they're inspiring me to create this really cool experience.

Why did you start in marketing and then pivot to design?

Marketing was not really my solution — it was advice from my parents because I didn't know what to do in my life after school. My dad told me probably marketing will fit you. And I'm like, yeah, probably.

So I just studied marketing and started to work in a sport company. And I would say that I was really bad marketer. It's funny, but I didn't have some huge figure that could inspire me — for some reason I don't really like marketing.

When I was in university, I didn't realize this product that I see in my laptop and my phone was created by someone, someone just drew this circle and things — it just didn't work in my head.

Then I started to work in a company whose product was diaries for schools and step by step I realized how the product works and who created them.

I decided to try. I just went to the courses and started to work as a freelancer and then started my journey as a product designer.

What would you say is your favorite part of early stage product or startup design?

I have two favorite parts in the beginning — the first one is wire frames. I'm the kind of person who likes to create really, really ugly wire frames — just to draw some circles and some squares.

But I'm really proud of them because it's really fast. Then I just move it to to Figma to show to the customers. And I can even take a photo of my drawings and show it.

I think it's the correct approach because wire frames are just about sharing ideas.

And the second thing that I really like is usability testing, because it is time when you speak with real people and you can understand their pains, their values. I think it's a necessary step in any product, especially for startups.

I'm really a massive fan of usability testing. This is the way you find feedback from real users really fast.

You can really understand what is necessary to improve, what is problematic in this application, on what step it's difficult to go further. This kind of research is really necessary and I always try to push this idea.

What do you think of Momentum page builder?

It's interesting because exactly yesterday we improved our page on Momentum and we added our design team there.

We added some feedback and information about for who this library is for.

It's like everything that you need to launch fast. And a huge plus is that you can add posts from social networks. You just show that it's something real, something working and live.

It's a new thing on the Paralect website where we are not showing like — oh, we are a really cool company. We can invest, we can build, we can design — but we also show real people, real faces who are sharing their real work and real projects.

An open approach where you are not hiding some secret templates, some unique approach to design. Everyone understand how to work, how companies work nowadays. It's not a secret and if you share this more and more is just a key, I think.

Are there any changes or new ideas that you'd like to bring out in the next 3-6 months?

Yeah, I really want to develop and to bring to life a design event, a public event where we can he help founders to improve their product or to review their product.

I think would be really useful for designers and for founders. We really want our team to improve, to grow expertise, to create interesting solutions, to create great products, and this is our goal.


Until next time, everybody, ship it and sip it.