Vitor Pinho Lead Product Designer at WhatsGood
Where do you work and what is your current title?
Today, i work as a Lead Product Designer in a food marketplace software called WhatsGood. It’s like a Food Marketplace meant only for Farmers, Restaurant Chefs and Businesses, right now. It’s awesome working here because we can work from anywhere in the world.
It’s pretty flexible and most of the company is working remotely right now. We got some really talented people growing a company with a strong design sense and commitment to deliver the best experience to our users.
Our solution have been changing how farmers and restaurant chefs engage on their daily tasks and interact with each other. We are improving their workflow with organization, real-time feedback and cheerful interface. It’s a forgotten niche and not really sexy for most of designers, but i love it.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself & your background.
I’m Brazilian (born and raised on Rio de Janeiro), got two kids and have worked with Digital Products for the last 10 years. Always had an eye and hand for building things and that’s really what I’m passionate for. I also love that my work somehow helps a lot of people to do their jobs. Got my degree on Design & Digital Animation, and found a lot of knowledge through the internet. Some courses like Treehouse and Code School really helped me to reach some desired skills. My whole design life was about designing pretty complex softwares, then I realized that complexity is my fuel. I really love to solve complex problems and bring an easy and fun solution to users. When you work with complex softwares that help other businesses on their workflow, there’s a lot of pressure and responsibility. Any mistake can cause a really massive loss of money, and that’s pretty scary.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer?
Well, I think when you realize you’re good at something, you attack to it, you live for it. And I think my job is really, really cool. Every day, it’s like I have a new video game puzzle to solve. Every feature or solution, I need to list every problem to solve, be aware of users and technology limitations, and yet make it easy and fun to use, or at least a lot better than the actual solution.
What was your first design job? Any interesting stories about how you broke into the field?
I don’t really remember which one was my very first, but i think i got an idea where everything started. Back in school, mobile apps started going out and every business wanted their own app. They don’t really needed it but yet was a really good way to earn some money and do something meaningful with my time. So, I started designing apps for brands that I like, trying to explore their marketing assets and yet making something meaningful for people that would download the app. I sold few of those, but it got me my first industry job inside a Product Factory working as Product Designer.
Please describe a normal day at your current job. What’s the workflow like? What are your primary responsibilities?
Every morning, the whole team meet for a quick status update on Hangouts. We communicate a lot, by the way. I think the best strategy to make remote work is to communicate. I keep a journal with all the things I’m working on and list all tasks on Asana. I try to measure the effort of my tasks in hour blocks and that really helps because i need to work in multiple things during the day.
- Based on collected feedback, i need to design new interface components and/or whole new features on Sketch.
- Provide feedback on other designers’ work through InVision.
- Review developers’ work, provide feedback, list improvements through GitHub.
- Present new features to stakeholders and developers.
- Communicate a lot through Slack.
- Make my own coffee.
Are there any memorable war stories, client interactions or close calls that have taught you something important about how things work?
Yeah, some time ago, I worked for Nibo, a Brazilian SaaS for Business Finance and Accounting. Those users were really into awful and confusing interfaces. Working there was awesome because every new user had something good to tell me about their first landing on the product or every new feature they got. Some clients said that Nibo improved so much, that tasks they usually take weeks to accomplish, now they can make it work in matter of hours. And that’s pretty rewarding for a designer like me, It really bumps me up :)
What’s a common mistake you often see entry level designers make? What are some tips to avoid or overcome it?
I see a lot of designers starting to work with apps (mobile & webapps) with no clue on development, guidelines, components, etc. My tip is really simple: Just learn how things you are designing will be built. That way you will be really helpful on the process, not a blocker.
Any industry sites or blogs you read on a regular basis, or anything else you read for inspiration?
There’s something new and amazing coming out every day. What’s something awesome you’ve seen recently that you’re dying to share, or something you’re excited about?
Well, Craft has this new feature called Freehand, I’m just eager to test around. I think this will improve a lot how we present features and collaborate on UX deliverables. It helps the design presentation directly from sketch, making stakeholders understand and contribute with a more agile process.
What advice would you give to someone trying to break into the industry?
Please, learn how your designs will be built. It’s not that hard and really helps the design handoff.
What do you think is the future of your industry?
I think this is the best time to be a product designer. Now, new startups and big solid enterprises are pretty interested in human centered design, UX, UI and stuff, and for the first time I really see that my work is recognized and makes a difference. I think the future reserves more “steps in” to designers and learn about frameworks like React, Angular and components building will be vital.
Good luck to us all <3