A day in a life of a Product Designer

A new day is about to start as a Product Designer at Pixelmatters.
Or should I say at home? ☕
It feels good to get out of bed a bit later than usual. Life starts for the major part of the team between 9-10 AM, which gives me enough time to enjoy the last minutes of laziness in bed.

9:20 AM

With the smell of fresh coffee coming from the kitchen, the computer marks 9:20 AM when it is turned on.

First things first, I open the calendar to review what's ahead of my day:

Great! The day seems promising.

The email notifications are catching my attention 👀 "6 new unread emails" — it says. Let's see what's new. Oh, wait! Here's the most anticipated email in between calendar notifications and Basecamp posts. The client already provided feedback on yesterday's design presentation — a new look and feel definition that was presented for a Web App. 👩🎨
While enjoying the fresh coffee, I read the entire feedback. A very positive one — the client seems really happy with the results. Some adjustments are needed, and that's what I'll be doing today. 💪

Here at Pixel, each designer has the opportunity to work on projects from various business areas and different typologies. From UX to UI, product-related ones are our favorites. Since my early days at Pixelmatters, I was able to work and be responsible for scratching new products and features from zero — defining the strategy, collaboratively helping understand the requirements, projecting a solution — until they get enough shape to be converted into a beautiful User Interface.

I'm currently working on two product-related projects, having specific design sprints dedicated to both.

After some random browsing between Medium and Dribbble to get my levels of inspiration on point, it's 10 AM, and time to get down to business.

10:00 AM

So back to the client's feedback... And I'm currently iterating on the new look and feel definition. How cool is this task? Getting to a solid visual appearance of a platform that reflects the company's values and vision in an aesthetically pleasing way is a very motivating challenge, don't you think?
So, Figma is open, and the iterative process starts.

One important learning: Don't look at any feedback as an undeniable truth. Be critical and question it to make sure you reach the best solution possible, always with respect and proper reasoning.

1:20 PM

Oh well, time flies, and it's already past 1 PM. Lunch break 🥘, followed by a walk up to the nearest coffee shop to breathe some fresh air.

🔊 notification sound of the meeting coming up in 10 minutes 🔊

2:30 PM

The weekly meeting 🗓️ with the client is about to start. Most of our clients are from the US, and our meetings tend to happen in the afternoon when our working hours overlap.
In these meetings, we usually do a status update of the team's work, so the Product Owner, Designer, and Engineers get together with the client and discuss what was done in the previous week and what will be working on next. Everyone has a voice here, and there is also time for a small chit-chat about our different realities, which is great. It usually doesn’t take more than half an hour.
In addition to these meetings, we also have Release Planning meetings 📝 that involve the same folks where we discuss the next steps and plan the next release. Everyone's presence is also essential:

Another tip: Try to schedule meetings close to each other, so you only defocus once from the previous work you were doing.

🔊 notification sound of the meeting coming up in 10 minutes 🔊

3:00 PM

Time to get together with our team. It's Daily meeting time  👥. Usually, we, designers, just attend the daily meetings of the project we are working on that week. Again, to keep us focused.
For internal meetings, we use Around, which is awesome as it makes our meetings funnier. With camera filters, cricket sound, or even small online games, it's always a moment to relax before having all people on the call.
When we are all in, everyone has the word to talk about what was done the day before, and what we'll be doing on that day.
"Bye everyone, see you tomorrow. Keep up the good work." — the meeting ends.

3:20 PM

Time to focus on the design task I have in my hands and get back to Figma.
Some tweaks on colors, spacing, the roundness of the elements, all the comments here and there are now read... And two hours later: they become solved. It's time for a new written presentation to come out of the oven. 🧑‍🍳

🔊 notification sound of the meeting coming up in 10 minutes 🔊

Well, let's grab some snacks 🍏 and take a break. See you in a bit!

5:30 PM

Finally, it's 5:30 PM and a Design Feedback Session 🗣️ is about to happen. The feedback sessions can occur for multiple reasons:

These sessions are valid for both UX and UI work, as what matters the most is the collaboration and ensuring the design quality of our next delivery. They can be synchronous, happening in a meeting such as this one, when there's a strong need to understand the context plus generate discussion around the topics.
Alternatively, they can be asynchronous, if there's not a strong need for discussion, the feedback is more straightforward, and some comments can be left on the design to be reviewed later. This option also gives more flexibility for you as a Reviewer to do it on your own without finding the time that suits both parties. One of the most recent ways we’ve been asking for asynchronous feedback is by using video recordings! This has been really fun, as it makes it easier for us to express our challenges and makes our inner YouTuber come out 📺 We’ve been using Slack’s new video feature or other tools like this for this purpose.

"Good work. After exploring the alternatives we discussed, let me know which one worked out the best, and we can touch base again!" — we agree.

Today was kind of a busy day, but a very productive one. 🤓 Tomorrow will be calmer — as it's a no meetings day — and I'll have some more time to focus and manage my time differently.

6:00 PM

Now it's gym time. 6 PM. No excuses 🏋️‍♀️

See you tomorrow, folks.
Eunice Costa, Product Designer @ Pixelmatters

Eunice Costa
Product Designer