When people think of designers, the first thing that crosses their minds is designing creatives. But there is a lot more to it. Design involves different sub-functions like product design, user experience (UX) research, visual design, web and video design. Delivering good design and user experience is mostly a collaborative effort between all the above functions.
At Freshworks, we had decided to develop a structure around how products are designed keeping the user in mind. Little did we know that this would turn out to be one of the best decisions we have made, because it was this process that won us the ‘Top Corporate Design Center’ award at the World Industrial Design Conference 2018.
Through the process of designing a framework, one hard question we kept asking ourselves was how we could put a structure on the various ‘W’s (Who, What, Why, When, and Where) that need to be considered while designing a product. Something we heard often is “Hey, the customer needs it, so we need to build it”, but is that something that the user actually needs or is it just something the user wants? To answer this, we worked with various cross-functional teams to arrive at a solution.
For this, getting in touch with our users was crucial. One initiative that resulted from many product and UX feedback calls with customers was Tsaheylu (taking parallels from the movie Avatar). As part of the UX feedback calls that we did for Freshdesk, Freshservice, and Freshsales we managed to put out various editions of Tsaheylu to increase the awareness about who our users were and what they truly expected from our products.
We worked on refining the process with help from different team members and came up with persona/empathy cards and user journeys. This helped teams go after the right questions that define a product or a specific feature’s purpose, thus helping us in the overall design solution.
Towards the end, our approach focused more on how to craft the optimal experience for an
user, not just from a product design perspective, but also from a user-360 perspective which includes end-to-end user journey – from discovering the product, to using it well, and encouraging our users to become evangelists.
Meanwhile, Sruthi, a member of the Freshworks design team came across an event, The International Industrial Design Conference – World Industrial Design Conference 2018 (WIDC) which was taking place in China. (Incidentally, Liangzhu – Hangzhou, the place where the conference was being held, was considered the birthplace of art, design and cultural in the Chinese civilization). We took part in the competition that had over 5000 applicants from 30 countries.
Freshworks Design was chosen as ‘Top Corporate Design Center’ for the Top Innovation Award category.
Being able to accelerate design standards and set a bar to our community is what we strive for, and winning this prestigious award was a huge milestone for our design team.
Freshworks has given us the opportunity to make use of whatever resources we need to structure design workflow in an agile model. It is efforts like these that change the stereotypical label associated with design, as Jobs says,
Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.