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Posted by Obvious (@obvious)
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Who are we
Obvious is a Bangalore-based digital product and strategy consulting firm. We do incredibly deep work that moves business metrics for a range of household-name organisations that you've heard of, in India and beyond. We're the first people that founders of technology unicorns get in touch with when they want to reimagine their ridesharing services' driver app, launch a completely new business for their multi-billion dollar e-commerce company, scale their hyper-local logistics company or launch a service that builds a new category entirely.
- More than 8 years of experience in digital design
- Portfolio of work samples for web and mobile applications
- More than 3-4 years of experience in managing and leading teams
A design leader at Obvious handles responsibilities in 5 key areas that follow.
- Sprints: Leads facilitation of the sprint by employing the tools used in the process to go from fuzzy ideas on day one of the sprint to a high quality user study on the final day. Identifies the right stakeholders for the sprint, and takes the responsibility of assembling a team. Directs the team’s effort towards solving high-risk-high-return problems, while ensuring that the outcomes of the sprint are measurable and convincingly align with client’s business objectives.
- Product Thinking: Demonstrates an understanding of overarching product objectives and ensures that design goals are tightly aligned with them. Measures impact and validates assumptions once design goals are met. Advocates for the end user, without compromising project health and timelines. Does not succumb to the pressure of feature creep. Instead, diligently works on simplification until there’s nothing left to take away. Works closely with other business units like engineering, marketing, customer support etc to shape a cohesive product vision.
- Concept Development: Demonstrates the ability to think laterally by finding multiple solutions to the same problem. Gives the team a judicious mix of conservative and risky ideas to work with. Identifies promising ideas and gets them quickly fleshed out to a great degree of detail to assess their viability before investing any time in designing a digital solution. Shapes the overall concept by tying together different solutions in a way that strongly resonates with the product vision. Propels the team forward by removing the occasional creative block by introducing techniques that facilitate exceptional brainstorming.
- Service Design: Actively works on improving the interactions between people, infrastructure and materials that go beyond just the digital touchpoints in order to improve the quality of interaction between the service, its users and partners. Ensures documentation of service flows, existing bottlenecks and potential solutions in a rich contextual format that provides the involved stakeholders with both a macroscopic and microscopic view of the service, making improvement opportunities obvious. Convinces involved stakeholders about the design team’s ability to solve problems beyond just the digital experience.
- Storytelling: Presents even the most complex ideas in simple, clear and concise ways, without losing pivotal parts of the process behind the ideas. Creates a compelling narrative through empathy, emotion and context, which resonates well with both the business and it’s customers. Uses this narrative to build trust with all involved stakeholders. Uses storytelling and presentations as forms of design facilitation to align on problems worth solving and to identify potential directions. Actively works on evolving storytelling as a practice at Obvious. Works closely with marketing and communication to convert stories into blogs or films.
- User Studies: Ensures that the user study is well organised. This includes everything from identifying the right set of users and fabricating the right study atmosphere (space, materials, recording equipment etc) to ensure that the users are well treated, compensated for their time etc. Ensures documentation of the study through video/audio recordings, pictures, co-creation artifacts, notes etc. Takes ownership of employing appropriate user interview techniques for different stages of inquiry. Example - for a product or a feature in its infancy, runs co-creation exercises centred around low fidelity paper prototypes to drive conversations with users and capture their thoughts. But for a product or a feature is in its final design stages, employs very high fidelity interactive prototypes to drive usability tests with little room for conversation, mimicking the real world setting where the users engage with the product without any external help. Identifies the hypotheses and assumptions behind design decisions and formutes effective tests to validate or disprove them. Identifies personal/organisational biases and keeps them out of the equation.
- Synthesis: Employs Obvious’ evidence-based process to synthesise observations into meaningful objective insights free of personal bias. Ensures documentation of all steps from observations to insights in a clear and transparent manner. Points out gaps in research and gets them filled via more information through subsequent research exercises and synthesis. Ensures the production of standalone artefacts that serve as guideposts for design decisions. Convinces clients to invest in key improvement opportunities unearthed by research findings and shapes the future of the engagement.
- Research Practices: Leads the team to carry out different research methodologies (like organisational research, generative research, usability research, data driven quantitative research) by applying them in appropriate contexts. Identifies which research methodologies would help solve the business problems being addressed. Owns the results of the research by ensuring that the research is never ambiguous, and leads to validation or invalidation of business assumptions. Collates research from different studies at Obvious and turns them into actionable reports. Through these reports leads the cause of design research and helps clients better understand how it can be helpful for their products.
- Information Architecture: Takes ownership of the overall product blueprint by ensuring information flows seamlessly across all user flows. Ensures clear mapping of information and its organisation on each screen via the principles of information hierarchy. Considers not just success states, but also failure states and dead-ends. Elevates product simplicity to the next level by resolving and converging all information to just a few screens. Architects the product at a multi-platform level and delivers seamless cross platform experiences by considering the marriage between different platforms. Possesses the creative confidence to break free from existing patterns, while ensuring the reason for such deviation is grounded in sound reasoning.
- Design Systems: Demonstrates an understanding of design systems by employing the practice effectively in work. Introduces new elements only when existing elements cannot be reused to serve the design intent. Ensures proper documentation of the system in the design and handoff tool (Figma, as of this writing) such that anyone at Obvious can jump into the project and get cracking without the need for a handover. Strives to build a design system that not only meets the present requirements, but can also accommodate future requirements with ease. Is mindful of scalability and ensures reasonable addition/subtraction of features does not break the system.
- Prototyping: Employs a variety of prototyping tools with fluency to build minimum-effort-maximum-return prototypes. For eg. if the prototype is intended to facilitate a co-creation session, a low fidelity paper prototype might suffice. Whereas if the prototype is intended to facilitate a usability study, a high fidelity interactive prototype with detailed interactions that mimic real product behaviour might be expected. Ensures that prototyping exercises are tightly aligned with business goals. Uses prototypes to clearly communicate design decisions to business and engineering teams.
- UX Writing: Ensures clear communication through short but explicit copy leaving no room for ambiguity. Ensures copy is written not just for the happy flows, but also for error states and dead-ends. Ensures that copy is consistent throughout the product and flows seamlessly between screens without any jerks in voice and tone. Brings out the personality and character of the product through creatively written copy.
- Brand Expression: Demonstrates a clear understanding of the client’s values and is able to turn them into a strong style guide coherent with the client’s brand. Uses strong design principles to augment existing brand guidelines keeping in mind brand legacy. Knows how to use/create a strong digital brand to positively influence user perception.
- Composition: Ensures the creation of compelling compositions through the use of layout, colour and typography with clear visual hierarchy. Ensures compositions make sense within the context and environment in which they will be used. Eg. - when designing a product that might be used while driving, thinks about effective use of typography for readability at a distance, effective use of colour and layout to manage attention. Ensures form doesn’t just follow function, but enhances it by blurring the lines between the two. Finds the balance between beauty and simplicity. Encourages experimentation with different visual styles. Takes ownership of ensuring that Obvious’ visual work does not become repetitive and mundane, without compromising established interaction patterns and human interface guidelines.
- Motion: Demonstrates an understanding of motion design principles. Employs motion design to create extraordinary experiences that go beyond delight and wow the users without compromising communication and clarity. Identifies instances where motion positively serves the intended purpose vs when motion deviates from it. Uses motion sparingly but effectively to enhance the overall solution.
- Planning: Ensures that the agile board truly represents the current state of the project. Resolves blockers by asking the relevant people for immediate clarity. Cuts out user stories with the client, estimates them exceptionally well, takes responsibility of their delivery and gets the client to accept or reject them regularly. Conducts regular iteration planning meetings. Ensures iterations are well planned, and all stakeholder voices are accounted for. Consistently checks the pulse of project by tracking project velocity. Does not let the project derail from the plan by constantly adjusting work, staffing and timelines.
- Communication: Fluently articulates design decisions through written and verbal communication at a high cadence. Ensures all communication is transparent and easily accessible for both internal and external stakeholders. Ensures all communication is actionable with clearly defined next steps at every stage of the project.
- Teamwork: Works well with not just designers but also with people from engineering, marketing, customer support etc. Empathises with them and seeks to understand their challenges that might go beyond product discussions. Stays honest and transparent in all situations. Works with people to identify the appropriate tasks for them and takes responsibility of their delivery on time. Builds strong cross-team relationships. Guides leadership from product, engineering, marketing, customer support etc to be more user-centred and strategically aligns design goals with their business objectives. Is highly perceptive of negative tension and takes proactive steps to resolve it. Through creative problem solving and reasoning grounded in facts, negotiates for the best interest of the team without compromising the interests of the client. Example - Obvious offers its designers a healthy work-life balance, which should not be compromised because the client wants the designer to work overtime. The client probably just wants a part of the project to move faster, which can simply be resolved through staffing or re-prioritisation of tasks. Propagates a design-first thinking culture in the client organisation. Helps them restructure or augment their internal design teams to lead the users’ cause in the long run.
- Feedback & Mentorship: Seeks out constant actionable feedback from the team. Demonstrates the ability to deliver critique positively by setting goals and gets the team to work towards them. Takes the initiative to provide constructive design feedback to peers and offers to help out when needed. Demonstrates a deep understanding of the nuances of critique by ensuring feedback is honest, actionable and motivating. Considers review to be a constant process, offers to share time and knowledge generously at a regular cadence. Employs Obvious’ conversation framework and owns or co-owns the review and mentorship process for the entire team. Identifies areas where reviews are not leading to improvements. Provides direction and mentorship by seeing the improvements through, as opposed to just giving feedback and forgetting about it. If needed, leads by example by stepping in and doing hands on work.
We're a people-first company, and our policies reflect that. For a full description of our current benefits, click through to the Benefits section of our playbook (https://playbook.obvious.in/employee-handbook/3-benefits-and-perks). In addition to the things that are described in our playbook, we are also proud of:
- Our craft-first approach
- Our strong focus on using empathy and collaboration as a means to find the right solutions
- Our ability to do all of this while maintaining balanced work hours
- A safe and diverse work environment that supports and allows people from under-represented groups to grow and thrive
Here's a short summary of the benefits that we offer:
- Paid time off - 25-30 days/year
- Paid Parental Leave of 3-6 months
- Healthcare (Medical and Accidental Insurance)
- Emotional Wellbeing Budget
- Support to speak at conferences/industry events
- A Continuing Education budget
- Matching Charitable Contributions