Introducing User-Centric Mindsets: An Interview with Gal
In this episode…from daily challenges to her love for psychology and human behavior, Gal shares what led her to a career in UX.
Name: Gal Agmon
Hometown: Tel Aviv
Role at Usabilla: Senior Product Designer
Office Location: Amsterdam
How would you define your role?
I call myself a Product Designer.
Within a given day, I touch upon everything from UX research and strategy to UI and interaction design. As I see it, a Product Designer is shaping each element of the product: what it is, how it looks and how it feels.
To help you visualize, let’s take the example of designing a chair. You pick the color of the chair and the material; that’s visual design. You then choose the shape of the chair, which represents the user interface. That decision is made based on the interaction expected from that chair, aka interaction design.
To understand the interaction the user will have with the chair, you need to understand for whom you are designing it and why. For me, this means I need to speak to the end user. By observing and analyzing, I can grasp what chair I can make that will both serve their needs and stand out from the rest, while still sticking to standards so that it’s comfortable.
In the end, you may discover that they actually need a sofa.
When did you start your career as a UX Designer?
I’ve always had an interest in visual design with a focus on innovation, as well as creative and critical thinking in general. When I studied Visual Communication in Israel, I envisioned becoming an illustrator or graphic designer and working for some cultural institute or at an artsy magazine.
It was really my love for psychology and studying human behavior that led me to UX. I was a guide in the scouts and commander in the army back home, which definitely fueled the move toward human interaction and UX design as a career path.
How long have you been with Usabilla?
When I first moved to Amsterdam, I worked for a start-up as a UX/UI Designer. I then found Usabilla, and that’s where I really focused on design thinking. I’ve been here for 2 years now.
I started as a UI Designer with my first project of redesigning the feedback form and smileys. I’m also proud to have started the concept team at Usabilla, which is a multidisciplinary group of people who needed to come up with the long term vision for the Usabilla product. The 4 of us started as a separate team, but now we are integrated within the actual Scrum teams.
What is a scrum team?
The product development teams in Usabilla are based on an ‘Ask, Analyze, Act’ framework, which means each of these groups has a Product Owner, as well as Back-End Developers, Front-End Developers and a UX Designer. I’m the UX Designer for the Analyze team.
What are some of your sources of inspiration (brands, people, etc.)?
My users. Whether it’s a product evaluation call or concept/user testing, I try to talk to at least one user a week. Talking to people, you can better connect the dots of the full story and not just the problem itself. This way, I can understand from a holistic view how to solve something.
I take a lot of UX inspiration from other tools that are not necessarily in my field. This helps me innovate and be a bit more creative by analyzing successful components and user flows and reinterpreting them into my domain or users’ needs.
I also just love products that use micro-interactions and humor in their designs. They have a place and big role even in a B2B company like Usabilla. Tools like Slack, Asana, Intercom and Mailchimp are great, for instance.
What has been the biggest challenge as a UX Designer?
Building a new platform for the Usabilla product was a big decision. In the past year, we had to make a change in order to take things to the next level.
From a holistic view we wanted to put design at the heart of the organization and place user needs first so we could make the best platform we could. This led to the decision that we needed to restructure, which entails a lot of conversations and communication with development, design and product but also big decisions from management.
What is your goal with this User-Centric Mindsets series?
A lot of our customers are dealing with things I deal with every day, which is trying to get design at the center of your organization. Making features and product development by understanding users better on a day to day basis is the goal.
From big things to small things like accessibility and elements of UX design to the design process and design thinking, it’d be nice to share ongoing learnings with like-minded people. I’m looking forward to it!
What makes Usabilla unique is that each person on the digital teams of our customers is empowered to easily set up a form, ask questions and very quickly get responses that they can then act upon.
Because of how Usabilla is designed, anyone can quickly draw insights and understand what their users need. It’s no longer the job of a user researcher to set up a survey, gather insights and eventually inform the rest of the team.
Everyone, regardless of their role, has accountability for their users’ feedback. This shared responsibility among people to know their users best is what makes our customers at Usabilla so user-centric and strong.