As part three of our month-long International Women’s Day celebration, we would like to introduce you to Irene, one of our amazing Product Designers. She is one of the designers behind the much-wanted and loved audio recording feature we recently shipped. Read on to learn more about what it’s like to be a product designer at GoodNotes and Irene’s advice for women who want to make it in the tech industry!
Hi Irene! We can’t wait to hear more about your experience at GoodNotes! First of all, can you tell us what you do here?
I am a Senior Digital Product Designer, meaning I get to design how the app looks and behaves. It is a pretty nice job, as I also get to meet lots of our users to understand what they want to see next in the app. I work remotely from Amsterdam.
What are you most proud of in your career, so far?
Finding a work and life balance that works for me and continuously learning new things. I had never imagined I could learn so many of the skills I got today.
As a product designer at GoodNotes, is there anything you specifically designed in the app? It must be so exciting to see your work in real life that way!
Yes! I still think it’s surreal to see how users work with the software I got to co-design. I recently worked on the newest Audio Recording feature, which was a big one for us to get right. We are so excited to see how well it is being adopted. The feedback we receive is very constructive and helps us make it even better!
How do you think diversity can impact product design and development?
I think the more diverse our backgrounds and contexts are, the more diverse our ideas will be. This is key in any product development, to avoid blind spots or biases that lead to building the ‘wrong thing’. Challenging each other’s ideas is the best way to refine them.
When you were interviewing for new jobs, why did you choose to join GoodNotes?
I was very impressed throughout the whole process about how talented everyone working here is. I knew the app before joining, but I love it even more now that I get to see how it’s built. Oh, and it is one of the few companies I have seen that gets remote working right.
Have you found GoodNotes supportive when it comes to your growth and development as a product designer?
Yes indeed. I have had many opportunities to take ownership of relevant work for my personal growth, as well as the necessary training and learning material I seek. Within my team, there is also a great coaching culture- so we support each other constantly
Were there any specific skills or traits that helped you when interviewing with GoodNotes?
I think we really value honest and clear communication, as well as having a proactive attitude toward your work. We are all very autonomous, so ownership is key.
What questions do you think women in tech should be asking in interviews regarding diversity and inclusion?
It is key to understand how decisions are made in the company, and how the leadership team takes on board the team’s input.
What advice would you give other women wanting to reach their career goals in technology?
To find great allies! I wish I had known this earlier. For any minority group, it is key not to just deliver your best work, but also have people around you that amplify your voices.
Who is a woman you admire/look up to or want to thank?
I wouldn’t be able to choose, there are many I have met throughout my career. I love chatting with any women in leadership and appreciate all the advice they have given me, especially about prioritizing my ambitious goals and not feeling shame about it
What’s your favorite perk at GoodNotes?
I love being able to work asynchronously while staying in close contact with my colleagues.
What do you think are the most important things our community should know about what it’s like to work at GoodNotes?
That we are a lot closer than you would imagine! It is crazy to think that I haven’t met most of my colleagues I talk to daily in person, but GoodNotes facilitates communication and cross-collaboration in a great way. Also, our culture is pretty healthy and we promote a healthy work/life balance
What does an average workday look like for you?
No day is the same! But if I had to describe one, I would say mornings are usually the busiest time as that’s when my hours overlap with colleagues who are in the Asia timezone.
The Design team has weekly sessions where we share our work and give feedback to each other and I love seeing what everyone is up to! Next, I catch up with on any messages and emails, before I go into focus-mode before my lunch break starts. I like cooking a nice meal, whenever possible, or I go for a walk in my local park. I love seeing the different seasons in Amsterdam!
In the afternoons I have more focus time, to work out different designs or research reports. I jump in casual huddles to chit-chat with my colleagues and collaborate on work. My day usually ends with an alignment session with my cross-functional colleagues, where we discuss the progress of our projects and priorities.