Seldon Team Spotlight: Ashwiwi Arumugam

Welcome back to the Seldon Team Spotlight, where you’ll get an inside look at the talented individuals that make up the Seldon team. Join us as we dive into the stories, experiences, and motivations behind our team. Today, we’re excited to interview Product Designer Ashwini Arumugam

Check out the interview below!

Introduction & Background

Can you briefly describe your role and responsibilities?

As a product designer at Seldon, my primary responsibility is to advocate for the adoption of design thinking methodologies throughout the Seldon enterprise product lifecycle.

I’m deeply involved in conducting comprehensive user research, diving into the needs and behaviors of our users to capture insights that inform and enhance the design process. I follow design thinking methodologies, empathizing, defining, ideating, prototyping, and testing to deliver top-tier products to our customers.

Additionally, I collaborate extensively between product teams, technical teams, and other cross-functional teams to promote a shared understanding of user needs and business vision and craft solutions that resonate with users.

How did you get into UX design? 

My professional journey began in backend development, where I specialized in development and production support for mainframe applications working in the telecom, banking, and insurance domains.

Along the way, I discovered a passion for design and self-tought through online resources available on User Experience Design (UX). I pursued a course in Human Computer Interaction on Coursera, where I applied UX design principles to a project, engaged in peer reviews, and embraced an iterative design approach.

To comprehend market demands for the UX designer role, I participated in Human Factors International (HFI) training.

I secured my first job as a UX designer at a mid-sized company based on my learned UX skills and experience working within complex enterprise domains. I refined my design skills by working on various enterprise products and adhering to design principles.

What was it that interested you about working at Seldon?

At Seldon, the opportunity to work on emerging technology software is what interested me the most. The second was to work in a startup environment, where there is increased responsibility and the potential to make a swift and tangible impact. Lastly, the company’s offerings and the ease of commuting to work were also important considerations for me.

The Day-to-Day of being a Product Designer at Seldon

What does a typical day look like for you at work?

My typical day involves engaging with various tools:

Figjam: Creating documents from the ideation, research, and analysis phase. This may include collaborative brainstorming sessions, user interview guides, user research insights, and reports, user personas, workflows, card sorting exercises, customer journey maps, etc.

Figma: Creating interactive prototypes using layout and components from the design system, addressing feedback from product owners and tech teams, and annotating design choices.

Jira: Writing design stories, understanding functional requirements from product owners, updating design documents, sharing prototype links, design critique sessions, and development handover.

Feedly: I use this RSS reader to stay informed about emerging trends and the latest articles published in the field of design.

What does the team structure look like?

The design team at Seldon is aligned with the product team. Presently, the design team consists of myself as the UX-focused product designer. We are currently on the lookout for another product designer to join me. I report to Tanu Chellam, VP Product.

How does the product department collaborate with other teams or departments to implement the product roadmap?

The product roadmap is crafted by aligning business objectives and user requirements and incorporating insights from all stakeholders, including technical and design teams. It involves breaking down these insights into actionable tasks and prioritizing them based on their potential impact, time requirements, and effort. These tasks are further translated into stories within the Jira backlog and then assigned to the respective teams.

The implementation follows a two-week sprint process, adhering to agile methodologies. This includes participating in stand-ups, scrum ceremonies, and design critique sessions.

Making an Impact 

How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements in your field, and how does this translate into your role?

Around 40% of my time is dedicated to research, which includes secondary research like reading articles on design and machine learning topics and competitor analysis. I rely on Feedly, a news aggregator, to read design articles from various sites that are of interest to me. I’m also invested in training on ML/AI to improve business domain knowledge and emerging technology trends through online courses.

This continuous learning directly influences my role by ensuring that my designs align with current user expectations and industry standards.

Culture & Values At Seldon

What do you enjoy most about working at Seldon?

What I enjoy most about working at Seldon is the hybrid model that supports a more balanced approach to work and the ability to manage my hours with flexibility. Additionally, the absence of micromanagement is refreshing. I appreciate that Seldon is implementing a work management process to ensure better alignment on goals and deliverables across teams.

Do you have the opportunity to go to any product conferences to represent Seldon? 

Absolutely. I intend to participate in design conferences over the next few months. There’s a dedicated budget set aside for learning and development, which includes training, conferences, or workshops.

Want to join Ashwini and the rest of the Seldon team? Check out some of our open opportunities here.