Aliza jumps user first into Product Design18 March 2020
In this interview, we speak with Aliza Markovitch, a Product Designer who joined Delivery Hero 1.5 years ago. Aliza shares her journey from starting as an intern to becoming the sole designer on her team.
Hey Aliza, when did you decide to pursue a career in Product Design and what inspired you to do so?
I originally started in Graphic Design, which is a very common path for Product Designers. I was interested in switching to Product because it lets you dig a bit deeper. It’s not only about aesthetics, you solve real people’s problems. You also have to balance user needs and business goals. This can be challenging at times, but it’s also really rewarding. You create stuff that thousands of people use every day. Not to mention the tons of opportunities out there, especially in the tech industry.
Why did you decide to work for Delivery Hero?
The opportunity came up at the perfect time. I had just moved to Berlin and was looking for an opportunity to make a career transition. At the time, DH had an internship opening. It was the perfect chance for me to get my foot in the door and gain some real experience.
How did you develop your career at Delivery Hero?
I started as a product design intern and after six months I was promoted to an associate position. Currently, I work on the Restaurant Partner Solutions (RPS) team. We work on the product that restaurants use to receive orders. I am responsible for all phases of the design process.
Tell me about the newest thing you’ve learned that has improved your design work?
When I first started in Product, I was used to working in silo. Getting tasks, finishing them, and handing off the final designs. But product design is much more iterative and collaborative.
You have to work through your ideas in more defined steps and involve your team in every stage of the process. It’s like a three-legged race, you have to take each step together or you’ll all fall. Which means you need to have a defined process.
Of course, there are common practices among designers such as gathering requirements, brainstorming solutions, developing mockups and prototyping. However, until you live it and breathe it and refine your own ways of getting the solution, then you don’t really know.
What exciting projects are you currently working on?
Redesigning the restaurant application was a really exciting project I completed last quarter. Redesigns are always fun for designers. You can think aspirationally and have the opportunity to make significant improvements to a product that thousands of people use every day.
It was great because I had the opportunity to put into practice all my learnings over the past year and the first time I got to go through all the phases of the product design process. It was challenging at times and made a lot of mistakes but I learned a lot about what I am capable of but reaffirmed my interest in developing my career as a product designer.
The best part was when I got to travel to Asia to test my designs with our actual restaurant partners! It was cool to meet our users in person within their real working environments – developing a clearer picture and reminding me of who I am designing for every day.
What kind of new team members are you looking for?
Right now we’re looking for a UI Designer. We have never had a dedicated visual designer! We’re a small team of product designers, who work on all aspects of the design process. But as we expand, we plan to start branching out our team into more specialized roles. For example, you have your UX Writer who focuses on the copy, a designer who specializes in motion, and a UX Researcher who understands user needs and validates our ideas.
As a new position on the team, it means whoever joins will be the first one to do this role. They can define the role and make it what it will be.
What is your advice to people who want to pursue a career in Product Design?
Whenever you switch careers, you’re in this “catch 22” situation of “I need experience to get experience, but I don’t have any experience!”. So no one will consider you, because you’ve never done the job. It can seem like a helpless situation. I guess you have to be okay with taking a step back in order to jump ahead. Although I knew I had to cut my salary to do an internship at Delivery Hero, within a year and a half I was back where I left off.
It was an investment. My advice would be, don’t be too proud! You can always go back to school, start with an internship, or get an entry-level position.
Another piece of advice would be to create your own projects for your portfolio. That way, you can show off your design potential. You could then bring this design work to interviews and show your interest and creativity to the interviewers! Create your own opportunities, prove that you’re interested.
All in all, it’s been a really interesting journey so far and I must say that I was lucky with this opportunity at Delivery Hero, but I also believe that as long as you are passionate about something, you can always find a way to earn money and experience doing what you love!
Thank you, Aliza! I’m hoping that through this interview, we have provided a little more information and guidance to anyone who is starting out their career as a Product Designer.
If you are interested in joining the team, have a look at some of our open positions in Product Design: