Product Design at Matillion: Meet Angela Boodoo
Angela Boodoo recently joined Matillion to lead our Product Design team. We sat down with her to learn more about her career, her role at Matillion, and what Product Design means to us.
Q.Tell us about yourself - Why did you choose a career in product design?
It all started with doing an undergraduate degree in Journalism. Communications intrigued me. Interviewing, gathering stories, and putting structure to those stories to engage listeners (via radio) and readers really ignited my interest in human interactions.
I came into design through writing content for the web - this was over 20 years ago now. I started with Channel 4, with a little-known programme called Big Brother! This was the first TV and Web broadcast of its kind, and I worked as one of the Web producers. We had an analytics package to see who was interacting with the content and then could play around with headlines and images to draw readers in. We relied on this back then, as there was no social media!
The combination of writing for the web and the analytics piece ensured I had transferable skills when I then ended up in the world of e-commerce, where I stayed for 10 years!
Q.What has kept you in a career in product design?
There’s so much to learn! The industry is constantly evolving, as am I as an individual, and my career path has been vertical and horizontal across the various experiences I’ve had. I’ve changed, and therefore my interests have as well.
As the industry and profession have developed, so too have people and their sophistication with online experiences. Because of this ever-changing world there’s always something new to learn, and building up experience across multiple different sectors becomes an interesting proposition - the ability to learn from one sector to another and apply those skills throughout is great.
For me, it’s not all about getting to management but about being curious and going with the expanding changes happening in the industry. The first 10 years in e-commerce were with global American companies; back then, it was difficult to find UK companies who did this sort of work, and it wasn’t easy to translate. I’m really pleased to say there’s been more understanding of the impact that design can bring to companies, and for that reason, there are far more opportunities now in the UK.
Q.Tell us about your role at Matillion
I’m the Product Design Director - my role essentially is to be a servant leader to my design teams, to firstly help my designers to become the best possible partners to our product team through ways of working, influencing what ends up on the product roadmap, and ensuring a strong partnership with delivering fantastic product experiences to our users.
The second piece is around being a member of the product senior leadership team, helping fellow product leaders to understand how to get the best out of designers as part of their product experiences, and importantly, ensuring that we are truly putting customers at the heart of what they do. Designers are the champions of customers, our users. Through a deep understanding of customers, they are ensuring we make the right decisions and can impact technically.
Q: What’s Matillion’s product Design strategy? What are the future plans for the team/org/design in general?
The team is going through a time of change right now because we have a growing set of products, and a growing set of product members, and for that reason, we have to evolve and formalise practices more.
The general vision for UX at Matillion and where we are today is that we want to be designing the world's best data experiences, where designers are the recognised authority, both internally and externally, on designing for data products and data experiences. We want to treat our design system as an internal product to benefit all of our products and turn this into something that is open source and externally facing so everyone can benefit from the learning experiences that led to designing data products.
Q.What does product Design mean to Matillion?
I’m hoping it means we have active and engaged customers through the experiences we deliver via our products. It means that we have a way and method of demonstrating that we deeply understand and care about where our customers are in their data journeys, which translates into an engaged, active user base.
Q.What are the main points of Matillion’s product design process?
It all starts with insights.
Firstly, understand the bigger picture through generative insights and how those influence and impact roadmaps. Discovery is very important.
Secondly, turning what we find into tangible prototypes, testing those and working with our cross-discipline stakeholders to work to a Minimum Loveable experience. There’s a common term in Product - Minimum Viable Product (MVP). As a designer, it’s important to talk about loveable - if our users and customers are indifferent to what we are delivering. We are not producing useful and elegant designs, then they will go to a competitor.
We then go from prototyping to building out and articulating what our MLP looks like, and we also ensure within the design team that we have design critiques, feedback from design peers, and also peer design working with engineers.
Q.What are the next trends of UX Design and what excites you about the future?
From a data perspective, I am very interested in the emergence of contextual analytics - embedding data displays into core workflows - and the resulting impact on data visualisation and reducing reliance on separate pre-populated dashboards.
I don’t know if this is considered a trend but I am interested in the opportunities of combining UI and command line interface interactions to support users' preferences with manipulating data. While we do provide low-code interaction experiences for line of business users, I have seen and heard many preferences for those more experienced with coding languages.
Q.How do you measure success?
We know we’ve been successful in a product experience if our users can intuitively complete the tasks they hoped in the first attempt; they are using and making the most of features; as they progress in their skill being able to leverage and extend their interactions and adapt to future needs is always a great sign that we have designed for long term progression.
To learn more about Product Design at Matillion or hear more about current job opportunities, please contact [email protected]
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