Design Chit-Chat Vol. 1 – Yagi

What is Design Chit Chat?

PayPay has become service popular nationwide, with 41 million users. One of the essential aspects for creating such a great product at PayPay is its diverse cast of Product Division members from over 35 countries around the world.

Through the process of bringing together members with global-level technical skills and understanding the differences and commonalities of each other’s way of thinking, we have transformed into a team that is capable of creating completely new concepts, approaches, and outputs. Design Talks is a series of interviews with members of the Design Team at PayPay to provide you with as direct a picture of the team and the atmosphere of production as possible.
Maki Aoyagi

Aka “Yagi-san.” Senior Manager of the Design Department, Product Division. Joined Yahoo Japan Corporation in 2008, where she was in charge of, among other things, designing the Yahoo! Japan app. Seconded to PayPay in July 2019, where she was in charge of the PayPay app design as the on-site supervisor. In April 2020, she transferred to PayPay Corporation and was promoted to her current position in May 2021.

What is your team and what does that team do?

There are about 15 members in the Product Design Team, which is divided into three sub-teams. My team mainly designs for the PayPay app, online payments, mini-app platform, and app/web for merchants, with various projects running concurrently for each structure or feature. Designers are assigned to work on each project.

What are the recent projects you have worked on?

I was in charge of launching the PayPay mini-app platform, releasing the PayPay App Style Guide, and releasing the “Save PayPay Bonus” feature.


PayPay App Style Guide : https://app-style-guide.paypay.ne.jp/
What made you become a designer?

I have loved drawing since I was a small child, and I was always drawing pictures at home and at school. When I was in high school, I ran a website that distributed my drawings as wallpapers for mobile phones.
I had a vague idea that I wanted to be an illustrator or cartoonist in the future, so I set my sights on art school, but after receiving various inputs at a preparatory school for art school entrance exams, I spontaneously decided to become a designer.

What is your process to generate ideas?

I process of coming up with ideas varies from designer to designer, but in my case, I draw them on paper and ask for feedback from others. The first step is to organize the challenges and requirements by writing them all down in words on paper and arranging them side by side, and then to draw diagrams and put them into user stories, flows, and wireframes.
Once I have a rough wireframe, I start working with the computer and use Figma to bring my ideas into shape.
It’s a very analog process, but I continue to draw on paper because I feel it’s a ritualistic way to organize my thinking and open the drawer with ideas.
Once the idea has taken shape to some extent, I show it to the Design Team and other members of the project to get their feedback to refine it. At PayPay, we have members of various nationalities and backgrounds working together, so I often get feedback that leads to new insights.
I also get to learn about apps from different countries and learn from that.


Hand-drawn sketches and idea drafts for the “save bonus” feature
What do you value in creating a product at PayPay?

Users being most important, and a need for the product to be released as quickly as possible.
Every project starts with designing the user experience.
After designing the ideal user experience, we incorporate user feedback through user testing and interviews, and then give shape to it. As for a new feature or ones requested by users, we release them and then continue to make improvements while monitoring user responses.

What challenge do you want to undertake at PayPay in the future?

I want to change users’ money life for the better with PayPay.
I have been designing and developing the PayPay app with the goal of upgrading the lives of PayPay users to be better and more convenient.
Considering the fact that barcode payments were barely noticeable until a few years ago, I think that the payment experience in our daily lives has changed considerably.
In the future, I would like to take on the challenge of making the experience of not just paying, but also managing and increasing money more convenient and fun, so that they become common practice.

Message to those looking to apply for a job at PayPay

The experience of making payments is a part of our daily lives, and it is an area that can still be upgraded. Designing to support users’ daily lives and make them more convenient is very challenging and exciting.
Also, as mentioned above, there are many members with different nationalities working together at PayPay, so you can get a lot of input from them. Through collaboration with other members, you can come up with ideas that you would not be able to come up with on your own. Let’s take on the challenge of upgrading the lives of users together.
Thank you for reading to the end!

A Day in the life of Yagi-san
09:45
Play with my beloved dog while making coffee.
10:00
Start work.
Check Slack and emails.
Check the to-do list for the day.
Design review and creative check for team members.
11:00
Progress status sharing meeting with team members via Zoom.
Share this week’s tasks and issues with each other.
12:00
Lunch at a local restaurant when the weather is nice, and if I have time.
Play with my beloved dog.
13:00
Attend meetings for the project I am involved with.
14:00
1on1 meeting with a team member (once a week).
16:00
Design work and preparation of presentation materials.
If I’m stuck for ideas, I consult with project members on Slack.
When I get tired, I take a 15-minute coffee break and play with my beloved dog.
19:00
Design review and creative check for team members.
Create a to-do list for the next day.
20:00
Leave work.
See our currently available open positions here 【REMOTE】Product Designer(UI/UX)
Written and Supervised and Cover design by YAGI / Logo design by Sekki / Edited by Takashi
*Employees’ affiliations are current as of the time of the interview.