PayPay Inside-Out People and Culture

2 Principles that PayPay UI Designers Value – Hong Du


What is Design Chit-Chat?

With 42 million users, PayPay has become a popular service nationwide. One essential aspect that made possible the creation of such a great product is the diverse cast of Product Division members from over 35 countries. By bringing together people with top-notch technical skills and understanding the differences and commonalities of each other’s way of thinking, the team has transformed into a group that is capable of creating totally new concepts, approaches, and outputs. Design Chit-Chat is a series of interviews with members of the Design Team at PayPay to provide you with as intimate a picture of the team as possible and the spirit with which they go about their work.

This time, Hong-san joined the interview. Make sure to also check another interview he appeared in!
“The Challenges of Creating a New App Design for the Ever-Evolving PayPay”

Hong Du

Product Designer

Hailing from Vietnam, he moved to Japan in 2015 where he has been residing ever since. He worked as a designer at a real estate company, investment management startup, and a major Japanese company in education-related services. He joined PayPay in February 2021.

What is your team and what does it do?

In Design 1, which I’m a member of, we are mainly in charge of the PayPay Consumer app and I’m involved in improving the UI on a daily basis. I’m also member of side projects to create a design system and drive UX.

What made you become a designer?

When I was in middle school, the internet was not yet prevalent. But it was beginning to spread worldwide, so when I first came into contact with the internet, I became enamored with the world connected by hyperlinks. I even bought a book about FrontPage (a super-old web production tool) and started studying it on my own.

Come to think of it, from that time on, I became determined to work in the internet industry when I grew up.

There were some ups and downs after that, but I managed to major in software engineering at university and worked as an engineer after graduation. But my desire to solve user problems through design grew so strong that I decided to become a product designer.

What projects have you recently worked on?

The new home screen rolled out in June 2021 (press release)

I’m in charge of renewing the PayPay app’s home screen, which I believe many people are familiar with. As the first phase of the renewal project, the home screen was redesigned in June this year. We plan on releasing more new features to make the users’ PayPay app experience a lot smoother.

Other than that, I’m also working on two other side projects: design system building and PayPay UX Lab (UX promotion). In the design system building project, we redefined what the ideal PayPay app would look like, and developed design concepts, principles, UI component libraries, and rules for managing and using them. In the latter project, PayPay UX Lab, we’ve put in place internal UX research processes and operations, as well as work on projects within the Product Division and link up with other departments to promote UX practices.

How do you come up with ideas?

We often hold workshops at PayPay. Design is not something that a designer can create on his/her own, so I brainstorm and ideate (a design process to draw out original ideas from the team) with teammates and colleagues.
Adding to that, we don’t just focus on ideas, but also consider various things, like whether the issues are clear and we are correctly focusing on them, or whether an idea is reasonable and realistic, before finally putting all the concepts together and incorporating it into the design.

What do you prioritize when creating a product at PayPay?

Yagi-san also mentioned it in Design Chit-Chat Vol. 1, but at PayPay, we put users first and put a lot of weight on speed.

Users first: We always start designing user experiences by asking ourselves whether we are producing something that is worthwhile for the users. Alongside that, we listen in on the users’ opinions, analyze data, and do research, then repeatedly modify the design and verify its usability. After repeating the cycle several times, we release the polished and finalized design to our users.

Speed: When there are new features and requests, we make it a point to deliver it to users ASAP. Rather than taking time to create something perfect, we use a trial-and-error approach and make improvements regularly.

What sort of challenges do you want to take on in PayPay?

As I mentioned, we are constantly improving the PayPay app. Our plate is pretty full with new challenges at the moment, like trying to make it easier and quicker to provide users with the information they want to know and the features they want to use, so stay tuned in on further updates. We also will give it our best to promote UX practices and establish an internal research process.

A message for people considering a job at PayPay

PayPay is more than just a payment function. It has quite a few useful services. Plus, not only does it support the daily lives of 42 million users, but it also offers unlimited possibilities for service development.
I think the diversity of the teams is also very attractive and it’s great to work in an environment where we can respect each other so much despite our cultural differences. By the way, I’ve made a lot of friends with shared hobbies since I joined PayPay, in addition to colleagues I work together with!
I look forward to taking on many different challenges with you when you join PayPay! Thank you for reading all the way to the end!

A day in the life of Hong-san
Take a walk and exercise before work
Brew some coffee and start working
Plan with project managers (PM) the research and design of new features
Remote lunch with the Design Team
Join the Design Team’s Design Review
Check specs and interim deliverables of features under development with PM and engineers
Review recently rolled out features with project members
Design work
Wrap up

See our currently available open positions here

Author: Hong / Supervisor: YAGI / Editor: Tak
*Employees’ affiliations are as of the time of the interview.