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Design Chit-Chat Vol. 4 – Kikuko Iwasaki

Tak

02/24/2022

What is Design Chit-Chat?

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, Kiku-san joined the interview.

Kikuko Iwasaki

Member of the Design Department, Product Division. AKA “Kiku.” She joined Yahoo Japan Corporation in 2013 and worked as a designer for Yahoo! JAPAN Shopping. She was seconded to PayPay in January 2019 and transferred to PayPay Corporation in April 2020.


What is your team and what does it do?

I am the lead of Team C, which is responsible for designing PayPay for Business, an (web) app for merchants. In addition to task management and quality control of the team, I work on new features related to PayPay My Store and improvements to the overall tool.


PayPay for Business
What made you become a designer?

I always liked to make things, and when I was a child, I attended a kind of arts and crafts class in my neighborhood. Anything and everything was allowed in the classroom, so I freely enjoyed drawing pictures and making dioramas, and vaguely thought that I would like to have a creative job.

I studied information science at university, where I had opportunities to come into contact with content that I had never known before, like interaction design (a method of designing interactions between users and products). I was fascinated by the fun of being able to create from scratch digitally by myself, and the wide range of things I could express. From there, I began considering working in this field, and now here I am.

What projects have you recently worked on?

I was in charge of renewing the web version of PayPay for Business and the design of “Recommended Settings” that simplifies the creation of PayPay coupons.
PayPay for Business is a business tool and has a lot of complex content, so we try to make it as easy to understand and use as possible.


The “Recommended Settings” rolled out in October 2021(press release
How do you come up with ideas?

I make it a point to just get input. In addition to researching competitors, I talk to our members. Folks at PayPay come from various backgrounds, so by talking to them, I can often get ideas that I wouldn’t be able to figure out on my own.

After that, I create a draft proposal while identifying the requirements. Due to the nature of the service, many of the requirements can be tricky, so I basically write them out once by hand and then convert them into data.

After creating the draft, I will share it with the members and get feedback from them, then from the PMs and people in other roles, to brush it up.

What do you prioritize when creating a product at PayPay?

I value speed. Of course, it is important to improve quality, but the speed at which PayPay creates things is very fast. So, I think there is a culture of producing something first and then getting feedback, rather than aiming for perfection.
We often discuss while looking at the design flow on-site. I feel that it’s very important to have information that can be visually understood by the members of the team, including PMs and engineers, since we speak different languages and have different cultures.

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

PayPay has been creating new things at a rapid pace, but there is still a lot of work to be done to improve it. We want to keep up the momentum and continue to provide new features, as well as improve the quality to make it a more user-friendly tool!

A message for people considering to apply to PayPay

I joined PayPay two months after it was released, and since then, the number of users and merchants kept on increasing. Now, more and more people around me, like my family and friends, tell me that they use it and that it’s convenient. I find working on this tool very rewarding not only as a PayPay member, but also as a user, and I hope that PayPay will continue to be an indispensable tool in our lives.

Also, since PayPay has many members with various backgrounds, I’m often stimulated in so many ways. I’m not saying this only for design and work. Everyone respects each other’s culture, and I feel that it’s a very comfortable environment.

I’m looking forward to having more people on the PayPay team who can take on challenges together with us.
Thank you for reading all the way to the end!

A day in the life of Kiku-san
Morning
Have breakfast and water the plants before work
10:00
Make tea and start work
11:00
Share and review designs with team members
until 13:00
Design work
13:00
Lunch (explore nearby restaurants when I have time)
14:00
Design work
16:00
Attend meetings for the project I’m involved in
19:00
Design review, check wordings, organize tasks
20:00
Wrap up. お疲れ様でした (otsukaresama deshita)!
現在募集中のポジション Product Designer
Author: Kikuko Iwasaki / Supervisor: YAGI / Editor: Tak
Translator: Seiko / Translation Editor: Justin
*Employees’ affiliations are as of the time of the interview.