Digital Product Design digital product from analog age

I design and create digital products from simple apps to whole services. Coming from a human-centric perspective I support projects from first ideas to evolving digital products. I worked for more than 15 years in a lot of fields like spatial experiences, data visualization, exhibition design, digital services and products. Some would say I'm a design generalist, I prefer to say I'm a part-time specialist.

In my work, it is important to have the user always in focus, but I also keep the business side in mind. I'm interested in technology since I'm a child. I'm fascinated by technological development, but at the same time have always been critical about shallow trends and negative aspects of the technological age. With my very broad background and technical experience, I love to work in a lot of fields, be it a service, a completely digital product or an IoT device. Even better if it is a mix of everything above or something completely new.

Product Development

Creating a new product is always really exciting. But looking into an already existing product and figure out where this product could create even more value is even a bigger challenge. I support companies with workshops, design sprints, everything around UX design or just an outsiders perspective. With my work experience, I'm also not foreign to lead teams and align everybody to a common goal.

UX Design

I design digital products always with the whole picture in mind. Incorporating user research, technical limitations and strategic goals are in the heart of my design work. When to align with standards and when to diverge into new fields is an ongoing question in today's UX design. I create user journeys, product maps, information architecture, prototypes, detailed screen designs and everything in between.

Technology

Following the latest trends, looking into new tools and systems and broadening my knowledge of technology is something I find myself doing when I have spare time. Since I used a lot of tools and programmed some myself in my career, I don't hesitate to dabble around with new things when I think they have potential. So I try to look into the most sensible technical solution if I work on a project. It could be established design tools or also a custom solution for exactly the job to be done.

Business

For me, it is important to have also the business side in mind. Thinking strategical about a new product or feature. And by business, I don't mean just money, but also what are the company values, what are strategic goals, how is the constellation of the team and also individual factors. Looking outside and inside of the company is a key part of the success of a product.

Design Systems puzzle piece

Design Systems enable product teams to create new product features in a fast and economical way. To create a design system, it is not just necessary to design and develop styles and components, but also to create a community around it. I help to create design systems from the ground up or get your design system to the next level. I offer workshops, consulting, talks and creative work around the topic of design systems. Just get in touch and we have a chat on how to fix your design system needs.  

Components

Creating components, name them, structure them and review them can be a tricky thing. I created and consulted on a number of design systems for different platforms in various technical environments. Especially having strategies for an up to date component library is the focus of my work.

Teams

Design Systems are not just a design sticker sheet or a repository of coded components. It is as important to a have a team and workflows around the design system to get the most value out of it. Design system teams usually have a mixture of roles and responsibilities. I understand the different motivations and challenges for design, engineering, and business and have experience getting them into one shared goal. 

Tools

There are more and more software products, tools and frameworks on the market for creating digital products and managing teams and workflows around them. I've seen a lot of them in action and review new tools from time to time. Since I'm a designer and also wrote and read a lot of code I can shed insights on what tools to choose and what is an interesting product but just not the right fit for your situation. Integrating a design system into your individual technical setup is the target.

Processes & Workflows

Working with design systems in agile teams is important for the success of product development. I co-create processes and workflows with the team to achieve an alive design system. But I don't fetishize on processes and complex workflow management. Processes should ease discussions and enable people to create the best work possible. I think it is key that people communicate with each other and workflows can help to keep meetings and distractions down. Creating a culture around the design system is essential for my work. 

What I can't do Exploding Head Emoji

But there are also fields, where I'm probably not the best candidate to hire. I'm really not good at illustration, for example. Also if you look for a high-end visual designer who concentrates on the aesthetics of UI design, I could help there and have an educated opinion, but probably a visual designer by heart is the better choice to hire. If you look for a front- or back-end-developer I must honestly say I just have not enough programming routine to work in this role.

So I just want to say, even if I'm a more generalistic designer, I'm not good at everything and quite bad at some stuff. So if you want to know if I'm the right candidate, just get in touch and we have an honest talk if I'm the person you are looking for or if I know somebody from my network who is a better fit.

© 2019 Christoph Steinlehner