This is my last week at Traceable, and the journey and learning have been amazing. I joined Traceable in October 2021. I was one of the first interns at Traceable, and I had been looking forward to it.

As a Designer, I knew could challenge myself, as API security is a relatively new domain. And because of the pandemic, the whole work from home setup was new for me — as well as everyone.

My onboarding was very smooth, thanks to the amazing folks at Traceable! Into the first week, I was taken into a deep-dive about what Traceable does and what we aim to do. As I do not have much of a technical background, I had to understand how the product works. Even if I took a bit of time to understand, everyone at Traceable took out time and helped me answer even my silliest questions! They were patient, whenever I had a doubt or an issue about the product. Everyone is just a Slack away! Just a ping and there will always be someone or other who will there to help you out.

As I am about to complete this journey, I would like to share few of my reflections and learnings along the way.

Questions? More the Merrier!

Never shy away from asking questions. From the vision, to the goal, to every feature, to the customer, ask as many questions as possible. With every question you ask, you have more clarity and you are more informed. It becomes imperative that you have clear understanding, to take on the design decisions while you are designing the product. Ask the same questions to different stakeholders and colleagues. It helps you get more perspective. When the product is new, if not a nascent stage, it is bound to happen that everyone has a different view on how one should approach the goal, which eventually helps to make better decisions.

Eye is in the Detail

It is important to when the product is complex in nature to detail and note each and every detail. This will help to understand the product and make quick and better changes. But it will also help o make faster decisions and quicker iterations. It is important to ingrain this exercise on a daily basis until it becomes a habit.

Keep Documenting

Documenting is good hygiene. As we are in the very initial phases of the product, we have to keep iterating. And in order to make better design decisions it becomes imperative to document each iteration. It also helps when you convey and discuss ideas with developers, product managers and other team mates. Documentation helps you contextualize and deliver your thoughts, which in turn helps them understand how your design decisions will help the user reach their business objectives.

Constant Iteration is the Key

When you are in the initial phases of the product, being iterative in the design process becomes important and significant. Quicker iterations help to better form the ideas, with quicker customer feedback, testing and refining of the product. As a designer, it also challenges you and improves your design process and skills exponentially.

Small Things Matter, it’s a Reflection of the Company Culture.

Work from home has been challenging for everyone, even though things are better than before because of the pandemic. It has been a task to manage and balance work and personal life. And as a company, Traceable made it so much easier, be it flexible work or hours or having personal days for yourself. It was as easy as breathing.

Design @ Traceable

In Design, the special ingredients are the people, and Traceable has an amazing team that is ever-ready to help. They are especially skilled as well as love their work and they have a good time together. 

It was great collaborating with the UI developers, Project Managers, the backend team, etc., who all worked together and were in continuous sync with each other. The most important aspect, which helped improve the design, were constant feedback received from the customers that were incorporated iteratively into the design cycles.

This hard work that makes the best and one of its kind is very well rewarded and appreciated, which in turn makes the whole team collaborate better. In spite of having a global team, the work was very well managed, keeping in mind the different time zones that everybody worked on so that even the deadlines were met consistently.

Atomic Design is Like a Super Power

As a design team, having a design system made everything quicker. When you are in a start-up, it is given that there will be constant changes and iterations. And having a design system in place helps us make these changes and iterate product features much quicker. It is also a a boon when it comes to development. I cannot emphasis the importance of having a design system in place, especially when you are working in a startup.

product design photo

It has been an amazing ride so far. While I joined Traceable as design intern, I never felt like “just an intern.” I am grateful that I was entrusted with a role, which helped me grow as a designer, be it working on the live features, conversing with various teams, those being from developers to product managers. It has been a learning and humbling experience for me to learn from each of them. I would like to thank Aayush, Lawrence, Aditi, Amod, Renata, Arjun, and Anand– as well as to everyone at Traceable. As I look at the last 6 months, I am sure I am going to take away a lot of memories and learning.

A version of this blog first appeared on Medium.