WIDC 2018

Upholding the legacy of design, Freshworks wins the ‘Top Enterprise Design Center’ at WIDC 2018

Written by on June 27, 2018

On the evening of April 3rd, we received an email that left us all stoked and excited.

We re-read a part of the email, feeling surreal.

We extend our sincere congratulations to you that your organization is nominated as the ‘Top Corporate Design Center’ in WIDC 2018. Thank you for your effort to promote the development and innovation of global design industry.

When people think of designers, first thing that crosses their minds is, designing creatives. But there is much more to it. Design as a function involves different sub-functions like Product design, UX research, visual design, web and video design. Delivering good design and user experience is mostly a collaborative effort between all the above functions.

As part of the UX team, we had worked on a lot of initiatives for a period of 3 – 6 months. We wanted to develop a structure around, how we design products having user in mind.

Little did we know that, this would turn out to be one of the best decisions we have made.

Throughout the process, one hard question we kept asking ourselves while designing a framework was, how could we put a structure on the various ‘W’s (Who, What, Why and When/Where) while designing a product. Something that we kept hearing often is “Hey, the customer needs it, so we need to build it”, but is that something that the user actually needs or is it just something the user wants? To answer this problem statement, we undertook multiple initiatives and worked with various cross-functional teams to arrive at a solution.

Our work is only as good as the access we have to our users. Getting in touch with our users was crucial, so we tried our best to operationalize it. One initiative that resulted from many Product & UX feedback calls with customers was Tsaheylu (Taking parallels from the movie Avatar). It is a session, where we identify what the customer needs are by having honest conversations with them. As part of the UX feedback calls that we did for Freshdesk, Freshservice & Freshsales we managed to put out various editions of Tsaheylu to increase the awareness about who our users were and what they truly expected from our products. We published these results on the customer feedback forum at workplace.

WIDC 2018

WIDC 2018

From this initiative, It was now apparent that our customer are one thing and their needs are another. We worked on refining the process with help from different team members and came up with Persona/Empathy cards and User journeys. This helped the teams go after the right questions that define a product or a specific feature’s purpose, thus helping us in the overall design solution.

Download the Freshworks UX Research Toolkit PDF here. 

Towards the end, our approach focused more on how to craft the optimal experience for an
user, not just from a product design perspective, but also from an over all user-360 perspective (This includes end-to-end user journey, right from discovering the product, to using it well and encouraging our users to become evangelists). During the course of this process, we received feedback from teams and kept refining it as we went along. The whole process was very iterative.

One of my colleagues, Sruthi had come across an event, The International Industrial Design Conference – World Industrial Design Conference 2018 (WIDC) which was taking place in China. Incidentally, it so happened that Liangzhu – Hangzhou, the place where the conference was being held was considered the birthplace of art, design and cultural in the Chinese civilization. This symbolic representation made the conference even more special.

Determined to exhibit our approach for design process that we follow for designing products (Specifically for Agile workflows) at Freshworks, we had taken part and submitted our papers, last November.

  • There were 5000 applications
  • From across 30 countries around the world
  • Multiple stages of evaluation that happened, over a period of 4 months.

And out of all these applications, ​Freshworks Design was chosen as ‘Top Corporate Design Center’​ for the Top Innovation Award category.

Being nominated and winning this prestigious award was a really huge milestone for our design team. Being able to accelerate design standards and set a bar to our community is what we strive for.

Freshworks has given us the opportunity to make use of whatever resources we required to structure design workflow in agile model. It is efforts like these that change the stereotypical label associated with design, as Jobs says,

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

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