Rimas Albert is passionate about creating products and features that provide positive experiences to users. In the interview he talks about his main responsibilities, his current projects and what he thinks about Scout24’s working culture.
Rimas, what are you doing at Scout24?
Rimas: I am Design Lead at ImmobilienScout24 in the Consumer Experience Team. I’ve been working here since 2016 and I’m responsible for optimising design processes and ensuring the right mix of product designers, processes, tools and alignment to maintain the company’s design maturity.
How did you become a Scout?
Rimas: I was recommended by a design agency. At that time I just had the choice to go to Zalando, idealo or Scout24 and I decided to join Scout24 and never regretted this. For me, Scout24 is still one of the best employers. I started out as a Senior App Design Specialist. That was exciting and challenging and at the time we had a small, central and international team to rethink the consumer App. I also remember coming to Scout24 for the first time back in 2013 as part of a usability testing group. I was impressed by the way of working and the professionalism. In 2017, I took over the role as UX Guild Lead and since January 2019 I am the Design Lead.
UX Design – What is it?
Rimas: Describing the profession of “User Experience (UX) Designer” is not easy. It has many different fields but in general, it is the development of the interaction between people and digital products like websites or mobile apps. Through emphasis, testing and evaluation a creative UX Designer delivers a user-oriented solution based on specific needs or problems. Anyone working on a digital product that has users will be shaping the user experience. How to do this and at which moment during the usage is determined by specific crafting skills. Here is a metaphor for you: How to treat hotel guests and provide a great service is user experience design. But how the room or lobby looks like is the user interface (UI) design.
What are your challenges in the job? What are the special features of a UX Designer at Scout24?
Rimas: It’s the optimisation of design and focus on user needs. It’s the cross-departmental communication and focus on building a systematic framework that allows us to scale design and keep consistency. We faced great challenges when the segment structure was introduced and the designers had to act like mini-start ups within the organisation. People use to say too many cooks spoil the broth. In fact, when many people are all involved in the same thing, they probably could break it without a proper structure or process. So we had to create a scalable system as fast as possible, at least to ensure consistency. My biggest challenges at the moment:
- Establishing Design Operations
- The creation of a design system, its adoption and the implementation of a process for its continuous improvement
- Mapping shapes of roles and building an effective acquisition of new design roles
- On-boarding new designers while improving continuity
I spend much of my time focusing inwards to define the working practice and align the design teams, but it is also worth to spend the time looking outwards of the organisation and connecting with the design community. I want to grow awareness of the design practice at ImmobilienScout24, the way it operates and I want to build a positive perception.
What is the Design System?
Rimas: Design is about scaling. Digital products are becoming more and more complex, it is important that product development teams adapt their processes when creating them. To bring useful and great-looking products to market, many companies have begun to integrate more structure into their design processes and experiment with guidelines, principles and inter-linked libraries to create so-called “design systems”.
Any additional words?
Rimas: Yes, I would like to point out the culture we live at Scout24 is a warm, open and family-friendly one. At the same time it’s very professional. I have never worked in a company where the staff treats everything with such professionalism and with so much passion like this.