Surprisingly on March the 14th I will have been at GoCompare for 2 years as a product designer. I thought it would be good to reflect on what has been achieved in the last two years at GoCompare and what I have picked up along the way. Also, what does the future hold in store and my personal goals.
A large part of my day-to-day activities now revolves around spilt testing or sometimes known as A/B testing. At GoCompare we use tools like Optimizely, Google Analyics and DoubleClick to set up tests and measure the success.
Personally this is my favourite part of the job, looking into the data and insights of how our customers interact with the website and then refining the designs based on the analysis. Last year we completed more tests than ever compared to previous years and this year the plan is to break that record again.
Product design and development
Sometimes it can be tedious this part of the job but I found that doing little side projects or digging into new technologies helps to make things interesting and keeps things alive. The best bit of this is getting the feedback from stakeholders, or trying out new designs to thousands of users and seeing whether they like it or not rapidly.
This is something you will never learn at University, is the paperwork. In University you have the freedom to do what you want, set your own brief, and have little to no restrictions. In work you have roadmaps, creating product specs and managing expectations.
Although tough to pick up, I am getting there. Now I set aside time to focus on the paperwork, getting buy-in from the business and using Slack, email and daily stand ups to communicate to the wider business what we are doing, whether that be spilt tests, concept designs or customer insights. We now run hack days an example is a few weeks ago we done an AMP focused hack day which resulted in a major impact on that particular project.
Where things are going this year
This year has already started well, tests are being tested, new designs are floating around on InVision and hack days are productive. Also I have set some new goals and ambitions, I will be soon doing my first conference talk in Cardiff at Manyminds. As well as picking up new skills such as Progressive Web App principles, CSS Grids, and plenty of other techniques. Thankfully my illness is holding off just at the moment to allow me to branch out into these new areas and push myself once again. I am looking forward to both what is in store inside and out of work and where things are heading.
Michael Gearon is a Senior Interaction Designer at Companies House in Cardiff. Previously Mike was a product designer at the GoCo Group including GoCompare, MyVoucherCodes and WeFlip. As well working for brands in South Wales like BrandContent and HEOR.