From Advertising to FinTech SaaS Product Design
Sakina's experiences transitioning from a Graphics Designer to a Product Designer..
Kindly share a brief introduction of your educational background with us.
All of my schooling has been from Fauji Foundation, New Lalazar Campus in Rawalpindi, where I did my FSc in ICS. After that, I did my Bachelors in Computer Arts from Fatima Jinnah Women's University, Rawalpindi.
When did you realize your passion for designing?
I have always been a creative person since when I was a kid. I remember I used to enjoy photography and always had a camera in my hand. I also used to make handmade cards for my family on their special occasions. Apart from that, I was also always interested in software and technology from a young age and I was the go-to person for fixing any software-related issue in the house.
So I decided to combine my love for the arts and technology and go for a degree in Computer Arts where I could practice my creative side with a few technical subjects like Web Development as well.
How did your journey as a designer start in the corporate world?
My first job was at a small design house where I did a lot of things ranging from Graphics for Social Media, print advertising for huge Real Estate clients, and designing a 50-pager music magazine to conducting photography for local eateries and coffee shops for their social media content.
After that, I worked as a Senior Graphic Designer in a multinational advertising agency where I worked for one of the biggest telecommunication brands in Pakistan, Telenor. Working for a Telco was a huge experience and I gained a lot of experience in dealing with clients, meeting tough deadlines, and working on campaigns that would be displayed at a national level.
How did you come to know about Turing Technologies?
In 2020 when COVID hit, my previous company shifted to a WFH model for almost 2 years. This time working from home made me realign my priorities and I decided to take a career break which lasted for about 6 months. During this period, I was looking to switch my field from advertising to UI/UX when I came across Maryam’s post on LinkedIn and it caught my attention. I took a leap of faith and decided to get in touch with her. Maryam responded to me thoroughly and guided me about the career opportunities at Turing Technologies and that’s how I landed here, at Turing Tech, as a part of this amazing designing team where creativity knows no bounds.
What were the main differences that you noticed in Turing Technologies as compared to your past working experiences?
The most significant difference I have noticed is that even though I have a specific job title, I am not confined to a particular role. I am given opportunities to step out of my job description and explore and experiment with many new things every day which help me diversify my skills and become an all-rounded designer.
How would you describe your responsibilities here as a part of Turing Tech’s design team?
Being a Product and Graphic Designer my responsibilities cover both the traditional design work as well as UI/UX tasks. This includes collaborating with the marketing team for Social Media collateral as well as working with my design manager to deliver UI/UX features.
As a Product designer, I am responsible for managing and maintaining design systems, and collaborating with Maryam and Hafsa on making new features for our products.
I research and study best design practices from renowned tech companies like Hubspot, Spendesk, AirCall, etc, especially their user flows and how they onboard they engage their users.
What technologies did you get to learn so far here as a designer?
Even though I was trying to learn Figma on my own before coming here, working here in the design team under Maryam has taught me a lot about how to work smartly with it. We also sometimes work with Adobe XD. Apart from that, I have worked on Miro to design User Flows. I am also trying to explore Webflow on my own.
Being a designer can be very exhausting sometimes. How do you manage to come up with the inspiration for new ideas for your designs?
The great thing about being a designer is that you can find inspiration everywhere. You don’t have to specifically go and look for it.
But when I need to look for a specific feature/problem-related solution, I go to Dribble. Some other websites that I have recently come across for inspiration are nicelydone.club, ui-patterns.com, and mobbin.com.
I also enjoy my subscription to Medium articles that I receive daily in my inbox which contain Figma tips and tricks, top plug-ins, and designers around the world sharing their knowledge.
What’s the most valuable thing about your design team that you cherish the most?
I value and appreciate all the constructive feedback and input that I receive from my design team, especially from Maryam and Hafsa. Whenever we go over the designing process for some feature they both are always there for me and often make my designing journey smooth by providing me with their best solutions to overcome any issue that I come across.
What strategies your team uses to communicate the design ideas of clients with the development team? So that developers can quickly get a grasp of a feature that you guys design.
When a feature request comes in from the client, before jumping on our design software we hold a meeting and discuss the feature requirements between the design team, developers, and the product manager. This gives us great insights into all the requirements that are necessary to deliver the task on time and with fewer back-and-forth iterations internally as well as externally.
What are your milestones as a designer? Like any specific skill or software that you want to get hold of in near future?
Apart from being a UI Designer, I also want to gain some knowledge about
So I can communicate more effectively with the development team and better understand the limitations and possibilities while designing a feature for one of our products.
Other than being a designer what else do you like to do when you are not designing?
I have a very diverse assemblage of hobbies, indoor and outdoor both.