And how different it is from a full-time job

I spent the first half of 2018 on some freelance design work. I was working almost 6 hours a week for my client while holding a full-time job. Things got a little hectic.

But in the process, I understood what it means to be a “freelancer” and to have “a client.” Till this point, I worked in product organizations as a designer and client work isn’t exactly the same. Here are a few lessons I learned along the way.

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Maintain boundaries on when you are “available”

In a salaried job, it’s clear when you are available. It’s when you get to work and when you leave. During work hours, it’s common to block “busy” slots on your calendar for work time. I do this pretty often to get a few hours of uninterrupted focus and so that people can schedule around it. …


A redesign of the FIFA Fantasy app, a competition between millions of football fans during the 2018 World Cup.

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Unsplash

One million users were religiously on the FIFA World Cup Fantasy app every day this month. We created teams, transferred players, and competed with our beloved coworkers for the best playing XI on the fields of Russia.

As a product designer, I noticed a few app interactions that could improve while building my team. I’ll focus on the “Manage Team” page. This screen is the heart of the game — where you add, remove, substitute, and transfer players who are still in the tournament.

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Main screens of the app (left to right): Homepage, Manage Team (before selection), Manage Team (after selection), Leagues

How Fantasy works 👋

Just before every round in the World Cup, I’m a Fantasy coach who gets to select and drop players from my team. Players can be from any country that’s still in the tournament, and should fit in my formation. Based on how individual players perform, their Fantasy “avatar” will get points. …


I started doing product management about a year ago. At the beginning, I didn’t really know what I was doing so I started with what I knew. From my experience, organization can lead to longer-term efficiency and co-working habits for the team.

We started with Trello and Google Drive. Adding pace to our work seemed to be necessary, so we started working in sprints. We soon became the first team on the tech floor with daily morning stand-ups.

Stand-ups have been great for a few reasons.

  1. A team that starts together, sticks together:

The team starts their day together every morning. Each us know that we need to be somewhere at 10am, and we plan for that. It fosters a sense of team building and respect. Amongst all of the teams on our floor, we’re usually the only team fully present at work by 10am. When we look around at a (sometimes) empty office, it makes us feel like we’re ahead of schedule and very productive. …

About

Aiswarya Kolisetty

Product designer at Booking.com in Amsterdam. Previously Zomato, Ford. I love to write and make things. Find me at www.aiswaryakolisetty.com

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