Must have skills for Product Designers that make my life better

Valu Ramos
Mercadona Tech
Published in
4 min readNov 16, 2021

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Photo by Sam Poullain on Unsplash

At the beginning of my career, a dear friend and mentor told me something that stuck with me: Your experiences in life will help you develop a set of skills that you can think of as a “toolbox” that gets richer with time. I thought she was talking about tools for my academic and work-life, but with the passage of time, I realized it could be applied to much more than that.

Even though I work now as a Product Designer, I started my design path studying architecture; therefore, my toolbox has been filled with different kinds of design. When I became a product designer, the tools that I had, allowed me to transition smoothly. I realized that those two disciplines are very alike and why my tools were useful: both are user-centered, they use the same research methods, analysis’ practice, and both require the capacity to have an eye for detail without loosing sight of the big picture. At the end of the day I believe that an architect or product designer, a designer at its core, is a problem solver.

Through this career change I understood what my friend was talking about. I saw how those tools not only gave me abilities, they also gave me an attitude that shaped the way I think and deal with life. So, here is a list of some of my professional skills that I have learned also help me in a personal level:

  • Adaptability (Be comfortable with change). Wether it’s new business goals or moving to another country, change is part of life. The only constant in all these scenarios will be you, so the sooner you wrap your head around that idea, the better you will do.
    The truth is changes are a real challenge but creating resistance will only make things worst. Accept them as they come and let them teach you. Also, keep in mind that this point has a lot to do with the next one:
  • Confidence (Trust your skills). You are where you are because of your achievements and because you deserve it, so let’s kill that impostor syndrome (Silenzio Bruno!). Many of us have a natural tendency to double guess ourselves, but while being open to feedback is crucial, so is trusting your own expertise and experience.
  • Organization (Prioritize!) We only have 24 hours a day, make sure to use them wisely. It is essential to know your priorities in life and in your day-to-day activities at work. Setting a list of goals (wether it’s for personal dreams or work) and knowing which ones are more important and will bring more to the table will allow you to have a clear and focused head. Let’s say planning smart is acting smart.
  • Assertiveness (Know the problem before doing anything else). Always ask why. “If I had one hour to solve a problem, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem, and five minutes on the solution.” — Albert Einstein. Be strategic, understanding the problem will help you balance value/effort and strike the problem at its core instead of solving branches or consequences.
  • Learning Mentality (Even failure is a lesson). We are all human and sometimes we fail. But failing also teaches us. Being in a company like Mercadona Tech that encourages experimentation and learning from mistakes is a great breeding ground for innovation and creativity. Surround yourself with people who are not afraid of failure, those are people who are not afraid of success.
  • Teamwork (Unleash the power of collaboration). Practice design thinking, sprint design, include people with different types of expertise (always knowing how and when). This is not a “one rockstar show”, trust your team. Let yourself be nourished by other points of view: as a designer your product will be enriched, and in your life, you’ll expand your perspective.
  • And last, but not least: Be passionate (Stay inspired). ✨ Make yourself a favor and love what you do. Go find inspiration wherever you want to, but find it! Your mindset will change and it will have a powerful impact on your work, your relationships and your daily life.

I hope this also helps you upgrade your toolbox and approach your work in a different (better 😄) way. Let me know how your work also changed your way of thinking.

And if you are interested in be part of our team, don’t hesitate to check out our job openings.

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Valu Ramos
Mercadona Tech

UX/UI designer with background in social architecture, design and yoga. I’m fascinated with the world and the moment we are living at.