A Designer's Life: A glimpse of Brand and Product Design through the eyes of Designers at Kippa

Kippa Product Designers

I am fascinated by the Kippa Brand Identity. It’s at the perfect intersection of cool and functional. Every single time I interact with the brand, it’s consistent. But honestly, if you asked me how it worked or how the people behind it — Designers - do what they do, I have no idea. To find out, I huddled up with Sheyi and Praise, both industrial designers and team members at Kippa. Sheyi heads the creative team and Praise heads the product design process team. They talked about their journey map, misconceptions about design, user experience, working collaboratively at Kippa, and what they hate about design.

What’s your earliest memory of Design?

Praise: I started my interface design career with a really small start-up in Lagos. The founder had this idea about solving the problem of transportation, think of Uber and it was cool. I was majorly into just graphic design at the time but the developer needed help with some screens and na so I start to learn work. 3 years, amazing mentors, and several courses later, here I am.

Sheyi: Omo my first interaction with Design was way back oh! I had just finished junior WAEC and there was a long 4-month break. My mum sent me to a computer learning program and the final stage was Corel Draw. I remember being extremely fascinated.

Fast forward to 200 Level in Uni, I got my first product development design job by telling someone I could design. This was off on my knowledge of Corel Draw from JSS 3 Oh! I winged the hell out of that job but thank God my enemies did not put me to shame. I really decided I could pursue a career in designing when I designed user journeys & brochures for a friend in my final year and it came out really good. Job after Job, from one opportunity to another, Ibadan to Lagos, my career grew.

Praise: Wow! JSS 3! That’s wild oh!

Can you take me through a day in your life as a designer?

Praise: It’s chaotic! This is my first time leading a team so collaboration on such a high level is quite new to me. So many meetings every day, it’s stressful. My job is also so much more than design now, it includes research, usability testing, and a lot of user feedback elements.

Sheyi: Honestly, I’m still struggling with developing a routine for myself but I understand why it is important so it's a priority. So typically, I wake up, pray when I remember and I don’t really eat breakfast so -  

Omo, I meant your day as a designer

Sheyi: Lmao, I know nah, I wanted to give you a small background but okay. I resume work around 10 am and I look through my to-do list.
Praise: Bro, my request still dey your to-do, but I’ll slack you after

Sheyi: Lol okay bro. Once I look through my to-do list, I check Slack, go through my calendar to see if there are any meetings set for the day, set up YouTube for some white noise, and start my day.

Do you ever close at 5?

Sheyi: I have never closed work at 5 in my life

Praise: I always try to close at 5. Except when I have some very urgent work.

What do you love and hate about design?

Praise: I hate meetings involved in the design process and I hate that sometimes, product design can be repetitive. It can involve so many reiterations and back and forth, it’s exhausting. What I love about product design, the users. This role has now exposed me to really understanding user behavior, how they interact with designs and how my designs can make their experience with the product easier...or harder. It’s more fascinating every day.

Sheyi: I enjoy the building process. My job is to build the visual representation of what a brand is and it’s super challenging but also super rewarding. On what I hate, I’m with Praise on that, I hate repetitive work and the back and forth that can exist in brand design.

What’s the most ridiculous misconception you’ve heard about design and designers?

Praise: Ah, I have heard a lot of rubbish but the top of the list has to be someone asking if product design means fashion design. in 2021! Now I introduce myself as a UI/UX designer. Another misconception is that my work starts and ends with design and Figma. In reality, it includes user research, testing and so much more.

Sheyi: Designers like to carry dreads!

Praise: Bro, headphones!

Sheyi: Na the starter pack be that! Lol. Apart from misconceptions about designers, there are also misconceptions about design as a job. A lot of people underestimate the thought that goes into design. They think it’s just lines and colors and give no credit to the experience and knowledge of design thinking.

How did you join Kippa and what do you love about working here?

Praise: I shot my shot, and it entered. I think my first experience with Kippa was in 2019. I saw the CEO, Ken talk about hiring someone on Linkedin and I slid into his DM. When I joined, it was very fast-paced with not as much structure and it was cool because I learned to make changes and iterate very quickly but the trade-off was I wasn’t learning how to design with empathy and other design principles.

I left after a while to join a design agency because I felt that was what I needed to grow as a designer and honestly, I was right. Returning to Kippa now, I am better not just at design but at communication and management too. It’s good to be back home.

Sheyi: I joined Kippa through a colleague, Ruth. We worked together previously and she was moving to Kippa so she “took me along”. Apparently, they were looking for graphic designers, so I sent them my portfolio. They liked it -

Praise: How won’t they like it, you be the bad guy!

Sheyi: No dey whine me abeg! Lol. I got hired as the lead graphic designer to design systems. Everything was cool until I had a chat with management about my ideas and omo I burst their heads! They decided to expand the scope of my role and now, I’m the creative lead.

What’s the best part of working at Kippa

Sheyi and Praise: The People!

Praise: Bro! The people and product managers at Kippa are supportive and friendly! We get work done without creating the final product illusion that the world would collapse if we didn't. It’s very cool.

Sheyi: The people and the level of experimentation we are allowed to do. We are thinking outside the box and learning very quickly every day on the team. It’s great.

Rate your career on a scale of 1 - 10

Praise: 7. I am so grateful for where I am now while anticipating all the other things I’d want to do.

Sheyi: I’d say 7.5 because I am growing and learning as a designer every day but there is also so much more I want to do. So much more

Want to work together?

Kippa is the simplest accounting software for small Nigerian businesses. Over 280,000 small business owners currently use Kippa to manage their business transactions, create and send professional invoices and collect debts 3X faster. To do this, we need a team of thinkers; in return, we give them the resources to do their best. View our open jobs and help us make business easy.

Onyinyechi Nneji

Onyinyechi Nneji