Aya is a Visual Designer in the Service & Creative Design Section of the Creative & Web Design Department
I am a visual designer for Rakuten Ichiba, and I work for the web design team in the Creative Web Design Department. I am in charge of a variety of projects at the same time, including large-scale page layouts during sales, such as Shopping Marathon and Rakuten Super Sale, seasonal pages featuring New Year and Christmas products, UI design for Rakuten Ichiba, and the design of support tools provided to stores on the shopping platform.
I also work on signage and posters for the fashion event, GirlsAward, for which Rakuten is the main sponsor. I have even designed a special website for purchasing outfits worn by the event’s models on the runway. Since there are no inherent restrictions or limitations in the world of design, it’s fun to make new discoveries and improve my skills by working on different projects.
The design team is broken up into smaller groups based on their responsibilities. Dedicated design teams are assigned to UI, UX and events. Though some projects are handled by several small teams working together, since all of us are involved with various projects, our desks are located near the producers, directors, coders and system engineers.
This proximity allows us to talk to each other easily, which is helpful because I can give precise instructions immediately. For example, I can tell the coder, “Let’s add falling snow to our website” using onomatopoeia and gestures. I can also broaden the scope of our web design and improve my knowledge of coding through design.
The top priority shared by the team is user perspective. We design with not only an idea of how the end product should look in mind, but also by considering the user experience and user trends. We work on a variety of projects, conducting A/B tests and the like. I value challenges, and I always say to the people around me, “I want to do something like this!” which sometimes leads to offers, and I get a chance to challenge myself in a project where I have no experience.
For GirlsAward, I volunteered to be the design director working on the composition, thereby adding my own world view to the mix of people working on that event. In the future, I would like to continue to hone my skills to make design proposals and provide direction from a deeper perspective without being bound by the scope of my job.
For the future of “Rakuten Ichiba,” I think it is necessary to provide a user interface that is particularly user-friendly for the elderly. For example, Rakuten is exploring the possibility of expanding user interfaces for a wide range of generations, such as offering the option of screen transitions to dedicated pages on smartphones for the elderly.
In this process, we should be able to create simple and easy-to-understand web pages, which Rakuten is currently promoting with the introduction of “ReX.” I want to pursue the realization of a user-friendly UI for all users on Rakuten Ichiba.
How many people are in your current department and what is the ratio of mid-career employees?
We currently have 15 designers in total. Including myself, eight are mid-career employees.
What is the average duration of a single project?
For campaigns, it can be as short as a day or a month at most. It may take six months or more to design services or tools to provide to stores.
What do you do on your days off?
I enjoy going out for drinks. Maybe it’s because I work with many restaurants, but employees from other departments often ask me for restaurant recommendations via chat.
*The affiliation and contents of this article are based on the contents at the time of the interview.
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