Tanaken is Manager of the Organization Department in the Card Sales Headquarters
I joined the Rakuten Group to lead the UX design team for Rakuten Card. The most memorable project I have worked on so far was renewing the membership page for Rakuten Card members. The first thing we did for the renewal was to interview users directly in the UX Research Room. Afterwards, we developed user personas and customer journey maps, and repeated user tests to improve the service. To leverage past findings for future projects, we created and shared generic user personas developed from numerous projects and made it available and accessible across the company, thereby contributing to the UX process.
My team’s mission is to improve the UX of Rakuten Card as a whole, and our members had strong ambitions and aspirations for this project. However, to start with, none of us, including myself, had any UX design skills, so we discussed and defined a skill sheet together; we learned, shared our knowledge, and encouraged each other. I am thrilled to see that the team has grown and developed creative UX design and SEO skills as a result of our collaborative efforts. Every day, our workplace is full of discussions, making for a fulfilling work experience.
We continue to promote UX design within our company and base our process on HCD (Human-Centered Design). In order to eliminate user pain points, it is essential to observe users and listen to their thoughts. I am constantly refining my skills by studying user behavior and emotions, simulating them, and repeating the process. By continuing to hone my skills, I have been able to deepen my own and others’ understanding of the UX design process within the company, and because I have been able to produce results, I have continuously been given several other projects. I feel that working on improving services with Rakuten Card alone has helped me gain experience that is difficult to obtain in other companies.
After working on improving the UX of various products, my role is now to improve the quality of creative promotions. With the UX techniques I have cultivated, I am in the midst of improving the contents of campaigns for member pages and their efficacy. My goal is to create an organization that can find new business opportunities and offer better promotions that address both user and company perspectives. I hope to further develop my design skills and strengthen my management skills down the line. I would also like to develop my sense for management by striving for a role where I can create new value by blending UX, design and management perspectives.
How many people are currently in your department and what is the ratio of mid-career hires?
We have about 50 people in our department. Of those, 10 to 15 are mid-career hires, with many of us joining as new graduates.
What is the average duration of a single project?
Since many people are involved in each project, it takes about 11 months per project for a large-scale renewal.
How do you spend your time on your days off?
On Saturdays, I spend most of my time studying on my own at the graduate school of management I am currently attending. On Sundays, I go out with my wife or enjoy sports like bouldering with friends.
*The affiliation and contents of the article are based on the contents at the time of the interview.
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