Teppei is a Manager in the UX Planning Group
I currently direct a group working on the improvement of the UI and UX of Rakuten Ichiba’s PC and smartphone websites and apps. Rakuten Ichiba has accumulated an extensive amount of data, including usage data, customer feedback and insights from the UX Research Room. First, our team analyzes and integrates the data, and from the insights we gain, we establish clear issues and directions for improvement. Specific improvements are reflected in the service, taking the latest UI trends into account. From minor functions to large-scale renewal, we are constantly updating the best designs in this ongoing process.
I started working at a manufacturer, where I experienced roles as a system engineer and a web/application director. I didn’t think too much about my work, but at the age of 30, I decided that I wanted to do something that would have a greater impact on the world, so I transferred workplaces to become a game app producer. Then, in 2016, I was fortunate enough to join Rakuten. Since joining the company, I have been entrusted to lead more members (we now have 30), but I am steadily focusing on management that allows those under my direction to demonstrate their full potential regardless of the size of the company.
The fact that many group members are young and in their 20s is probably what makes for the lively atmosphere. Each of us has a wide range of backgrounds, skills, thought processes and personalities, so it demands human resource development. In terms of skills, I believe that the best way to get the most out of a person is to let them do what they want to do, whether it is to improve their design skills or focus on data analysis, so I assign people based on what I hear in our 1-on-1 meetings. At the same time, I encourage them to take on new challenges so they can gain a wide range of work experience, as accumulation of practical experience is essential for skill development.
Prior to my current position, I held various roles, such as application producer, system engineer and project manager. I am not strongly attached to any industry or position as long as I can utilize my past experiences in my current role and continue to hone my skills.
In addition, although I am in a management position, I maintain close communication with the members under my wing and always make sure to include myself in the team atmosphere. Regardless of the size of the team, I would like to continue to enhance my management skills while placing importance on the on-site conditions, and to challenge myself in a more global environment.
How many people are currently in your department and what is the ratio of mid-career hires?
Out of almost 30 people in the group, about half are mid-career hires. Most of our employees are in their 20s, making the department vibrant and energetic.
Do you participate in any Rakuten club activities?
Not officially, but the table tennis club and the mahjong club meet spontaneously on the floor of the creative & web design department. Both are my hobbies, so I participate sometimes.
How do you spend your time on your days off?
I participate in the Boy Scouts and go camping with my son, who is in the third grade. I also go jogging in the early morning.
*The affiliation and contents of the article are based on the contents at the time of the interview.
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