Finally, International Design Day is here! In anticipation to this day, we talked to some of the amazing Klarnauts working within the different design sub-pipelines at Klarna to learn more about their experiences and their thoughts on this year’s International Design Day 2022 theme, “Suspended in Transition.”
Meet Alfonso Maestro. He’s an accomplished UX Writer passionate about nuts, New Yorker cartoons, and all of Nadal’s tennis tics. Keep reading to learn more about his journey at Klarna.
“Suspended in Transition” asks designers to step out of their comfort zone, to accept moments of not knowing and not designing-yet, to reflect from a place of discomfort and change at the same time.” Tell us about a moment where you have felt this way in Klarna, and how that influenced your work?
Unlike, say, church design, UX Design is about constant challenge and the pursuit of continuous improvement. It’s about being flexible and keeping up with usage and innovation. So I would say: our kind of Design is not about comfort zones anyway.
That said, we do have the need for a status quo at any given time, however short it may last. Simply because we want to provide consistency and smoothness to users within expected models. In that sense, my job as a designer is to make up rules, then to break them, change them.
Can you please tell us what made you interested in becoming a UX Writer?
I’m driven by a varied visual, linguistic, and strategic skill set. One thing that’s very appealing to me is just how narrow our mission is: it’s never “design pour le design”, it’s always user advocacy. So there are no endless possibilities. You’re guided by this Kantian maxim all the time: Treat them like you’d wanna be treated. That’s one side. Another side that I find appealing is the broad range of skills that you can apply: visual, linguistic, strategic. I get to apply all these while articulating multiple needs, from business and product to brand and design. It’s perfect if you’re looking to shape things from inside.
What has been the most interesting project you have worked on since joining the design team at Klarna?
There’s no award for “most interesting one”, at least in my head. All products or features are about “narrow and simple, but well done”. It’s the product ecosystem as a whole that gets more interesting. Because we glue it together. I like that, being both the single-minded bongo player and the poly-brained conductor all in one.
Another thing I enjoy is designing our collaboration, the process of it. That’s kinda meta, but it’s totally worth it as it bears great potential to increase both our efficiency and effectiveness. And in this growing discipline it still needs more definition anyway.
How does your work as a designer make an impact?
UX Writing is, in numbers, still among the smallest disciplines – here, there, everywhere. But our work is holistic in nature, it sort of holds it all together. So it’s really fascinating to see how big a per capita impact UX Writers are having at Klarna.
Want to join the Design team at Klarna? Make sure to take a look at our open roles. For more stories of what Life at Klarna is like, take a look at our Instagram, Youtube, and Careers Page.