Meet the Global LINERS

Design

Eunseon Jo / Product Design / LINE Plus

Eunseon Jo joined LINE through the open recruitment program in 2016. Before she joined LINE, she had worked as a planning intern at another company, then chose LINE because she wanted to continue to gain experience in a wide range of different tasks. After participating in many different projects at LINE, she is now engaged in product design.

A quick three-line summary

  • Eunseon's role is to create designs by building and updating the main page of OpenChat.
  • Eunseon’s LINE STYLE is “Keep in Sync, Aiming for the Same Goal!”
  • Product design is both the combination and connection that allows you to experience a whole variety of tasks.

About work

Q Please tell us about your work.

My job covers designing the main page and the overall UX. I also build the branding style guide in the OpenChat* Growth TF. As for the main page, I work with my colleagues to expand the recommendation system for offering personalized pages, and I also recently completed advertising work that led directly to profits through services. Although my major role is on the page’s UX, since I develop products and closely examine them as well, my job also involves regularly observing the overall brand and slogans, in addition to making functional improvements for upgrades. In short, my duties surround product design, but I also enjoy building the brand image and designing revenue models as well as designing the UX. *OpenChat: A group chat feature for users looking to share with people who have similar hobbies, interests, lifestyles and more.

Q What are the important or special factors you need for your work?

In the beginning, I thought having the integrative thinking associated with planning and technical issues would be helpful for the actual implementation or initial design. More recently, however, what I have come to regard as being most important is the ability to relate to other colleagues and move towards the same objectives. Because if there is no consensus among ourselves, even if we are given the same instructions, we all will eventually end up looking in different directions. In fact, even changing the location of a single button requires many steps and getting input from people in many countries other than those in the product design. And, in order to get the expected data-based visual outcome, the communication skills capable of garnering opinions is the key. Since I am well aware that this is an essential capability for product designers — the people who stand somewhere between development and planning — that is what I constantly strive for.

Q Please tell us about your most memorable moment at work.

An advertising project I did comes to mind. After the final design was created, I conducted a user survey with the UX team to verify a hypothesis. Ahead of selecting the final module plan, different teams all favored different plans even within the TF, and we had to hold a lot of discussions to reach a consensus. I was also confident about the final plan selected by the TF, but the results of the user survey turned out different from my expectations, with a lot of variation between countries. Through this experience, I once again learned that individual experiences do not represent the whole, and I realized that I should never become over-confident before obtaining a wider array of data, as experiences vary depending on the country and results also vary depending on the amount of exposure. After this project’s completion, the closed beta test (CBT) will be launched, and we will continue to work on an upgrade for the next version. It was a great experience for me to consider a variety of different aspects as a producer, rather than just pushing a single point of view.

About competency

Q What skills and qualities do you believe are necessary to perform well in your line of work?

Currently, LINE uses the title “product designer” rather than UI designer. Since this role covers an extensive scope, including idea research, hypothesis insight, design, and verification, it is necessary to have the competence to visualize issues in three dimensions and address them correctly. In LINE product design, the close collaboration among multiple subdivided organizations enables the fast manufacturing of modules through the basic assets for indicator confirmation. However, this also means that even those whose occupation is not design-related can also create applications as long as they have a set of assets. Another important thing is, while ensuring usability based on data, an independent design should be made in the end, pushing the boundaries beyond the context. For example, the click indicator once went up due to an improvement in the visual UI, even without making any changes to the specifications, and as a result, I was able to realize that qualitative aspect, which is a visual domain that a designer can express, also matters a great deal. In short, if you are capable of or if you wish to obtain experience in understanding data, visual representations, as well as subjective and objective thinking in parallel and relating to your colleagues, we think you’d make a great fit for the LINE product design team.

Experiences of failure and growth

Q I suppose not all of your experiences have been successful. Please tell us about some failure you encountered.

Well, defining “failure” is tricky, and different people would describe that differently. But if I had to pick one failure, I would say it was when the project came to a halt after the design was completed. I used to stay focused on whether it was executed or not, but this time, a project I wrestled with for a year ended up in the backlog agenda. As a result, I was able to look at the wider picture for the entire product from a business perspective in determining when to release the feature that I had been working on and whether it should have been the top priority. Also, we may be able to determine success or failure with bits of indicators found after the initial launch of the product, but what also matters is the stage following the product or feature launch. We make monthly updates for specified issues here in OpenChat Growth as well, and in retrospect, of all that experience I learned from creating designs in LINE, the primary focus was always on improving products since their launch. Therefore, my experience has been mostly full of growth. (Laughs)

Special experiences at LINE

Q What you are proud of in regards to the culture and environment that LINE product design has to offer.

Since LINE product design deals with global services, its development, operations, and planning organizations consist of people from a variety of countries, allowing us to work in a global environment. For the OpenChat Growth TF, as front-end developers communicate in English under the Vietnamese subsidiary, and each country's operations team is comprised of employees from Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia, it is inevitable for us to discuss issues with people from different backgrounds. As a result, there is no need to beat around the bush and we just get straight to the point. I believe that improves efficiency at work and offers us an environment to develop ourselves in terms of our language skills. Also, exchanging reports with the operations personnel from other countries helps me better understand their cultural characteristics and improves my own understanding of our products.

Wrap-Up

Q Do you have any goals you want to achieve while you are with LINE?

My current personal goal is to find out exactly what I am best at in terms of my contribution to the products, and, from the product perspective, I would like to increase awareness of the OpenChat service through UX and branding and continue to make the service available. In short, my and my team’s purposes and goals would be upgrading and adding content to the message to create value beyond profit, and to enable the OpenChat service to coexist in harmony with users in the long-term as a useful messaging tool.