Design Leader Insights - Claudio Baptiste

January 16, 2023

Alex Smith: Hi, Claudio thanks for joining the show today. 

Claudio Baptista: Hey Alex, great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Alex Smith: And yeah, to get started here. Can you tell the audience a little bit about your background and history in UX design? 

Claudio Baptista: Yeah, absolutely. So I've been immersed in design, especially digital design, for over 20 years. I'm from Brazil. So I started my career back then and I moved to the United States. I think it was 2006 or 2007  to further my studies, I picked back my career here and yeah, I've been all over the place. Through large agencies, starting my own online shop.I've been with startups. I've done a little bit of everything in design. So UX specifically, I was at Disney for seven years and started the UX program at the Walt Disney studios. And now I am a director of UX for GoPro on the DTC side. 

Alex Smith: Awesome. And thanks for that background. And one of the things that I imagine is pretty relevant to what you're doing in e-commerce is personalization. How do you approach personalization with UX? 

Claudio Baptista: Yeah. So this is a great, great topic, which is how UX can really make a difference in personalization. Especially when we get to a point that we have so much data coming from all sides. Right? So I think when it talks about personalization, reading into the cold, where that is and what that means to different companies and each company will have its own answer. For us, especially it's really about the relationship. It's really about building trustful relationship between the brand and the customers. So it's really understanding deeply their needs and be able to not only provide relevant content, but primarily predict what their needs are and how you UX play a part in that. It's kind of a, it's kind of key because it is, it is the core of what are our jobs, which is really understanding user needs and kind of how we represent that into a product. To make sure that the voice of the customer is there. So yeah, there's tons of ways you can slice and dice this topic, but it is, it is vital that UX play strategic as well as execution role in any personalization strategy. 

Alex Smith: I guess a quick question on that. Does the web personalize, how do you tie the web personalization strategy in with the product personalization strategy and should the be the same or does it change once you have someone who's converted on the product side? 

Claudio Baptista: Yeah. So those, those are not one of the same. But I think the marketing personalization, right, which offers do see?  What kind of content do you see? Definitely. That's how everything started, right? Like you see personalization people. Okay. Let's include a subject on an email. Let's put Alex there. So we can start getting the one-on-one conversations. Right? So it can go as brief as that as actually dynamically, why that changed speakers? And modular to adapt to different features and tasks and all that based on your safe, based on a multitude of levels of sedimentation. So it really can go either way that you can have a one-on-one experience that's really tailored for you.  And they can way go, go beyond like go way beyond content, right? So we can go really into how the product works and how modular the experience might be. 

Alex Smith: Gotcha. Let's, let's talk about the, kind of the backend of this, because nowadays you have so many APIs and data sources and systems, differebt systems. How are you incorporating all of those to create a great end user experience through the product?

Claudio Baptista: Yeah. So I think that's a, that's a great topic as well,  because it's been evolving quite fast in the industry. Right? So I think like hyper-personalization or, or omni channel experiences. There was a one-on-one marketing, that kind of stuff. It's been a buzzword for a long time. It's nothing new. I think what's happening lately more and more is their demand for technology in new platforms. They are coming to be able to not only aggregate all the data. And make sense of that, but also machine learning on top that can predict analytics on top of this, that can kind of guide while your UI might behave.  So in reading technologies enabling not only marketers, but UI professionals and designers to really rethink how we approach design altogether together. Right? You're not only designing for, okay, responsive and designing for multi-touch devices and all that. So, but you're really designing now for a very broad spectrum of user needs.  So how can you accomplish that through data? So the data will come into this bucket, will triangulate. And you're going to start seeing the spans and merge of different user types and behaviors. And that's when you start to understand what kind of personalization it says, which elaboration go. But I think just the backend, backing up a little bit on the UX role here. Not only do we have a road to design systems that are enabling this personalization to take place, but also really understanding and defining the journeys that they use are coming to a product. I think that there's a strategic, very strategic side of the work that we take a different type of role, which is not only tactical, but there's definitely the tactical piece with like how can we create a system that enables UI to be very dynamic,your message to be dynamic or content to be dynamic.

Alex Smith: Claudio when working with these complex products across buyer's journeys, taking in marketing data, taking in all these data sources, how do you ensure that the design team. Is avoiding silos and getting the communication and collaboration they need from every part of your organization. And also the customer's perspective?

Claudio Baptista: Yeah. This is an excellent question Alex. So, so yeah, so I think there's different ways to structure teams, right? 

Alex Smith: Right. 

Claudio Baptista: And that the functional teams like engineers and designers and all of that. And then you have a completely decentralized, which is like, like project based and whatever. And in my experience, and I'm experienced a little bit of all different types of flavors of the structure, but it's inventing this, it's a little bit complex in the terms that to your point, like, we want to avoid, like, we want to buy the silent.  But we also want to have autonomy in each, in specialization in single vertical. And that vertical can be anything can be a journey path in the broader core. Can be a feature of a product depending how big you are. So I think it's key to structure a way that you have this sort of level of autonomy and specialization. Then you really get into the shopping task, for example, or the purchase path or, or the engagement path, whatever those are. But you, you need somehow to have these horizontal layers that are serving the team. And connecting these dots, right? Especially UX. When we talk about folks they're like matrix organizations, pods, and squads, it's really easy to get siloed and very like heads down into your own specific roadmap and all. So in UX, it's a little bit different because that works really well for engineers. They're delivering against a roadmap. That's very well defined.  They can have full autonomy over that. What happens with UX, because again, we see things a little bit more holistically, and we want to have the consistent experience from the beginning when we don't want to have a fragment of experience in different parts of your app or your system.  I think having these horizontal layers of like design systems and design thinking from a strategic perspective. Really looking at things holistically, and producing the leader goals that will feed into these verticals are kind of key.

Alex Smith: What type of advice would you have for designers that are maybe considering entering the field today or actually entering the field today or actually entering the field today?

Claudio Baptista: Yeah, I think the designers today, there's a lot to do with being able to rationalize their design decisions and communicate effectively design decisions. I think I used that before, but I can't remember. You are creators of possibilities and really there is like we don't have all the answers again, designed as a process of learning, validating, understanding, and really what we need to do, I think a lot of the new young designers it's really able to understand that. That we are creating these different options and that each option will have a pro and con depending on the use case that's applied  to. So be able to rationalize these decisions and be able to go beyond the, the, in your face type of solution and go, okay, how can we expand that? And, don't be attached to the work. I think that's a key for new designers.  We are trying to like, we are searching for answers as much as anyone else in the company. Right?  We are trying to learn from our customers and, and it's not a fixed kind of subject. It changes, behavior changes over time. Some are more ingrained. Some others are more fluid, but it's, it's really, we might not have an audience just to be okay with that. But be very curious to go out with that. Someone asked me what makes a good designer versus a great designer. And I think that's a great question and there's several factors, but I think one of the main ones that I know is curiosity and ability to explore beyond the obvious and, and really be able to rationalize that.  Be able to look, in a very practical way and understand why this would work versus not. And why a solution is better than idea B or that kind of stuff. 

Alex Smith: Yeah. That's great advice. Anything else? Top of mind?

Claudio Baptista: Nope, I think we're good man.