Shoaib Mahmud

My Journey as a Product Designer

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Every good story starts with rejection. Mine is no different. Growing up in a small village in Bangladesh to a highly education-centered family, I felt like I had little to no freedom to explore who I was. My life seemed predetermined and reasonable. My parents were training me to be an army man and I had accepted my fate without objection. I did coaching for Cadet School & got rejected when I was in class seven.

It is in 2009 after I had completed my HSC with flying colors that I was finally ready to take a step towards the dream that my parents have been training me for.

REJECTED.

Rejected twice from ISSB (Inter-Services Selection Board), Bangladesh Army.

After a bit of gap, I started CAT (Certified Accounting Technician). I was doing alright, nothing top-notch but something felt off. I had no idea what was off but I only knew it wasn’t my thing.

Hopeless, I quit and joined the wrong crowd. Loneliness had gotten to me and The group I associated myself with at the time, made me feel at home. But more than that, I felt like I had some control over myself.

At University

In 2012 I was ready to take life seriously, leave the group and join university. My degree of choice was Computer Science and Engineering. Having a strained relationship with my parents made it difficult for me to continue education. Due to my merit secured a big scholarship. University had opened up new doors for me. I was regularly taking part in Startup Contest programming contests which was further enhancing my skills.

Left: Startup Competition Photo | Right: Programming Contest

I had secured a job as a Remote Support Engineer in May 2014 when I was in University 7th semesterAfter I had completed university in 2016, the people around me convinced me to try my hand in the business field. Hesitantly, I joined a US company called PeopleNTech as Business Development Executive. At this point in time, I was still in the process of figuring out my goals and life purpose. After working there for 4months, I concluded I was not made for the field and decided to go back to engineering. I am so glad I took that leap of faith for it was then my luck began to turn and

On my way to discovering UX!

With my colleagues at Dhrubok Infotech

I started work at Dhrubok Infotech Services Ltd, a software development company, as a Junior Software Engineer (Front-End). The place was packed with high-talented, highly-skilled coders. Being around them made me feel like a black sheep once again as my skills, although good, was not at par with theirs. The Co-founder of the company, Ashiq Uz Zoha & Mehedi Hasan Khan was super supportive of me and would always encourage me to realize my potential. About around that time, they sat with me and told me:

Shoaib, you are great at communicating with people and designing things. I think you should consider software design instead of software development. You’ll do great at it!

In Oct 2016, I officially started my journey as a UI/UX Designer

Community

I was hooked! All I could think of is what I could learn next regarding UX. I had studied a lot! I squandered the depths of the internet, finding people in the field working in Bangladesh, connecting with them and learning from their experience. I received a lot of support from my community members.

Few honorable mentions who constantly helped me to grow. They were the guys who helped me to be a better designer.

My mentors, friends, brothers. ..

Designer Meetups| Tour | Design Contest

I took the membership of Interaction Design Foundation. I did six courses there and among those six, I excelled with best in class distinction in two courses & top 10% distinction in three courses! Gaining confidence in myself regarding my skills, I made the decision to advance to a different company.

I decided I need to work for a product-driven company!

Starting as Product Designer

In early 2019, I got an offer to join a company called Truck Lagbe. It’s the first and the largest online platform in Bangladesh. In this app based truck rental service you can hire trucks & pickups in a minutes.

I agreed.

Truck Lagbe was just a budding startup having only about 15–20 employees. The reason I agreed to join them was simple — they were solely focused on solving problems for the truck industry and working for them would enable me to interact with real users and solve their issues. Things seemed to add up with my desires and I started working with Truck Lagbe as a Product Designer shortly.

The hours I spent on user research was something I still look back upon fondly. Hearing the truck drivers’ and shippers’ experience on the road, understanding their mindset and behavior & then converting them into beautiful interfaces & communicating with developers to implement! — it was quite a challenging & interesting time in my career.
(I will write in detail about my research process & techniques in another article)

Feedback & Idea Validation 👨‍👨‍👦‍👦

My Achievements

Successfully completed designing Shipper App & Driver App. I will write a separate article on how we solved real user problems.

Shipper App:

This app is for Shippers. Shippers will able to hire trucks for any pick-up point and drop-off point in Bangladesh at a competitive fare. No middle man.

🚚 Shipper App

🏆 Downloads: 100000+
👨‍💻 Reviews: 1980+
🌟 Rating: 4.4
Google Play

Driver App

This app is for drivers

🚚 Driver App

🏆 Downloads: 50000+
👨‍💻 Reviews: 1320+
🌟 Rating: 4.4
Google Play

Now, my intention with Truck Lagbe is to make its application more user-friendly. I want my department to grow further in the future and keep improving my skills.

❤️ My Team ❤️

Conclusion

Joining the UX field has made me embrace my true nature. Working and progressing in this field has enabled me to feel and recognize my life’s purpose.

In such a short time, I’ve managed to achieve exactly what I wanted to achieve all my life. Looking back, this all feels like a dream. Life takes many different turns to take you where you are meant to be. All you need is some self-belief and grit.

Most importantly “ Be Consistent”

This is my story but it isn’t the end. Hope to have you join me on my journey as I progress further.

If you love this article, please don’t forget to “Follow” me on Medium & also you can connect me on LinkedIn!

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I am excited for new opportunities, let's talk about working together.

shoaib.ux@gmail.com

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