The Meet The Aptoiders series rolls on, as we continue to feature members of the international Aptoide team who are leading change in their respective fields, and helping shape the future of Android and mobile technology.
Say hi to Pedro do Ó, a people-centric designer, who likes to ride his bike to work, and host supper clubs for his friends. After travelling the world, Pedro dropped the anchor in Lisbon where he accepted the challenge to lead our in-house UX & Design team. Being a true people person, Pedro's focus is on our users and how they interact with Aptoide. Currently he is busy building better community tools, such as Apps Timeline sharing mechanisms, rating system, and dashboards for users, developers and partners all together. Read on to learn more about Pedro do Ó and how intuitive, beautiful, user-centered design is key to Aptoide's products.
1. Hi Pedro! Could you tell us a little about yourself, your team and what you do at Aptoide?
Hello all! I’m Pedro, I’m a UX designer and I'm glad to say I've been an Aptoider since 2015. I love photography, cooking ( I even hosted one of the first Lisbon supper clubs) and music.
I studied Design and have a Masters degree in Design & Visual Culture. Since the beginning that I felt the need to understand people and how they use products, their expectations and their pains, so the natural step for me was to specialize in User Experience Design.
A couple of years ago I had the chance to study and work in the United States, and it has shaped the way I work today. I was involved in innovative startup projects that had a huge focus in user experience strategy, user research, user experience design, psychology, and information architecture.
When i joined Aptoide, I had the chance to apply what I had learned over the years, which helped grow our in-house design team from 2 to 5 designers - 3 user interface designers and 2 user experience designers - working through different mediums ranging from paper to virtual reality and from social networks to branding and international fairs.
It’s not easy to sum up my role at Aptoide in a few lines, but the best way to describe it is that I balance user needs with business goals. At the same time I manage the Design team, influence stakeholders and gather data that will push the product forward in innovative and disruptive ways. It’s been a hard but fulfilling experience with a huge learning curve.
2. What would you say are your biggest challenges and biggest accomplishments as a UX Specialist at Aptoide?
Aptoide has recently reached 3 billion downloads and only last year we had 145 million unique users worldwide. We’ve reached a steady users’ growth from version to version, better engagement and are deploying new features that facilitate people’s tasks and help them accomplish their final goals. This is a reflection of a long user experience process that starts with preliminary research, follows analysis and ideation, prototyping, testing and consequent iteration...all the way to the final deployment.
I’m really proud of the work that was and continues to be developed aiming to build a better product.
One of the team’s challenges now include building better community tools (Apps Timeline sharing mechanisms, rating system, dashboards, etc) and help build a better product for users, developers and partners all together.
My biggest personal challenge is to continue building a pioneer product in it’s own field and to never lose a 360º perspective across all Aptoide’s platforms and products. I’ve got a lot more ideas to test, measure, implement and deploy in the future. The challenges are never ending, and the sky's the limit.
3. Our users and the user experience are central at Aptoide. What type of research do you do and why?
We rely on different research methods and use them depending on the results and perspectives that we need to understand and study. It’s better to combine different methods in order to achieve robust qualitative and quantitative results and conclusions.
The 3 methods that I prefer are user testing, user journeys and surveys. It’s important to get a nice balance between qualitative and quantitative feedback, so that’s the reason to mix and match different methods, to then analyse and create order in chaos. I love to analyze data and find patterns in an otherwise unrelated environment.
A special emphasis on User Testing: qualitative feedback and the chance to observe people going through prototypes is the key to build a relevant product. Nevertheless all the analytics gathered from different platforms are also key to our work. We often analyse them to make sure we’re on the right path.
4. We're currently recruiting for the UX team. What makes someone the right fit?
In all user experience roles, empathy is the primary thing I look for.
We need someone who’s able to relate and connect with people that use our product, and who are focused in making sure they get the best experience possible.
This is extremely sensitive while dealing with different people, from different cultures, that speak different languages, while using different devices and networks around the world.
Empathy is also important while communicating within the team: we work closely with android developers, web developers, backend developers, marketers and product managers, and need to understand in an abstract way what are their needs and frustrations, and how we can all work to make our product stronger and relevant for everyone who’s using it.
Everyday we strive to solve problems, create solutions and develop new strategies that will continue pushing Aptoide to the market lead.
5. Your work impacts over 120 million unique active users worldwide. What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love the complexity of it all and the never ending problem solving and enhancement possibilities. A huge plus for me is having the chance to never stop learning.
Of course the free fresh fruit and the pizza lunches with the team are a huge plus! ;)