In this interview, Joseph Adesina discusses the origins of his design passion and emphasizes the significance of skill refinement in mastering one's craft. He underscores the importance of simplicity in design and language to enhance relatability. Additionally, he explores the influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the design landscape. According to Joseph, the most effective design solutions stem from a fervent commitment to addressing user needs.

Tell us about yourself. What inspired you to pursue a career in product design, and how has that inspiration influenced your journey as a designer?

My name is Joseph Adesina, a product designer passionate about designing beautiful, intuitive, and efficient experiences that help people be more productive. Over the years, I’ve worked on and been involved in building different products in e-commerce, EdTech, FinTech, LogTech, InsureTech, etc. But before I got here, it all started with a little boy’s hobby.

When I was little, I’d draw faces and cartoon characters for family and friends. I did this not just because I loved drawing but also because of the smile it put on people’s faces and the recommendations I got after. Fast forward to my 4th year at the University of Lagos. I already had a career out of creating portraits for people, but at this point, I wanted to pivot to digital illustration.

I joined a digital agency to learn digital illustration, but that’s when I discovered UI/UX design, I realized it was about creating pleasurable experiences, and it involved a lot of feedback from users and stakeholders for optimal results. It was not just visual design; it was meaningful design, and that's why I chose to become a product designer.

As a leader in product design within the fintech industry, how do you define creativity and innovation in the context of financial technology and how has this definition evolved throughout your career?

FinTech started when electronic banking started. I believe it was a way to reduce the need for individuals to come to the bank before performing transactions, and because people were fed up with bank queues and the stress that accompanied going to the bank, adoption was easy. Now that fintech has evolved, it empowers businesses, SMEs, and individuals in many ways.

Creativity and innovation in the context of financial technology are not just about helping people send money, pay bills, etc. It is about how money moves around their lives, how much visibility they have in this movement, and empowering them to make wiser financial decisions.

What do you like the most about the gomoney design process? Can you walk us through your typical creative process when approaching a new design challenge?

The gomoney design process is quite iterative, and that’s what I like about it. We created the current design process by observing the product life cycle and reconstructing it to accommodate feedback, research, and testing. Our typical design process commences with the discovery phase, during which we delve into understanding our target users deeply, identifying their primary challenges, and exploring potential optimal solutions.

Subsequently, we progress to the wireflow phase, where we craft and evaluate wireflows based on the earlier identified best solutions. Following this, we conduct a stakeholder presentation to get feedback, with the solutions and trade-offs from this stage laying the groundwork for subsequent steps.

Next, we present a high-fidelity prototype to a larger group of team members from various departments such as business, marketing, engineering, and finance. We then finalize a solution, leading to a developer hand-off. Finally, our process ensures thorough testing post-development in a staging environment.

Design is a rapidly evolving field. What emerging trends or technologies in product design are you most excited about, and how do you see them shaping the future of design?

I would say AI (artificial intelligence). I mean, that’s what everyone is talking about now. It has gradually started to define how people work, and it wouldn’t be different with design. I see AI as a means to enhance design productivity by automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks in the design process, using predictive AI to identify patterns and forecast behaviors in market segments, and using generative AI to create prototypes to enhance creativity. The possibilities are endless.

Fintech products often deal with complex financial data. How do you make complex financial information accessible and understandable to users through design, without sacrificing functionality or accuracy?

If I say, “You covered 235 kilometers this year," you need to have a sense of distance to fully understand this, but if I say, “You covered 235 kilometers this year, and that’s like running 5 marathons,” I have made it relatable. It is important to understand that data becomes complex when people cannot relate to it, and this should help form the basis for design considerations. Graphs, charts, and infographics help visualise data instead of just numbers, stay away from financial jargon by using simple terms, and, like the example earlier, use relatable communication to help users understand complex financial information.

Maintaining motivation and inspiration is key to fostering creativity. How do you sustain your creative drive, especially when faced with challenges or setbacks?

“Necessity is the mother of invention. or, in this case, challenge is the mother of creativity”. To be honest, every setback or challenge brings out my most creative self. Creativity can also be a system; you can be creative yet systematic. For instance, I have a creative process that works. The uniqueness of every project lies in the problem you’re trying to solve. In a nutshell, to stay motivated and inspired, you have to be excited about solving problems, and challenges will even help you dig deeper so that you can get to the root of the matter.

As a leader in product design, how would you advise aspiring product designers to hone and build creative and innovative mastery?

The best design solutions come from a passionate need to solve user problems. Aspiring product designers have to constantly think about user needs, and they will easily burst into creative ideas and innovate in the process. Doing this intentionally over a period of time will help you master the craft.

To experience the amazing work Joseph and his team create, download the gomoney app.