What I learned in my first year at Emergn

It has also been a year since I joined Emergn as a UX/UI designer. And since my daily work life is also full of adventures, I decided to share some of my learnings!

Joining Emergn

Last March, I had just finished working at my previous job, when I decided to explore a new opportunity as a UX/UI designer. Thanks to a few promising discussions with leaders in UX, product management, and engineering, as well as the recommendation of a trusted friend who already worked at Emergn, I decided to take a chance and accept Emergn’s offer.

And so the story begins!

The Atmosphere

Emergn is an extraordinary place, they do such an amazing job of creating a forward-thinking and open culture that people want to collaborate and there’s just a general sense of positivity.

My first day at Emergn was awesome! My teammates greeted me with a box of sweets, and we had great discussions about the products and user experiences of Emergn’s client projects. It was the best reception I ever had. On that same day, we had a team-building event and I got the opportunity to meet my new coworkers. There were a lot of jokes, singing, and a positive vibe.

Over the course of my first year, I also worked with multiple teams from different locations, both on-site and remote.

I can now confidently say that Emergn doesn’t simply hire top-class professionals who approach their work with passion and dedication. These professionals are likewise all unique characters who genuinely love life.

Embracing change

I have to admit that I was skeptical about Emergn’s claims at first. This is how the company talks about itself -

People make the biggest difference to business performance. That’s why, at Emergn, we focus on educating and empowering employees to deliver change from within. We do this through a unique and proven combination of consulting, education, and product delivery services.

Throughout the year, however, I found that Emergn actually lives up to their claims. They really do follow a people-first approach. And this makes perfect sense! There’s an old saying that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers.

During my first year at Emergn, I felt encouraged to be innovative, creative, and customer-centric. For example, I can mention a virtual mobile cash register project where the team and I experimented to find solutions for how to replace a traditional cash register with a mobile app. This is an ambitious project and not every company would willingly take it on but Emergn did.

Innovation and creativity do not happen in a vacuum. They’re the result of a mindset that Emergn follows. The company’s combination of cutting-edge technology and a customer-centric approach creates an open space for innovation and creativity. Ambitious projects are welcomed as challenges.

Value, Flow, Quality

Other than working on interesting projects, I was also impressed with Emergn’s focus on internal collaboration.

If you are a UX/UI designer then you are familiar with confirmation bias — that people look for evidence that confirms what they already believe. Other designers and our colleagues are no exception. This often presents challenges when working on creative projects because everybody is a bit blinded by their own bias. But Emergn goes out of its way to solve this problem by focusing on what the company calls VFQ practices.

VFQ means Value, Flow, Quality. In practice, this means that all employees are encouraged to validate their assumptions before proposing solutions. Not only is Emergn supporting cool ideas and facilitating fantastic teamwork, but they are also investing in education. For example, this year I earned an NNG certificate, further learning to be a top-notch designer. All courtesy of Emergn.

Working on the project

Innovating

Emergn is all about innovation.

Each time I introduced a new idea — from creating a design system to trying out a design sprint, my team always listened and gave me the opportunity to act.

One day I came across the Design Sprint book or “How To Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days” — I was amazed. It was impressive how Google Ventures solved huge challenges in such a short amount of time. Basically, a design sprint is a design thinking method used to solve complex problems with co-creation, rapid prototyping, and qualitative testing. And the best thing is that it only takes a week.

Design Sprinting at Emergn

I first tried out a couple of design sprints with my friends. I then told everyone at Emergn about how useful and efficient the design sprints were. And it wasn’t long before two colleagues of mine — Austris and Sergejs approached me with the idea of running a design sprint for their new project. Despite the worldwide pandemic, we successfully conducted a remote design sprint.

Here’s what the client said:

I realize it is only our first ‘sprint’ week in the design of our new digital game, but I must say today’s review fully exceeded my expectations.

The fact that I could easily navigate through a mock-up and obtain an easy to consume view of the approach and work that had been completed during the week to reach that outcome (via Miro) was not only impressive but invigorating.

Emergn trusted me enough to explore this new method. I was really happy that I had a great opportunity of running a design sprint with my colleagues and a real client. This is how innovation happens at Emergn — with a willingness to try new methods and with trust in the employees.

Ironman 70.3 Tallinn

Healthy lifestyle

One of the features that characterise Emergn is a love for sports. I was impressed by how many people at Emergn lead healthy lifestyles. From running enthusiasts to the internal football team, Emergn supports all kinds of sports events.

They also supported my first ever half-ironman triathlon, which was definitely one of my biggest challenges in 2020. The best part? I never knew how to swim! Even a kiddy-pool seemed like a nightmare. But after 9 months of regular training, I could easily cross a distance of 2km. So that’s what I did.

Wrapping up

2020 was a crazy year — our private, work and social lives were turned upside down. And yet for me, joining Emergn was one of the highlights. I’m grateful for their energy, spirit of innovation and support.

I’m also excited about the future! Here at Emergn we have some massive goals to achieve and lots more to learn about making better user experiences.

Thank you for reading! Best, Edijs

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