Senior User Experience Designer Isabella and Digital Business & Ecosystems Developer Shilu answer questions on their work at Digital Innovation Partners in Munich, and talk about how they came to work for ZEISS and what keeps them motivated.
Isabella, Shilu, you just joined the Digital Innovation Partners team – can you tell us a bit about your background?
Isabella: I have an MSc in Human Factors in Information Design or, put differently: if you mix a psychologist/sociologist and an economical engineer with someone who took courses in typography, information architecture and Adobe Creative Suite basics (while being qualified as a User Experience Consultant) then you get me.
Shilu: Originally from the US, I have a Bachelor’s in Business Admin, a Master’s in Healthcare Admin and over 15 years of experience in the healthcare, consulting and high-tech industries. I spent most of my career conceptualizing and commercializing product ideas, most recently in IoT, cloud and Big Data solutions. Working cross-collaboratively with product owners, SW engineers and end customers, I enjoyed bridging synergies to engineer new solutions.
How did you learn about ZEISS and what did you know about it before?
Isabella: Since I crossed paths with Peer (now my colleague) on the UPA Inhouse Working Board, I knew ZEISS was involved with some kind of User Experience. When I saw the current job offers I could read between the lines, and know that ZEISS is serious about driving the digital transformation.
Shilu: ZEISS is a highly reputable player in the medical industry, which I got to know in the US back in the 90s. For me ZEISS has always been a technology-led and driven company that stands for high-precision, high-quality engineered products.
Why did you join ZEISS and what were your expectations?
Isabella: The user experience in the consumer world has evolved beyond all expectations compared to 1997. The B2B enterprise customer experience needs to catch up. With the can-do attitude and interdisciplinary knowledge of the Digital Innovation Partners we’ll succeed in collaboration with the ZEISS business groups.
Shilu: Conceptualizing and realizing new digital solutions is my passion; I have a great interest in combining my business background with the design thinking and agile mindset, and therefore sought a place that embodies that. I was excited to learn that Digital Innovation Partners is embarking on a “digitalization journey” by adopting a cross-collaborative approach and wanted to be a part of this exciting new team and adventure.
Describe your first few months at Digital Innovation Partners in a few words. What are you working on at the moment?
Isabella: On my second day I was out in the field conducting user interviews, which I enjoyed very much. We are now finishing up the translation into customer journeys as a vision for product management. 2 months later the project has been completed. At speed. At scale. Pretty cool.
Shilu: I dove right in and was responsible for leading a project with one of the ZEISS business groups on my 2nd day on the job. Working closely with the Product Manager and Isabella, our esteemed User Experience Expert, we adopted a design thinking approach to create the product concept. We spent 4–5 days in the field interviewing customers to understand the hurdles they face and what motivated them on their most recent journey, as well as discuss potential ideas for improving their journey in the future. We just completed the project where we presented the product concept, told through 3 identified personas and ideal customer journeys.
What inspires you in your work at ZEISS?
Isabella: Working in an interdisciplinary fashion. Creating visionary deliverables Product Managers love to work with. Just. Having. Fun.
Shilu: Designing digital solutions through a very human-centered approach, which really drives benefits and improves the way a person or business works, lives or functions. And, of course, working with such cool, highly experienced and fun team members with completely diverse backgrounds and cultures also keeps me motivated.
Why should someone like you join the Digital Innovation Partners?
Isabella: Why go to Silicon Valley when Digital Innovation Partners is just around the corner? Help us create the future of ZEISS, the future of German industry, and get things done.
Shilu: If you love a fast-paced environment with flat hierarchies where you can mash up your business expertise with our technology and user experience experts to create really cool state-of-the-art solutions, then this is the place for you! Being a catalyst for the digital transformation of one of Germany’s most iconic brands makes it that much more special.
Thanks for the interview, Isabella and Shilu!