Tips for a remote product designer

I’ve been a remote product designer for almost 5 years. People often say to me that ‘I have the dream job’ or question if I really work full-time…

Remote work comes with it’s challenges. Of course there are many personal benefits to working as a remote product designer but working remotely also comes with it’s professional challenges.

I’m going to give you some remote working tips that i’ve picked up during my time as a full-time freelance product designer working with a hyper-growth startup.

Thoughts on being a Remote Product Designer

There are the obvious benefits of working from home. There is a lot of virtual ink spilt on the subject since COVID-19 reared it’s ugly head.

I’m going to talk about some specific benefits of being a remote product designer working within a fast growing agile team. This team was within a hyper-growth technology startup.

Being a remote product designer is different when jumping between varying freelance projects that have a limited scope and timeline. Full-time product design is very different. Particularly when you’re outnumbered by engineers 30 to 1!

You make your own hours

There are the obvious benefits of working from home. There is a lot of virtual ink spilt on the subject since COVID-19 reared it’s ugly head.

I’m going to talk about some specific benefits of being a remote product designer working within a fast growing agile team. This team was within a hyper-growth technology startup.

Being a remote product designer is different when jumping between varying freelance projects that have a limited scope and timeline. Full-time product design is very different. Particularly when you’re outnumbered by engineers 30 to 1!

Communication will degrade

As a remote product designer you will need to replicate the communication and collaboration you have as a co-located team member as much as possible.

This means daily stand-ups, being open to slack (chat) interruptions and making the time for your team mates.

The right team mindset is essential. As a product designer it is up to you to involve people in your decision making and keep the team aligned on the problem you’re solving. You don’t want to harass your work mates but don’t feel shy about asking an engineer or product manger to jump on a video call to run them through your thinking.