In today’s #womeninlogistics interview with Yifen Liu, an experienced designer at Saloodo!, we learn how diverse talents and especially the empathy and meticulous thinking of women influence innovation in a changing work environment. Yifen Liu also shares valuable advice for young women starting their careers in logistics.
Who are you?
I am Yifen Liu from Shenzhen, China. I joined Saloodo! almost a year ago.
What is your position at Saloodo!?
Currently I’m working as a UI/UX Designer at Saloodo! in the Product & Strategy team.
Can you tell us about your journey to your current position at Saloodo!
My path to my current position at Saloodo! led me through strategic design and user research in the healthcare, digital retail, and digital payments industries, as well as leading the visual design of a public cultural and art museum project.
What do your typical work processes and tasks look like?
Every day at Saloodo! brings a unique set of exciting tasks for me. Typically, in the morning, our Product & Strategy team has a 15-minute stand-up daily. Each of us synchronizes our work and discusses potential pain points. If support is needed, we keep it aligned during this daily meeting. My mornings are usually efficient and focused. I engage in logical thinking tasks such as discovery and analysis and sometimes schedule meetings with other team members to align on design requirements.
By afternoon, it’s usually when the creative part of my mind becomes relatively active. If there are no team meetings, I organize my time to focus on solution design—a significant part of my work that I particularly enjoy! I can easily enter the flow state, that feels like I’m building an architecture. Based on the collected user feedback and business needs, I strive to transform intangible requirements into tangible design assets.
This is one of my typical weeks. In some instances, when our design process is well-established, I will conduct another round of user testing which involves verifying the usability of the design, confirming it with stakeholders, and ensuring alignment with our developers regarding its implementation.
What challenges have you faced as a woman in your working field and how have you overcome them?
UX design stands out as one of the areas of tech where women are well-represented and respected. As a woman working in the Product & Strategy team which closely collaborates with the tech team, I don’t usually recognize my gender as presenting me challenges. Saloodo! fosters a gender-equal atmosphere, especially in our team, where we have a balanced dynamic with 1:1 male-to-female. In our collaborative efforts to ideate on product problems, conduct analysis, and propose solutions, everyone has an equal opportunity to voice their thoughts.
As a UI/UX designer, my responsibility is to strike a balance between rationality and considering empathy with users. Therefore, I believe that, as a woman, my inherent empathy and meticulous thinking provide me with distinct advantages. It not only contributes to my role but also positions me to advocate for inclusivity within the team. I see UI/UX design as the perfect combination of empathetic, creative, intuitive and rational thinking.
How has Saloodo!’s commitment to diversity and inclusion impacted your experience in the company?
Saloodo! is committed to implementing inclusive policies and practices, such as flexible work arrangements, health and safety of employees, and offering various training and learning opportunities. This commitment contributes to a positive work environment where I feel well-supported. Saloodo! operates like an expansive family, with members hailing from 22 different nationalities. Furthermore, our Scrum team is dedicated to digitalization on a daily basis, and cross-department communication is realized remotely and seamlessly. We have not only teams based in Germany, but also in countries such as India, Dubai, Egypt, and more. I’ve found that working within such diverse teams enhances my problem-solving abilities and opens up new opportunities for collaboration.
Could you discuss any projects you have worked on at Saloodo! and the impact they have had?
Currently, I am actively involved in the new design project for multi-stop shipments on the Saloodo! platform, collaborating with our product owner, Alaa Halassa, we have navigated through design thinking phases, starting from discovery to problem definition, and subsequently, the solution design stage. Over the past few months, we have iterated through different versions, taking into consideration market demands and development requirements. Simultaneously, we have conducted several rounds of design reviews and gathered user feedback. The majority of our Saloodo! colleagues have actively participated in these discussions, making the process incredibly engaging. We are confident that this new feature will bring significant value to Saloodo!’s business operations.
What advice would you give to young women who are starting their careers in logistics?
I have been engaged in the logistics industry through the role of UI/UX designer, which has afforded me a comprehensive perspective, ranging from understanding end users and structuring products to delving into the strategies of a new industry. What I have learned from this industry via Saloodo! is that logistics customers come from a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, retail, e-commerce, healthcare, and even more, however efficiency and cost-effectiveness are usually the key priorities for logistics customers. This is also a highly implementable industry, which usually requires consideration of various practical factors and resource integration.
My advice to those entering a new industry as a UX or product designer is to leverage your experience and design thinking to provide effective solutions from the user’s perspective. Consider how your existing knowledge can empower and bring value to the logistics industry, especially during its transition from a traditional setup to digitalization, you will identify new areas for exploration and discovery within your professional journey. Consideration of gender should not be a key factor to impact your career.