Eniola Abiola is a Product Designer at Cowrywise, a savings and investment platform. On this edition of How I Work, we talk to her to learn what her job entails and how she handles it all.
Full Name: Aminu Eniola Abiola
Current role: Product Designer, Cowrywise.
Location: Lagos, Nigeria.
Current computer: MacBook Pro
Current mobile device: iPhone X
Describe how you work in one word: Efficient
Tell us briefly how you started out and how you got where you are today
In February 2017, I got an email from Stutern to learn UX design for three months. At that time, I had just finished NYSC and I had not figured out what to do with my life, so I decided to apply for the UX design course, and got my first job as a design intern at Swifta Systems in May 2018.
I worked at Swifta for three months, after which I moved to a design agency for a while before moving to an edutech company called Tuteria for a very short period. I was jobless for about a month before I got a job at Cowrywise in June and I’ve been there since. (P.S.: I had a remote gig I was doing throughout).
Walk us through a typical workday
I try to be up by 7 a.m. to do a little exercise and get ready for the day. I usually get to work around 8:30 a.m. To be honest, I don’t have a particular routine I follow, each day is usually different from the day before.
As soon as I get to work, I get breakfast if I haven’t eaten from home (I can’t function if I don’t eat), read articles, check my emails, and Slack to see if there’s anything I need to respond to, gist with my colleagues for a bit before I fully start the day. All of this takes about 1 hour 30 minutes.
I spend the rest of the day working on things on my to-do list and coming up with design solutions. I get my second meal between 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Thankfully I don’t have to attend a lot of meetings.
What are your roles/responsibilities as a product designer?
As a product designer at Cowrywise, I help design interfaces and create meaningful experiences that meet the needs of all of our users.
What apps, gadgets, or tools can’t you do without?
Spotify (this is super important to me and I usually try to find the perfect playlist or podcast before I start working), Slack, Figma, Twitter, Cowrywise, Pinterest, Google Keep, Banking apps, Instagram, and Gmail. Gadgets I can’t do without are my phone and earphones; I’m always listening to something.
What’s your favourite shortcut or hack?
I’m not sure. I get distracted easily so I don’t use WhatsApp on my laptop. Also when something I’m working on starts frustrating me, I usually leave it to do something else and come back to it later. I also always save links I want to return to on Google Keep.
What task(s) do you dislike but still do?
Sitting in for meetings. I get really bored plus meeting rooms are usually cold and I can’t concentrate when I’m cold.
How do you keep track of what you have to do?
I have a notepad where I write stuff down. I also send messages to myself on Slack.
How do you recharge or take a break?
I play Candy Crush on my phone (this does wonders for when I’m upset and frustrated at work), check Twitter, read something for about ten minutes, or sometimes I just sleep.
Besides work, what do you spend time doing? What do you enjoy?
I love watching TV shows, spending time with people I love, eating, and most importantly, sleeping.
What are you currently reading, watching, or listening to? What do you recommend?
I’m currently listening to a ton of podcasts: Where Should We Begin by Esther Perel, Conspiracy Theories by Parcast, I Said What I Said by FK and Jola, and She Makes Money Moves. I also listen to spoken word poetry a lot.
I’m in a phase where I only read African literature so I’m currently reading Looking for Transwonderland by Noo Saro-Wiwa.
I’m currently watching Friends again, Rick and Morty, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
In early 2017, while I was at Stutern, someone from Google came to talk to us and she said, “Use people,” make use of all the connections at your disposal. Don’t be shy to reach out to people that can help when you’re in a fix.
What’s a problem you’re still trying to solve?
When I joined Cowrywise, I realised that designing for Nigerian users is a different ball game entirely. So I’m constantly looking for ways to build/design better products specifically for the Nigerian market.
Who would you like to see answer these questions?
Lade Tawak, UX Researcher at Google and Stephen Amaza, Customer Success Manager at Paystack
Nigerian startups raised $377m in 2019, more than twice what they did in 2018. Find out more when you download the full report.