According to Capsule8 Product Manager and Console Designer Adrian Kwak (aka AK), a common misperception of her role is that she “makes websites pretty.” Since joining the team a year ago, AK has been a huge part of our product team and while we at Capsule8 know her contributions far exceed that simple definition, it can still be a challenge to explain her job when she meets new people. Always the creative, AK has an analogy to help:
“Imagine there is a car company. There would be engineers building the various parts of the car: the engine, wheels, etc. There the product designer comes in to understand their customers, make design decisions based on those strategies, and design the car. For instance, if we were to design a car for families, I would first conduct research to understand what typical families look for in a car. Which may lead to a design decision that the car should be all wheel drive that’s economical yet safe. Then I would design the way different parts should be placed and used in the car, but within limits. People are used to having a steering wheel in front of them at arm’s length and that’s the most ergonomic place for it – why fix something that isn’t broken? Besides that there’s the design of where and how the signals, climate, audio, dashboard, and other controls are made available to you. The next time you sit in your car, try to imagine all the various design decisions that were made for your car to look and work as it is right now. That’s what I do as a product designer, but mostly for digital products like websites, software, and apps.”
According to AK, an average day is never the same. Depending on which phase of the project we are in, she could be in full product management mode and “consolidating feedback or prioritizing and descoping necessary items for the roadmap.” If she’s tackling some of the new, innovative projects Capsule8 is working on, she’s “developing proposal slides and drafting up the product requirement documents (PRDs), then taking over as a product designer – conducting research, brainstorming, sketching, making mock-ups, and conducting user testing.”
AK was initially introduced to Capsule8 through a recruiter and we are very lucky that out of all the different opportunities the recruiter presented to her, Capsule8 stood out the most.
“I was initially interested in working for a company that makes a B2C product, but became intrigued by the problems I could be solving with a complex security tool. I looked up Capsule8’s website to do some research, and thought – if they can do everything they’re saying here, that’s pretty darn impressive.”
Since Capsule8 had dedicated the first few years to its core technology in order to build a solid product, AK felt the company was still relatively new and provided room for her to grow. But it was the chemistry when meeting the team that really sealed the deal.
“I got to meet five people during the interview and they were all friendly and knowledgeable which left a positive impression on me. Talking to a couple of people made me note that there was great work-life balance and the unlimited PTO was actually implementable and real! I came in on the final day of interviews as the last candidate to be interviewed and heard back that I got the offer the very same day.”
AK is in a unique position and collaborates with almost all of the different teams at Capsule8. While she described it as “bugging them with a lot of questions,” (Editor’s note: No, she doesn’t) she feels that everyone at Capsule8 is genuine, kind, and smart and has found it easy to get along with everyone.
She believes there needs to be a conscious and continuous effort rooting from upper management to make a workplace enjoyable and for AK, that happens here. In addition to work-life balance, she feels encouraged to grow professionally and personally.
“I was given opportunities to pursue different ideas and reach outside of my initial responsibilities as a designer. This eventually led to my role as a product manager where I got to strategize – like I had wanted – for the product.”
Her favorite project so far? The policy configuration UI. “There are so many moving parts to it and different use cases and variables to address that it went through lots of iterations and versions. It’s been a challenging project, making it all the more fun for me. This project has been thought through so many times that its design is pretty future-proof for upcoming detection policies and dynamic cloud environments and addresses a spectrum of user needs from minimum to maximum customization – or that’s what I would like to think.”
When AK isn’t spending her time making all of these projects happen here Capsule8, she’s a self-described “homebody and a game junkie.”
“If you ask anyone on the team, you’d know that I’m obsessed with Animal Crossing right now. At other times I would play Call of Duty on my phone. My motivations for getting out of the house – on rare occasions – are snowboarding and hiking with some kimbap and cup noodles. Oh and I love to karaoke, so I have a karaoke mic at home.”
AK’s impact in only one year since joining Capsule8 has been massive and we are so grateful. She’s more valuable than a turnip and we hope that if she was asked to do it again, she would use her Nook Miles to land on our island.
Are you interested in joining the Capsule8 team? You can check out our open listings on the Capsule8 Careers page!