Huda Idrees leads the product and design teams at Wealthsimple, previous to that she was a product designer at Wave and Wattpad. Recently I had the opportunity to chat with Huda about what her role involves, how she got started working in product design and how she approaches the challenges she faces in her work. What I found most inspiring is her fearless attitude towards problem-solving and the way she has made the most of every opportunity in her career. She has great insight for those just getting started or looking to make their next career step.
Tell me a little bit about your role at Wealthsimple?
I lead the product and design teams, so anything that the users see, or interface with goes through my team. We’re a team of designers and developers. My role morphed from being the only designer, to a broader role that encompasses all the different platforms we now exist on. We’re on the web, we have native apps on iOS and Android and we even have an Apple Watch app now. I'm secretly very proud of that [laughs]. It’s just one of those things that helps you envision what the future will look like. If we didn’t have giant desktops, or laptop screens, what would the story be that we tell people about investing their money? I’m also leading our new office design--so my role of designer has definitely been stretched!
So you lead the product and design teams, how many people are on those teams and what’s the structure of them like?
We split our design efforts into product and marketing. I focus the majority of my time on our web and mobile product, as well as parts of Wealthsimple.com. Marketing collateral such as banners, swag and content is handled by a separate team.
At the moment, we work with a few freelance designers in addition to our in-house product team. Overall, it’s a team of 6, our 4 developers and 2 designers.