Paprika Xu

Product Designer

Paprika Xu

Product Designer

Android Design

What does a Android Designer do at Canva?

Right now product designers at Canva have a wide range of responsibilities, from user research to UX design, UI design, interaction design and user testing. As the company grows, I’m sure some of these specialities will be split out into different roles. It’s great now to be able to touch all of these areas of the product, but of course it’s a challenge as well!

I spend most of my day with the Android team, but I work very closely with iOS product designers as well. We want to craft the mobile experience as a whole and make sure the Canva look and feel is consistent across all platforms. Canva is empowering people around the world to create, and bringing that vision to mobile is a huge and interesting task.

What technologies do you use as a product designer in the Android team?

For design we use Sketch. For simple wireframing we literally sketch – just brainstorming as a team using paper and pen, and from there we’ll jump straight into design and then prototyping. We have several tools for prototyping, depending on the need. For a quick, low fidelity click-through prototype we’ll usually use InVision. If we want to do interactions, animations or high fidelity prototypes, we use Principle. We also use Sketch to create assets, using custom scripts that allow us to make SVG assets for Android Studio.

What are some of the benefits available to an Android Designer at Canva?

I probably don’t need to mention all the general Canva perks – lunch, breakfast, gym and yoga allowance for example. They’re fantastic, but for me the intangible benefits are just as interesting. The diverse team is one of my favourite parts of working at Canva – there are people from all over the world here, and you get to live, work, learn and grow with these people every day. It’s like travelling while you’re at work!

For a designer, it’s a great pleasure to work with Cameron, our CPO. He’s the best manager I’ve ever had, period. I’ve learnt so much from him. Not just design or work related lessons, but even general life lessons about how to learn from others and how to teach. If you can’t teach as well as learn, you won’t be able to influence people and shape the culture around you, and you won’t be happy. It’s about aligning your values and mission with the company’s values and mission. He’s a great mentor, he really brings out the best and nicest in people and looks for everyone’s insight as an individual designer.

What skills or attributes are you looking for when hiring product designers at Canva?

We’re looking for people who can move fast, be agile and find their own way. That doesn’t mean you’ll be thrown in without support – it’s about knowing who to talk to when you need help. We need people who can communicate well and  speak up whenever there’s an issue – that’s really important for startups where things are moving and growing so fast.

Canva is always looking for people who are all about the product and the experience they’re delivering. As the product expands, we’ll need to work with a lot of user data so people who are good at data-driven decision making will be very valuable.

What advice would you give to people applying for a product designer role at Canva?

During your interviews, I would say speak up and be yourself. If you notice anything during the interview that you think needs clarification, let your interviewers know. It’s a two way conversation.

Canva celebrates individual personality – in a way it’s a platform for you to become your best and most productive self. So don’t expect Canva to hand out all your tasks or mould you into the image of a perfect Canva designer – you’re the one who has to work on that and find your own path! That said, because you have this amazing platform you’re able to achieve amazing things. Think about whether your values are aligned with what we’re doing, and whether you and Canva can achieve great things together.

Our team is fairly small still, but we’ve done so much already. Imagine what we’ll be able to achieve when we’re ten times bigger! There’s so much room for us to grow and so much more we can do as a team, as a brand and as a culture. If you can be part of that early on, that’s one of those rare opportunities for a designer in their career.