Designing for the Workforce: #meetrhumbix interview with Erik Herschend

Posted by Guy Skillett on 2/23/16 10:05 AM
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Our #meetrhumbix interview this week is with Erik Herschend, Creative Director. Check out what he has to say about the iterative design process involved in building tech for construction. 

As a creative director for a growing startup, what do you find most rewarding about your work?
It sounds cliché, but I’d have to say it is the people I work with. I get to work with a lot of smart people, and the environment here is very empowering, which makes it fun to come to work every day.

I’m also learning a TON about an industry that I wasn’t very familiar with before, which keeps things interesting.

What are some of the things you’re learning about the construction industry?
There is so much to learn. Construction varies so much from company to company and craft to craft. I’m learning things every day.

I definitely have a new level of appreciation for the complexity of construction projects. The level of thought, the manpower, and the immense number of crafts that go into making a building like the one we are in right now is incredible.

I remember the first time I visited a jobsite, just being blown away by how loud it was and how many moving parts there were. It gave me a new level of appreciation for the level of accuracy and awareness workers have for what is happening around them. It also gave me a greater sense of empathy for the design challenges we are facing with the app.

What is one of those challenges?
One of our ongoing challenges is balancing screen real estate with text size. Workers want things as big and simple as possible, and after experiencing a construction site first-hand, I understand why. In addition to the noise and activity level of jobsites, there are other factors like sunlight and weather conditions that impact screen visibility.

I also have a new level of understanding for the significance of the transition of moving people from paper to digital. I used to discount how big of a leap that is, but now I really get it.

How have these challenges impacted your design process?
It’s all about empathy. Empathy has been a big theme for our creative team. Design is always an iterative process, but here it is even more iterative. We are uncovering all these patterns and data that went unnoticed before so there is a constant feedback loop of building, testing, and reworking new features with our users.

It’s a humbling process, but it’s also really exciting. Very few people have the opportunity to fundamentally improve an industry that’s been around since the dawn of time, so I consider myself pretty fortunate to be doing what I’m doing.

Interested in working with a guy like Erik? Rhumbix is hiring. Check out a list of open positions here.

Topics: #meetrhumbix, Construction Technology