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Mastering UX: Tips and Tricks from Confluent Champion Deok

Written By
Deok Hwan Choi, Staff Product Designer

What’s the key to delivering a stellar user experience? Deok Choi, staff product designer at Confluent, will tell you it’s all about truly understanding what your users need and then creating simple, effective solutions to enhance their experience with your product. 

Three years in, Deok believes Confluent’s collaborative environment has been an integral part of his journey to becoming more innovative with user experience (UX) design. 

Let’s learn more about Deok, his journey at Confluent, what inspires him, and how to master UX.

How have you grown or changed since joining Confluent?

Joining Confluent has been a journey of constant learning and growth for me—especially in understanding user problems and their needs. Our collaborative environment has helped me make significant strides in grasping our users' core intentions and mapping out their journey with our products. 

I have been able to evolve my thought process to be more strategic, a skill that's been nurtured by the insightful perspectives of my colleagues. However, it’s an ongoing journey, and I'm keen on sharpening these skills even further to better support our users.

What motivates you to excel in your role and how does Confluent support your ambitions? 

I'm really inspired by the opportunity to think outside the box and get innovative with our UX. At Confluent, it's a team game. Our leadership sets the stage with their genuine care for our customers and their encouragement for us to innovate. 

Also, it's the day-to-day collaboration with my coworkers, the brainstorming sessions, the mutual support, and our shared commitment to excellence that truly drive me. We all have a part in pushing the envelope and making sure our users get the best, and that's a vibe I really appreciate.

What skills or technologies have you learned since joining? What are you looking forward to learning next?

At Confluent, I've really enjoyed shaping our UX vision for the data streaming platform. It's incredibly rewarding to see the excitement from our team and customers when they connect with a new design concept. This process has broadened my skills, especially in leading brainstorming sessions, diving into UX research, and bringing our findings together to inspire the team to rally around our vision. 

This task involves much more than just coming up with ideas though. It's about truly understanding what our users need and creating simple, effective solutions that make their experience better. Collaborating with our talented UX design team is key, as their insights and skills greatly enhance our projects. Looking to the future, I'm excited about focusing on two key goals. First, I want to get even better at explaining and sharing our big ideas and plans with stakeholders and other teams to ensure everyone is on board and moving in the same direction. Second, I plan to take our user experience to the next level by strengthening our partnerships and making our teamwork even more impactful.

What's unique about Confluent's company culture? What’s one question you would tell people to ask about the culture during their interview?

The 'One-Team' ethos at Confluent stands out distinctly, ingraining a sense of deep belonging from day one. Even amidst rapid growth post-IPO, the culture of unity and recognition, particularly in a remote environment, remains robust. 

The genuine appreciation and celebration of each other's achievements are aspects of our culture that I deeply value. 

One pertinent question to ask during an interview would be, “How does Confluent maintain its 'One-Team' culture amidst rapid growth and in a remote-first environment?’”

How does Confluent encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion?

Confluent really steps up when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We have a dedicated team leading our employee resource groups (ERGs), and they are constantly organizing events and meetings that are focused on learning and understanding each other better. 

I've personally learned a lot from these events. This effort not only fosters a more inclusive environment but also broadens our horizons—making us more empathetic.

  • Zion Samuel is a writer on the Brand Marketing team at Confluent. Prior to Confluent, Zion has spent several years writing for organizations in various technology and healthcare sectors.

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