Behind the Scenes

Interview with Radhika Unni Shroff, Product Designer

Hi Radhika, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m now a product designer but I originally started as a print/brand designer. Eventually I realized I had a love for tech and how humans interact with it, so I transitioned into digital/product design. These days I work on lots of exciting stuff, but most recently a new web page that explains how Pattern works.

Why are you excited to be on the Pattern team?

I love the idea of designing a tool that helps sellers create an online presence that’s truly their own. It’s really fulfilling to feel that I’m helping empower sellers by giving them what they need to create their own website.

What inspires you?

I mainly find inspiration from my own everyday experiences with products (usually on my phone). But I also try to notice if I have a negative or positive emotional reaction when I’m interacting with technology, and keep that in mind when I’m designing. Ultimately my job is to design for people, and technology should help make people’s lives easier.

What is branding?

To me, branding is any visual representation that evokes an emotional response and is memorable. It’s way more than just a logo. Take an individual person—their brand is that person’s personality (their hairstyle, fashion sense, way they walk, etc.). It goes the same way for companies or stores—how you feel when you walk into the store, the way they display their items, the look of their website, their customer service, etc. all make up their unified brand.

How do I build and develop my personal brand?

Try to describe your brand in only a few words. Then make a mood board or collage that illustrates the essence of your brand. Elements on the mood board can be pictures you take of things in real life that give you the same feeling you want your brand to give others. It can also be images cut out off magazines that have the same vibe you’re going for. Use these as your guide for when you begin creating other parts of your brand (like a logo or website).

What makes a good logo?

Being simple is key. It’s much more memorable that way. Think about how you can reduce your logo to the most essential elements or shapes so your eyes can connect the dots for you. Let’s say you sell jewelry. If your jewelry is very geometric, think about using geometric shapes that imitate your jewelry in your logo or using a geometric typeface that evokes those same shapes, instead of illustrating real items.

How should I choose my color palette?

Think about what moods or emotions you’re trying to convey with your brand. Cheerful and peppy brands may use brighter or energetic colors. More serious or slick brands could look towards darker, muted colors.

How did the Product Design team create the Pattern themes?

Our themes highlight visual assets already used in sellers’ Etsy shops, and let you personalize the layout, color scheme, and font. We’re really excited about pushing this customization even further very soon.

What are your favorite tips to make my Pattern site look attractive and professional?

If you’re able to get your hands on a good camera, take high-quality pictures. Depending on what you’re selling, try to have each item against a neutral colored background and use the same angle for each item so the focus is really on your beautiful product. Then, you should shorten your listing titles if you can. The website themes are less cluttered and breathe more when titles are shorter—your eyes focus more on your product. Lastly, use colors for your background or text that complement your product. If your products are all different colors, a neutral background can be less distracting.

Do you have a favorite Pattern theme?

There are a few themes depending on what you’d like to highlight for your store. If you want to show off related listings, you should use Zephyr. If you have a lot of items and the images are all different heights, I would suggest Mosaic.

What are some of your favorite Pattern websites that you’ve seen?

I’m always impressed with how some Pattern sellers use our themes. My favorites are always changing, but a few right now are Chey Blue, I Loot Paperie,  Foxtail Jewelry, Moonrise Creek, and Dudley Denim. I can’t wait to see what new Pattern sellers are going to create!
Find more help on how to grow your brand on Etsy.