Today we spoke with Tomomi Nagao, the sole designer at Nature Inc. She specializes in industrial design, but is currently overseeing all design processes from packaging to promotional materials and UI design. We asked Tomomi why she decided to join Nature and what are some things she considers important in her work.
The interviewer is Tenshi Kitamura, an intern at Nature Inc.
Ms. Nagao, it is a pleasure to speak with you today. Can you tell me more about your current position?
Well, I would say it is the overall design of Nature. My work includes design of Remo’s exterior, packaging, promotional materials, UI of our app and even Nature’s website. I also get to go to the production factory a lot.
Factory? Why do you need to go to a factory for design?
I go to the factory because I need to be sure of the quality of products being produced. To be honest, it is also possible to work on the design here in the office and just submit it to the factory, so you don’t necessarily have to go so far.
But you never know if it’s the same design you think it is until you actually go and see for yourself. That’s why I believe that it’s important to go to the factory, ask questions and work on improving the quality.
It makes sense! These are the actions you take to make Nature’s products better.
Exactly, when the iPhone was first released, the Apple team was so particular about it’s surface that no one even noticed that it is made of plastic. I would like to make Nature’s products with such attention to details.
I see. I would like to ask about how you became interested in design in the first place?
I actually can’t remember what triggered it… But I’ve loved art since high school. I wanted to work at a job where I could make things. I wanted to do something useful for society so I decided to go to an art university.
Why did you decide to quit your previous job and join Nature?
To put it simply, I have known Haruumi (Founder and CEO of Nature) for a long time even while I was originally involved in industrial design for mobile phones at Kyocera.
Design work at my previous company was also very challenging and interesting, but it was limited to only product design. I became more interested in IT and wanted to explore.
Did you find anything difference about working at Nature compared to your previous job?
I would say the biggest difference is the ability to see a bigger picture. My last job was at a large company, so while I was able to pay attention to details, it was hard to see how my work was contributing to the company. And because of structured management there was not enough responsibility to take on.
On the other hand at Nature I am in charge of many aspects and it’s very rewarding to be able to incorporate everyone’s opinion and bring it to life. It is true that I have a lot of responsibilities, but the more challenges I have, the more joy I feel when the product succeeds. I can also clearly see how my work has a positive impact.
What would you say are the best things about working at Nature?
The appeal of working at Nature is that you get to be involved in manufacturing from scratch. I don’t think there is a better opportunity to create a brand from scratch as an in-house designer. In addition, being able to work closely with people from various fields, such as hardware and software is something you can’t really experience in a larger organization. I enjoy discovering something new every day due to the wide scope of my work. It’s like a whole new world for me.
Being involved in creating new products is definitely fascinating! What kind of company do you see Nature grow into?
I hope that the Nature brand will grow more and will become highly recognized. I’d like to continue to create designs in such a way that lets the company’s vision and the product image coincide perfectly.
I want to give the world a fresh image while keeping our company values, such as the speed of development and constant innovation.
You mentioned the impact on society a lot, why is it so important to you?
This was a surprising question! I guess the bottom line is that people find joy in creating useful products that they can use themselves. It’s very nice to know that people are happy using something you’ve made. It is a pivotal point for all the work I do.
As the last question, I want to ask you about what kind of UI designers you would like to see at Nature?
I would like to see someone who is interesting as a professional, but also as a human being. All members at Nature have their own expertise and work fast, but primarily they all are very interesting people. So if you love design and believe there is something compelling about you, let’s work together!
Thank you so much, Nagao-san!