A progress report of our internship experiences

The MS-HCI program at Georgia Tech strongly encourages students to complete an internship between their first and second year. My friends and I have been learning a lot, and we’re here to share our experiences thus far.

Overview:

  1. Ishaani Mittal | UX Design Intern at LiveLike in New York
  2. Lindsay Kelly | UX Research Intern at LinkedIn in San Francisco
  3. Nikhila Nyapathy | UX Design Intern at ADP in Atlanta
  4. Rachel Chen | UX Design Intern at IBM Design in Austin

Designing an experience for mobile and VR platforms easily adaptable for various sports

By Ishaani, UX Design Intern

LiveLike is a sports technology company focused on creating immersive experiences to improve the live sports watching experience. My biggest achievement yet has been to apply the design process in an ever-changing needs of a startup. I learned that design is more than just making pixel-perfect screens but a way of thinking which can inculcate a sense of confidence within employees about themselves and the product, and the company learned that following this process can provide needed direction to innovate and deliver high-quality products.

I worked on three different technologies — mobile, AR, and VR. One of the obstacles in terms of following the process has been to communicate ideas and get user feedback. I learned that brainstorming is essential when designing for immersive mediums. Hence for VR, I deployed a back and forth ideation process between VR paper prototyping and 3D space (SketchBox). Ideating in 3D provided a better understanding of the available user space, find reach issues very early in the designs and define the layout of the content. The next step is to combine the layout, depth, and content using Halolabs to test with users. For AR, I was involved in the user research and initial ideation of concepts. I made use of custom sheets and sketches to communicate my ideas. Finally, I made use of flowcharts (draw.io) to lay out user flows and cover scenarios to make the experiences adaptable for various sports.

Overall, I am thoroughly enjoying my internship and am looking forward to the next phase as a designer. The biggest highlight of the internship was to conduct user research during the FIFA World Cup for the VR experience that the company made for 10+ broadcasters including Fox Sports.

Researching sales professionals and living the #LinkedInLife

By Lindsay, UX Research Intern

I’m working on several projects for LinkedIn’s Sales Solution team. The first involves setting up a design-led rolling research program for ongoing usability testing of high-fidelity prototypes. The second involves conducting interviews of our core sales professional users to better understand their workflows and pain points. Lastly, the third is a quantitative and qualitative bottoms-up analysis of open-ended survey feedback about the primary sales product.

So far I’m really enjoying my internship and feel lucky to be living the #LinkedInLife. In particular, I really value the company culture and am motivated every day by my fantastic team. Additionally, awesome food and intern events (like product innovation tours of Nike’s headquarters) take the intern experience to a whole new level! Finally, I feel like I really have ownership of my work and am making an impact, which is very important to me.

In summary, I would definitely recommend interning at LinkedIn if you’re looking to have fun, meet great people and challenge yourself to grow your research and design skills.

Designing for payroll innovation

By Nikhila, UX Design Intern

I’m working on a project which focuses on innovating the current payroll process for practitioners. Some of the tasks I’ve been involved in include analyzing and drawing insights from user research sessions, evaluating the information architecture and designing micro interactions for high fidelity prototypes.

It has been fast paced and exciting so far. I’ve come to appreciate just how complex and intricate payroll can be and how important it is to understand the user’s mental model before delving into designing for them. The amount of domain knowledge I have gained during the user research sessions is tremendous, and I keep learning something new everyday. I’ve also significantly sharpened my prototyping skills due to the quick iterations we’ve had to make in our designs.

Some fun design practices I’ve picked up on include the usage of Trello to document various stages in the design process and Mural for collaborative note-taking — both of these have proved very useful and effective. I love that the team is open to using new tools and media for communication and collaboration — which I believe is important to keep the design process efficient and up to date.

Overall, I’m grateful for this internship, where I’m given the freedom to define my goals and articulate what I want to gain out of it — and be fully supported in fulfilling the same.

Designing for accessibility and appreciating the complexity of a B2B environment

By Rachel, UX Design Intern

I’m working with 5 other interns on a framework to help IBMers design for accessibility. While I was assigned as a UX designer, I’ve been working closely with the researcher on the team to help conduct interviews and brainstorm survey questions. That’s due to the current phase of the project, though — I’ll start wireframing and prototyping soon, which is exciting!

I’m very happy to work on this project, since designing for accessibility is something that I care about. Inclusive design allows more people to enjoy a product that they otherwise might not have been able to.

One of the things I appreciate about the studio so far is how much people encourage and support your learning. Working at a company that offers a wide variety of products and services means it’s important to learn about the 1) business operations and 2) domain knowledge of whatever you’re working on. The complexity is interesting and at times daunting — luckily, the studio culture here is transparent and collaborative; people are willing to help.

Tangentially, a cool thing about our space is that there are sticky notes and sharpies everywhere (yes, even in restrooms!) The design thinking philosophy is not only valued and practiced but also manifested in the physical space.

Interested in more content like this? Let us know and stay tuned for our MS-HCI Medium account!

UX researcher @ IBM. Mama to two happy doggos. SF Bay Area.

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