Sarahrp - UX & UI Pathway

What I knew about UX before this internship:

  • How to conduct user surveys and interviews
  • How to implement the design-thinking process

I took part in the UTC Aerospace Challenge in 2018/19 where my team looked for ways to improve the passenger experience from security checks and passport control to the shape of cabin seats and in-flight entertainment.

What I have learned about UX from this internship:

  • The value of UX research and design in a company
  • The principles of design and laws of UX
  • How to empathise with users of a product/service by conducting surveys and interviews and also by creating empathy maps, task-flow diagrams and personas
  • How to define a UX Project scope by creating and examining stakeholder maps and Bull’s Eye diagrams
  • How to use Figma to create low-fidelity and high-fidelity prototypes

Lead Tasks:

  • Scheduling team meetings
  • Writing an agenda for each meeting
  • Delivering presentations on UX to the team at the beginning of every week
  • Delegating and following-up on tasks completed by individual team members
  • Attending a number of user interviews
  • Scheduling and hosting weekly meetings and sessions with our UX Industry Mentor for all Leads in the UX Pathway
  • Coordinating with FS Lead @Vrinda_Jain to host an alignment meeting between our teams
  • Scheduling and hosting feedback sessions with @ddas and @rachit_jain (Thank you for your feedback and advice!)
  • Scheduling our Project Showcase and presenting with the team to stakeholders

The biggest challenge I faced during this internship:

  • Leading a team with members from across the globe with various skill levels

How this challenge was overcome:

  • Upon @Katyayani_Singh and @ZoeyVu’s recommendation, we used spacetime.am to find a suitable time for team meetings when all team members’ time zones were aligned
  • Suggested dividing the team into sub-groups based on time zones and experience. This worked very successfully with ‘Team East’ and ‘Team West’
  • Constantly brainstormed ways to improve team engagement and performance by preparing ice-breakers for team meetings
  • Issued a post-week 1 survey to the team to gather feedback and suggestions for improving team engagement and performance
  • @Vrinda_Jain and I organised a weekly ‘Inter-Pathway meeting’ with a Lead from each Pathway to share ideas about team engagement and team progress.
  • Upon @Vrinda_Jain’s recommendation, we encouraged outstanding team members to host meetings, webinars and office hours in their fields of expertise

Achievements:

  • Led a team in the 5-week internship, through the stages of UX research and design, culminating with a showcase of our work and our high-fidelity prototypes
  • Coordinated Inter-Pathway meetings
  • STEM-Away® Site Evolution Award for a Virtual Internship Program Structure Proposal

What I have gained from this internship:

This was a leadership opportunity like no other. We were given complete autonomy with our teams. We determined the project timeline and deliverables and made the weekly meeting schedule accordingly.

I have learned invaluable skills in time-management, project-management, leadership, communication, problem-solving and organisation.
I have also learned many technical skills specific to UX which I will use in future projects.

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