The company: OTVcloud is a company based in Shanghai, China, providing cloud-based media storage, management, and streaming solutions to clients including Shanghai Sports Channel, and Shanghai Media Group
The problem: How can we make the data visualization, upload, and management easier for the users working for Shanghai Sports Channel based on the existing website design?
What I did: Analyzed current design & interviewed users + Created an interactive mockup + Performed usability study on the mockup + Created finalized design based on the study result
Final result: Delivered a high fidelity mockup of the website, which was later implemented and deployed for Shanghai Sports Channel for online media management
Context: By the time I joined, the company already had a working beta for the client, Shanghai Sports Channel. I was assigned to improve the existing design before the official delivery of the product.
Approach: Heuristic evaluation + user interview
Rationale: In order to make the most out of the user interviews to understand what are the issues with the current design, I did a heuristic evaluation to get peek on what to expect during the interviews.
The fact that the product is used in a professional setting makes users have higher standards in terms of performance, reliability, and error prevention.
The team I work in did not know much about UX design and research, so it was important for me to explain and justify every UX procedure that is new to them.
Approach: 2 personas -> design sketches -> storyboards -> 1 task list -> paper prototype + test plan (maybe a huge infographic)
Goal: Generate design ideas and a simple prototype to validate the ideas
My Role: Organized all the design activities as a project manager, presented the deliverables to the stakeholders.
As a designer, it’s important to make sure everyone on the team is actively involved in the design ideation process. Debates and discussions during the brainstorm are extra safety nets to test the idea.
Approach: 1 pilot usability study + 2 remote usability studies (on the graph it should explain why the usability studies are remote)
My Role: Created and refined the usability study plan and helped executing the usability studies.
Result: Also in the picture show some quotes of feedbacks
When the participant is an expert in the problem space, the study feedbacks are more high quality and justified. In this case, the pilot usability study helps to make the most out of the study.
Paper prototype is low cost, but also require extra effort during the usability study planning in order to get user feedback on the targeted aspects.
Approach: Graphic design incorporating the findings from the usability study
Difficulty: Not enough experience in graphic design, especially for desktop websites
Solution: Received mentorship and critiques from a senior graphic designer in the company
Everyone has a sharp eye. Clients and coworkers could easily see small graphic design mistakes such as alignment and sizing.
By the end of my internship, I could clearly feel that as a designer, I need to build a diverse skill set including UX design, graphic design, UX research, usability study, and some fundamental understandings towards coding.
If they don’t know UX, make them know
Starting my internship in a company that doesn’t know much UX design and research was challenging. There were a lot of push back when I tried to apply UX research methods or justify a design decision. To overcome this difficulty, I started hosting a weekly talk on Fridays to introduce the UX methods and the reasons for using them. The experience of teaching UX to more senior coworkers was rewarding, because they asked questions that really forced me to think about what people from other backgrounds can benefit from me using a UX method and how I can make them more involved in UX process and decision-making.
Don’t be limited by the job title
As a UX design intern, I realized that just getting my work done itself cannot maximize my learnings and contributions in a professional environment. I took on more challenges by managing the company’s social media account on Weibo.com. I also collaborated with marketing team to design the company’s mascot, and then worked with a factory to produce the mascot as a gift for visitors. I benefited a lot from both experiences in terms of interdisciplinary communication and marketing.
Mentorship and challenges boost growth
Getting my assigned work done improved me as a designer, but not enough. It was the hardship and mentorship that provided the most learning opportunities for me: clients challenging my design decisions with their own proposed ideas, my manager turning down my request to conduct user research, and mentorship from a senior graphic designer working in the marketing team. By overcoming all the hardships and receiving mentorship, I gained a multidimensional growth in terms of UX design & research skills, communication & presentation skills, and most importantly, the resilience to bounce back after a setback.