I worked as a UX design intern at Google Duo during summer 2019. Duo is a video calling app available on cross-platforms including Android phones, iPhones, web, and smart displays. I explored and designed features for groups in Duo to help users stay connected with their close ties between synchronous calls. I worked closely with engineers, PM, data analysts, and the UX team (designers, researchers, writers) to define users needs and feature vision, and ideate design solutions. I also spent time on learning and introducing a new prototype tool to our team and creating illustrations for the new features. My final deliverables are high fidelity mock ups which had been implemented and were under internal testing stage at the end of my internship.
Coordinating a video call can be a big challenge for a group. However, in Duo, users could only use video calls to contact their groups. As Duo has been dedicated to connecting users with their close friends and families, we found that sending a video message is an engaging way to help them stay in touch between synchronous calls. During my internship, I was responsible for creating the UX flow and UI design for the new group video message feature.
WHAT I LEARNED
Better communication with the cross-functional team
Working at a cross-functional team allowed me to understand products and features from various perspectives. I learned that not to be afraid of asking questions is important to grow as a junior designer and establish better relationships with the team. During my internship, I scheduled a lot of 1:1 meetings with PM, engineers, data analysts, UX writers, UX researchers, and designers to learn from their experiences, their thoughts and feedback on my project and the best way to work with them. This enabled me to find the right person and use the right way to communicate my ideas and concerns throughout my design process.
Never stick to one idea
I realized that it is easy to fall into the wrong impression that I've already come up with the best design solutions. But the reality is that there might be things that I should have considered but didn't. I learned to be comfortable with exploring alternative ideas and collecting opinions from different team members. This also helps me to better rationalize why I made such design decisions. There is never one way to approach a problem. Alterations can bring more inspiration and discussion, which may results in an opportunity in the future.
A prototype is worth a thousand meetings
From a simple page to page transition to a delicate micro-interaction of a UI component, prototypes are super effective to communicate design. It saves a lot of time to explain how you want the design to work and makes the experience alive. It is a fast way to test out ideas and obtain feedback from users and stakeholders at any stage of the design process. I also realized it is good to be open to trying new prototype tools since each of them has its strengths and weakness. New tools might allow you to craft a vivid prototype that can evaluate your concept with an experience closer to the real context.
Huge thanks to my intern manager Joy Barlow, my co-manager Lucy Yu, and my mentor Su-Lin Khaw. I wouldn't have the amazing learning experience without their support, guidance, and trust throughout my internship!
Farewell lunch with my team
My final presentation