I had the great opportunity to work at Innovaccer in Noida as a UI/UX design intern for 8 weeks. Although Innovaccer has grown significantly with around 550 employees, the design team is pretty small consisting of 20 coolest people in the office and is responsible for the product and marketing design that runs in the company. I was lucky enough to work alongside experienced designers. This was my first experience working as a UI/UX designer for a high-end consumer product company.
The design culture at Innovacer is very well organized. They follow design sprints and maintain weekly targets for faster and well-defined results. Standups are held every week to allot work and review progress.
Here are some of the things I learned.
Never stop learning
During the first week of my internship, things were slow, and I got tiny chunks of work to do. It was pretty scary, but this time gave me a chance to explore a lot and helped me through my transition from Windows to MacOS. I got myself comfortable with tools like Sketch, Invision, Principle, and then started making simple interactions, writing blogs, building websites, and got habituated to reading blogs everyday. From blogs on NNgroup.com to interactions on dribbble, I went through hundreds of them every day, and they turned out to be very informative and entertaining.
Learning new things from millions of free resources on the internet is fun. All it takes is a google search and some coffee.
“My Netflix daily watch time went down drastically from 3 hours to 1 hour.”
Why? Why? Why?
One week down, things started to fasten up, and I was assigned tasks to do. Being an ambivert, I was very hesitant to ask others for suggestions and feedback, which made me jump directly into solving the problem without brainstorming. I had to reiterate several times before I made the final draft. After a few weeks, I started getting comfortable with people, and the solutions started coming in faster. Everyone helped me look and analyze the problem in a broader way.
Don’t jump right into solving the problem without completely knowing what the problem is and whom you are solving it for. Get everyone on board with the task and get insights from them.
“Empathize more, Design less.”
Take time but be perfect
Diving directly into the solutions was faster, but they were mostly inaccurate and had some significant issues. I had a habit of getting to a solution without considering the users. I learned to understand the why, what and for who of the problem. So I started to sketch, share, debate, and then get to design.
Once the problem is understood, spend time brainstorming on all the possible consequences of every solution you come up with. Have an answer for every why that arises.
Keep things simple and relevant
I always make sure the visual design is beautiful and up to the mark. 5 weeks into the internship, I learned that designing things that feel great and look ok but not things that look great and feel ok is a greater fulfillment. Innovaccer has an amazing structured design system which helped me learn to design using guidelines.
Not everything we design can be developed. Check feasibility before you start to design.
Presentation matters a lot!
The most crucial thing while displaying work to others is the presentation. Let it be your fellow designer, manager, or yourself, a well-presented design changes how people perceive things. The things you design may not look and feel the same on a product.
Design keeping the product guidelines in mind and validate the designs by placing them in different use cases.
A loader animation I made ended up looking like the one on the right.
Notes: A boon?
Notes turned out to be my favorite application throughout the internship, which I never thought. It helped me put down thoughts, ideas, to-do lists, and resources. I grew more organized, and my process of design became more streamlined and systematic.
Noting things down helps us analyze the problem faster, and never forget things anymore.
During my internship, I was given the task of creating a symbol library for all the icons being used across the various products. There were around 3000 icon symbols which I had to resize and organize and align visually. The files were so huge that there were times when moving a couple of icons crashed all the running applications. It gave me my most desperate and painful experience here. But it taught me to stay patient, learn things the hard way and ways to punish designers.
A snapshot of part of the icon library I worked on. Every dot you see is an icon.
These were among the many things I learned during my time at Innovaccer. I was grateful to be a part of the internship program and to be able to contribute to the company. This experience helped me evolve as a designer and also as a person.
I am thankful to Varun and Sayyam for constant support throughout the internship and letting me make the most out of it. I also thank everyone who had a role in making my summer a great one.