My Product Design Internship Experience
This post was contributed by Vaidehi Vartak.
From March to June in 2021, I interned at CleverTap as part of the product design team where I had the chance to work closely with other product designers, UX writers, product managers, and engineers in the team. I experienced the end-to-end process of product development in agile culture — from whiteboarding and creating low-fidelity wireframes to converting these to higher fidelity mock-ups and shipping them for development. And for the first time in my life, I was introduced to Scrum teams and sprints.
During the first month, I was assigned discovery research for a section of the product. This involved heuristic evaluation, monitoring fullstory insights and in-house secondary research.
It also involved creating a full workflow of login/SSO.
I was new to working with a design system at this scale, and it took me a while to get a complete hang of it. I often kept bugging everyone on the team with questions and they always made sure to point me in the right direction. There were a few bumps along the way, most of which appeared after I had shipped the mocks for development. It made me realize the value of collaboration across teams and with other stakeholders.
I learned that absolutely nothing is fixed or permanent in terms of design for a feature until it’s finally launched (and sometimes even after that). It’s immensely important to be on the same page with the product managers, to communicate with UX writers and have an understanding of how developers work. Having internalized this, it became easier for me to iterate on the UI, copy, and even the entire workflow sometimes until the last minute.
In the next two months, I shipped three more projects for development. This elevated my confidence in terms of working across teams.
The final and most challenging task assigned to me was to create graph widgets for the whole platform. It appeared to be a simple task at first glance, but when I dove into the nuances like accessibility in terms of colors and sizes of the graphs, I appreciated the complexity of the problem.
Designing graphs, considering every possible edge case, responsiveness, and scalability — these things were only the first half of the challenge. The latter part was contemplating and managing the time constraints of these designs parallel to other ongoing projects that were dependent on the graphs. I spent a lot of time with developers, aligning with their timelines and constraints.
The whole process was challenging, but exciting at the same time. With constant support from my mentors, I reflected on my new strengths such as having a solid reason for every design decision.
Out of the entire experience, I learned things not only specific to design but also about teamwork, collaboration, and the functioning of large organizations. When you design for an enterprise product, scalability is key. It is important that the platform is consistent and every design is scalable in terms of serving various businesses.
In a fast, agile culture like that of CleverTap, prioritizing tasks is crucial for every team. Being proactive and looking out for opportunities to learn in every project is what made me grow as a designer.
Peer review is one of the most important processes while designing. The feedback that I received from my mentors and other stakeholders was invaluable and ensured I was aligned on the right track. Getting this feedback early and often is the key to shipping the design within the deadline.
The internship couldn’t have been better and was a rewarding experience. I would like to thank my team for the amazing mentorship: Brendon, Mihir, Saurabh, Devarpan, Swapnil, Sadiyah, and Geetaa. They always had confidence in me, and because of this I pushed myself beyond my limits. I am surely going to miss working with the CleverTap family.