I spent the summer of 2019 in windy San Francisco as a Product Design Intern on the Driving Team at Lyft, working on improving the multi-stop experience for drivers.
As my project is under NDA, I can't disclose full project details. If you are interested in learning more, please reach out!
My internship experience focused on improving the driver experience with waiting at waypoints, extra stops added in Lyft rides. The design process included collaborating with data science and UX research to gather context, creating wireframes to communicate broad design explorations, working cross-collaboratively and gaining stakeholder alignment, creating high-fidelity prototypes, performing both in-person and online user testing sessions, working with engineers to discuss feasibility and technical challenges, and establishing a long-term project roadmap.
Throughout this project, I ended up working with people across several different disciplines and teams, resulting in a highly collaborative effort and the forming of a more holistic design solution.
The result at the end of my internship was a set of high-fidelity mockups and interactive prototypes demonstrating an end-to-end product experience in order to improve the multi-stop experience for drivers. Due to the nature of my project, I ended up designing for both driver and rider, where I experienced the challenge of designing for a double-sided market and balancing two very different sets of user needs.
Below is a preview of the designs to be implemented as the MVP!
My internship was a time of tremendous growth, not only as a designer but as a person. Below are just a few of the learnings that I've taken with me:
1. Designers have a responsibility to know and advocate for the user. During my time at Lyft, I learned about the unique challenges that drivers face while on the job (e.g. the danger of distracted driving), and how these manifest in design decisions (e.g. "arms-length usability"). These user problems have to be taken into account and advocated for when making decisions, especially within the broader context within a company.
2. Treat stakeholders not as associates, but as collaborators and as fellow-problem solvers. Having different titles just means having unique skillsets, ways of thinking, and ideas when approaching a problem.
3. The toolkit a designer should have to be successful within a tech company reaches far beyond hard skills and simply knowing Sketch, and is also more nuanced than "communication skills" – it includes presentation strategy, process, organizational awareness, point of view, and confidence.
4. Impostor syndrome is and always will be real – embrace it. As an intern, I sometimes felt like I didn't belong. I learned that it's important to accept these feelings of self-doubt, but also work on addressing them by having a beginner's mindset, asking questions, learning from anyone and everyone, and absorbing everything around you.
5. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be scary, but this is exactly how you know you're learning. If you're comfortable, you're not growing.