While completing my senior year of university part-time, I received an opportunity to intern at Wish full-time, and worked on features on both ends of the business, from Consumer to Marketplace & Logistics.
As the team continuously grew in preparation for its IPO, I received my first chance to be treated like a full-time designer, take ownership of my work, and make an impact for over 90 million monthly active users and over 900K merchants worldwide.
September 2020-—April 2021 (8 months)
Marketplace & Logistics
As a designer, my role involved working on multiple projects with varying levels of scope and problem definition, from visual icons and illustrations to research reports. My process often involved working with PMs, stakeholders and engineers to gather context, conducting virtual online research sessions, using wireframes and mid-fidelity prototypes to communicate my design explorations, and validating my MVPs with through remote testing sessions.
Because of the nature of these projects, feel free to reach out to me via email for a password if you want to hear about any specific details!
Looking back to over a year ago, it was a very challenging, but rewarding experience. Previously in my past experiences, I was very used to designing things end-to-end, always keeping a north-star vision on my work, developing clear-cut deliverables for class, and thinking about what the future of our products and services could look like.
During my first week at Wish, I was told that I was "being dropped off into the deep end," where I was forced to adapt, with no clear cut deliverables outside of our designs. Being a junior designer with no previous product design experience, I had no knowledge of iterative design, how UX operated within a Agile startup, or how design components worked.
Now that I'm in a role at a more mature company, I can start to see the gaps between what I knew at the time, and what I know I can accomplish in the future. In a lot of ways, it made me understand how to scope my work, how to timebox, how to become a more efficient designer that can deliver for today.
While I still do believe in that north vision is important as a designer to keep in mind, this role showed me the ways in which we can balance the world of today and tomorrow into one.
At school, you are free to design into a black hole, and hypothesize what could potentially happen in an experience. At work, stakes are higher, decisions need to be driven by data, and not everything you're looking to design is going to be implemented. Throughout my time, I learned how to work within a broad number of constraints, work within an emerging design system, and design big within a narrowed scope.
During my time at Wish, I learned that the designer's role should never be to sit in the back and create mockups in accordance to a PM's requirements. I learned how important it was to communicate design decisions in the context of a user to other stakeholders, and make sure every decision has a level of intentionality that benefits someone who is not you.
Often times, you are working with PMs, engineers and other designers who may not know the process of a designer and it's crucial to figure out how to not just present your work, but present your work to an audience that has a different lens on the product you're working on.
An entire internship like Wish taught me why I got into designing products in the first place, which was in the hopes of designing things for tomorrow, not just for today. It made me realize how it important it is for every pixel, wireframe, and product feature should influence sustainable business growth. This is something that I am thankful for learning on early in my career, and something to keep in mind when planning my future endeavors.