In June of 2016 I packed my bags and moved to San Francisco to begin a three month internship at Google’s Mountain View headquarters. I worked as a UX Design intern on the Sharing team (formerly SPS) and my work was overseen by my manager Aaron Druck and by the UX Director Sasha Verhage. I was privileged to work with world-class designers, engineers, and product managers. Unfortunately I am unable to share the details of my work as it is currently unannounced and protected by NDA, but below I have tried to give a snapshot of how my work was structured.
I perhaps learned more in these three months than in any other equal period of time in my life– everything from practical design tools and tricks to high-level product strategy. Many pro designers in and out of the Sharing team took the time to meet with me, answer my questions, and critique my work. Amongst many others, I was fortunate to meet with Luke Wroblewski, Bradley Horowitz, and Braden Kowitz.
Here are some of my key high-level takeaways from a summer at Google.
Corporate org structures matter and as a designer it is also your job to identify areas of overlap and opportunities for internal collaborations.
Organizing assets and documenting your work and changes is important to communicating your design decisions.
Design doesn't happen in a vacuum. (This may seem like just a trendy phrase, but it's truly one of my biggest takeaways.)
Turn design ideas into stories to communicate them not only to others but also to the user. Put as much effort into these stories as you do the actual designs.