During the summer of 2023, I had the privilege of working as a UX Design Intern for the Alexa Shopping team at Amazon HQ in Seattle, WA. Over the course of 12 weeks, I had the opportunity to work on several different projects, collaborating with UX researchers, GUI designers, and VUI designers to enhance and reimagine various shopping experiences for customers on Amazon’s multimodal devices.

Here, I'd like to share some of the highlights and key takeaways from my three-month journey.
Manager - Angela Kung
PM - Srinitya Duppanapudi Satya
Designers - Jeff Carson, Sydney Nguyen
    UX Design Intern
    12 weeks (June - Sept 2023)
    Figma, Usertesting.com, Premiere Pro


    I dove into a number of projects and accomplished significant milestones, including:
    • Owning the redesign and delivery of Amazon’s product variation feature for the Echo Show Family to enhance the current product variation selection experience (aimed to launch by fourth quarter of 2023)
    • Collaborating effectively within a team of four designers to reimagine the information architecture, GUI, and VUI for the product details page for the Echo Show Family
    • Conducting comprehensive audits of current shopping and purchase experiences on the Echo Family Devices to identify inconsistencies and opportunities for improvement
    • Spearheading both unmoderated and moderated user testing efforts to gather user feedback and insights, as well as guide future design direction and strategy for various projects
    • Effectively communicating the customer experience to key stakeholders, leadership, and user testing participants, utilizing Figma and Adobe Premiere Pro to create prototypes that highlight both VUI and GUI elements
    • Engaging in future-state thinking after completing assigned deliverables for Amazon’s product variation feature to continue striving for the  ideal customer experience unburdened by existing constraints

    Key Takeaways

    Throughout this internship, I’ve learned to navigate large amounts of ambiguity and constantly adapt to changes in requirements and scope. While I initially found it challenging to deal with, I ultimately realized the importance of embracing ambiguity as an opportunity to explore new ideas and challenge preconceived notions. When given just a scope and feature, I learned to continuously make progress, finding a balance between “diving deep” into my explorations and recognizing when it’s sufficient to move on. Additionally, I proactively sought insights and feedback from customers, fellow designers, researchers, and subject matter experts to better inform my design decisions.
    During this internship, I learned how to effectively work within technical constraints and limitations of the current framework while continuously pushing to improve the current customer experience. One project I worked on allowed me to explore ideas beyond the initial scope, in which I realized that while there are design limitations in time-sensitive projects, there is still value in discovering what the ideal CX could be. From working on this team, I gained a deeper understanding of voice design and the significance of time-based UX, considering diverse contexts, whether in sovereign or transient states, and how they shape the customer experience. It encouraged me to regularly question the status quo and the metrics underpinning current design, urging me to question whether they genuinely reflect the customer experience if the data is simply a reaction to presented options. My project, in particular, was in the context of touch-forward versus voice-forward interfaces, and this introspection drove me to constantly question in order to push for a better customer experience.
    From sitting in cross-functional team meetings and leadership reviews, I was able to witness how industry designers collaborate, advocate, and defend their design decisions. Through this exposure and multiple 1:1 conversations with other members on the team, I was able to gain valuable insights into navigating the balance between advocating for customer needs and meeting overarching business objectives. This internship emphasized the significance of design advocacy and equipped me with techniques for doing so, such as learning how to effectively communicate with non-designers to ultimately deliver user-centric design solutions that also contribute to the long-term success of the organization.