Valuable lessons learned during a UI internship at Milestone Inc.

As a budding designer, I always aspired to design and develop advanced, accessible technologies which bring about a change in the way we live, especially in developing nations. Over the summer of 2018, I got a chance to turn my dream into reality as I got a surreal opportunity to intern at Milestone Inc. as a UI Designer in their Silicon Valley office. I joined the product team where I designed and prototyped screens for the new and existing Milestone products. Simultaneously I helped them with the research techniques on developing an unannounced product. So, I’m writing this post to reflect on six valuable lessons I learned from this summer internship.

Network. Network. Network.

Personally in today’s world networking has become extremely important. Furthermore, internships give you a very good opportunity to meet new people and learn from them. Reaching out to people from your industry is always a good idea as they are willing to help you out and also send them emails to review your portfolio and resume. This will help you in learning the skill of initiating a conversation and communicating. As designers, communication should be your strong hand otherwise you will struggle a lot in the design industry. Networking is a skill that will help you going forward.

Ask a lot of questions

UX Designers are problem solvers and I think a problem can only be solved by understanding it. I was a keen learner and was always asking my mentor curious questions that really had no correct answer. It helped me better understand the scope of the project and design the right kind of solution. It is common to hesitate before asking a question, however being inquisitive I personally feel is a great quality to have.

Take every feedback in a positive way

No matter what you do or how well you do it, some criticism is eventually going to come your way. I know as a designer, people get attached to whatever they are working on and when someone critique’s their work, they often get offended and start taking that feedback personally. It will only make you learn more and become a better designer. Start looking for patterns in the feedback you received, this will help you in picking out which feedback is constructive, and which is not.

Working together with developers helps in making better UI’s

Designers often think that developers do not put in their full effort into developing what has been designed and are not supporting designers in creating great designs. But this is not true. Designers forget that there are some technical restrictions when it comes to coding a given design. As a designer, you should approach the technical restrictions in the same way as you approach user restrictions. I think there should be a constant communication between the developers and the designers when it comes to working together. It helps you in making better UI’s and your product successful.

Speak up about what you want to be involved in

It is always said that it is good to volunteer, within reason. Employers are impressed if you show eagerness to help — but don’t simply sign up for everything. In my opinion, it is quality rather than quantity that matters. During there course of my internship, I tried to take part in every product and design meeting. It helped me in gathering information about the other projects that were going on and I could be a part of. Being enthusiastic is highly valued!

Step outside your comfort zone

Morgan Freeman once said, ‘challenge yourself; it’s the only path which leads to growth.’ Internships are all about gaining newfound knowledge and learning to work in a professional environment. An internship is not only an opportunity to test out the skills that you have already developed, but it is also an opportunity to expand your learning curve. Utilizing your coworkers and mentors to learn and develop new industry skills is always a good idea. These skills will enrich your professional portfolio and will make you more appealing to future employers.

Overall, I think at Milestone has helped me in growing as a designer and this will definitely have a lasting impact on my perspectives of life and career choices.

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My experience interning in the bay area was originally published in UX Collective on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



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