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I spent my 2020 summer at Alibaba's Xixi campus in Hangzhou. I was a UX design intern at Tmall Global, China's largest B2C cross-board e-commerce platform.
During my internship, I worked with Tmall Global's operation team to developed a targeted advertising system for merchants and operators. This product has driven the advertising budget more than 7.5 billion.
June - August 2020
Experience designer intern
Tmall Global design team
1. Business comes first
Alibaba is the largest e-commerce platform in China. We design products for more than 800 million users. We need to adhere to the customer first and user perspective. As a designer, I should insist on seeing the product experience from the user's perspective, understand the business strategy, and be the real user first. Only by achieving business goals, then we can provide users with a better experience and life.
2. Reasonable and logical design
"If you can't explain the reasons behind the plan clearly, you will face challenges."
When I work with the most talented people in the world, I need to be awake and calm at all times. no matter how complex the presentation or documentation is, I always ask myself these questions:
1. What are the business objectives of the product?
2. Who do I design for, and who are my stakeholders?
3. Where should I go to find my design insights?
4. Can my design be trusted?
5. What is my design strategy?
6. How can I validate my design strategy?
When I was first asked these questions, I didn't know how to answer them. But over time, I try to push myself to answer these questions to make sure that my design is always business-oriented and reasonable. In this way, when I show my design to others, I can trust and be confident in my work.
3. Stay open and get feedback
In Alibaba, it's hard to see the concept of "level". I can reach out to anyone on the DingTalk, whether it's an intern like me or the CEO. If I have any questions, I can send a message directly at any time:
"Hi, may I ask you a few questions about the business when you are free?"
Although my colleagues are very busy, they are very happy and ready to answer questions at will. We can communicate in any space and it's very efficient. Growing from learning may be the fastest way to become a professional designer. If you get stuck in a place, don't hesitate to get some from the people around you.
4. Run fast then iterate
In agile development teams, time is the cost. If we don't move quickly, competitors will finish ahead of us. In Alibaba, the iteration speed of products is generally one month. Every month there will be a big update, we need to complete the requirements collection, evaluation, design, development, testing, launch and many other work in this month. In fact, we need to iterate not only one, but also many products.
It requires me to react quickly and then act, not to spend too much time on static thinking. Let the products run first, reflect on the problems from the semi-finished products and improve them quickly. Grow in doing.
5. Do a little more than expected
“When you work with someone for the first time, do a little more than you expect, and surprise them with a first impression.”
This sentence from my supervisor and mentor, Paopao, who is a man of great talent and kindness. I need to quickly build trust in myself when facing people I am working with for the first time. It is a simple and effective way to do things better than expected. In this way, in the first impression of others, I can be a professional and hardworking person. With such a foundation of trust, cooperation in the future will be much easier.
Moments and Thanks
I had a memorable and wonderful summer in Hangzhou. I would not have grown so fast without the help of my super team.
I was surrounded by such a group of talented, passionate, and lovely people, they gave me enough support and encouragement. Consistently respect my opinions, support the decisions I make, and stick to doing the right thing. It was very impressive and I'm very grateful to them.
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