Product and Tech
How I learned the ropes of product design that is informed by user research and how Mentimeter works cross-functionally between designers, engineers, and product managers.
From June to November in 2021 I had the wonderful opportunity to work as a Product Design Intern at Mentimeter. Working on a feature of the product - Slide Library - that is just launching now (so I finally get to talk about it!).
My internship started with an 8 week summer project where I, together with other developers and PM interns, created new slide types for Mentimeter’s Slide Library. As a product designer I was responsible for the visual design of the slides. Moreover I got to facilitate a brainstorming workshop, do user testing and work closely with the developers to adjust the design to any technical constraints. The summer was super intense with a lot of fun memories. By the end of the project we had produced three new slide types! A very proud achievement for the whole team.
In the fall I was lucky enough to extend my internship and got to work with the Enterprise team. There I got an insight into how the day to day work looks like at the company. The Enterprise team primarily works with the admin experience of Mentimeter. This includes the team settings page, how to invite new members to your Mentimeter team, analyzing usage of the product and much more.
At Mentimeter interns are certainly not just running coffee (although we do have a pretty awesome espresso machine and unlimited coffee). The work that we do really gets implemented and is valued just like any other team’s. It was really exciting to see my designs out in the real product. That responsibility also helped me push myself to grow as a designer.
One of my biggest lessons from Mentimeter is about how to work within cross-functional teams and collaborate with other disciplines. While designing I had to understand the user’s problems but also collaborate with developers to see what can actually be done in code. I got to bounce ideas off with data science to get quantitative data on user behaviour and see how we can track new designs in a proper way. Furthermore, the PM helped out to prioritize work and add the business perspective into the designs. Ultimately, I feel like I learned that a great deal of the work that a designer does is about collaboration and communication.
I loved that I could explore different aspects of the design process during the internship. A lot of my work that I took on was tailored to my own goals and areas I wanted to explore. During the summer I got to work more with visual design. In early fall I took on more research-heavy tasks and towards the end I worked on a bigger project where I went through more phases of the design process. Overall, Mentimeter was keen on making sure that I got something valuable out of the work that I did and made sure that my work reflected my goals.
One of the best parts of the internship has been being surrounded by amazing people. During the summer I got to work with extremely talented developers and PM interns who really enhanced my experience. We were a self-sufficient team that got to decide on how we wanted to structure our own work. This led to a very fun experience where I felt trusted to make decisions and free to experiment with different ways of working.
When I got to the Enterprise team in the fall I worked in another cross-functional team with other designers, PM, data scientists, and developers. Everyone was really supportive and truly embraced me as part of the team. I had the privilege of working with two other designers in the Enterprise team, which helped me grow a lot. Since we worked so closely I got a lot of feedback and support from designers who were also knowledgeable about this particular part of the product. Thanks to them I feel like I have genuinely developed my confidence in my design skills.
Moreover, I had some fantastic design mentors who helped me throughout the duration of my internship. With weekly check-ins I got to ask questions and got advice on both my designs and ways of working with my team. My mentors were always available for questions whenever I wanted more input on something and really helped me through times where my imposter syndrome kicked in!
I recommend anyone who wants to get some real life experience in product design to apply to Mentimeter’s internship program. If you want to grow as a designer and learn what it means to design in a cross-functional team, Mentimeter is the place for you. I can guarantee it will be a fun, challenging and memorable time!