My Internship at Facebook
Dates: June to September 2020 Location: London, UK (remote) Role: Product Design Intern Team: Portal for Work Design Team Missions: Elaborate a solution to bring the real-life experience of side-conversations to Rooms, for an internal training programm.
In 2019, 2 designers and 1 HR came to my school for a conference about their work at the Facebook London Office. I was so fascinated by everything they did, their projects, their visions, but also their lucidity about what worked and what did not. At the end of the talk I stayed talking with the designer and the HR and I kept contact. Few months later I went through the interviews and with a bit of luck (I think) I was taken for a first internship.
Apart from that I was always interested in the Facebook work and culture. They develop big scale product that generate revenue, which is then reinvested in highly innovative projects that advance technology and our lives for years to come.
I was part of the Portal for Work team. Their role was to develop project and product for the future of VC and remote working. The team was composed by 1 Product Design Manager (my internship mentor), 5 designers and 1 UX researcher. Even in a remote context it was easy to integrate myself and feel good, thanks to daily chats and meetings with my manager, weekly virtual tea time and design critique.
The goal of my internship was to think about side conversations inside video calls and to develop a solution for that inside the current Facebook's VC solution : Workplace Rooms. We knew it was a problem for specific use cases, inside and outside of Facebook, like work or academic scenarios. Today the host can't split up a large group into smaller ones for different reasons like exercises, discussions or workshop.
I therefore worked on and proposed a concept that would fit in the current solution to help video conference hosts to manage their group. You can learn more about this project here.
By working at Facebook and on this project I learned so many things, the main ones were:
- Share your work early and to as many people as possible in order to not go into the wrong direction.
- Keep cross-functional teams engaged very early int the process. It definitely helps product designer to talk with researchers, engineers or stakeholders in order to build something coherent, credible and useful.
- Preparing a workshop is 90% of the job. By organizing an ideation workshop I understand that writing everything and every step and then practice, practice and practice will make the thing way easier. The other 10% is facilitation and presentation during the meeting.
Finally, I loved this experience above all because I was able to apply all my designers skills, research, creation, prototyping, facilitation and communication. The only thing missing was maybe not to have accompanied the project during its development by the engineers. But anyway it was the best professional experience so far, that's why I've decided to come back for a second internship this 2021 summer.