Design with empathy for our drivers and riders

I’m lucky — I might be one of the last Lyft employees to experience the unique Lyft orientation. Soon after I joined, we entered lockdown and began working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Tuesday after President’s Day, I walked into Lyft HQ, located in the beautiful Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco. This was the first day of my new job.

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Me in front of the Amp wall at the Lyft HQ

I expected the normal onboarding stuff — setting up computers, learning about the company culture, socializing with new friends who also joined the company at the same time, and so on. Unlike my previous onboarding experiences, however, Lyft had a nice surprise for us. …

Finding better owners for things we don’t use anymore

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As some of you might hear me talked about this before: I have been practicing the Konmari method by Marie Kondo for more than a couple of years now.

I used to have eight boxes of stuff remained unopened for over four years, moving around the country with me, from Arizona to California, from the east bay to the city.

2016, when I was introduced to “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” my life truly changed since then. I went through every single item that I own, which took me a good two years. …

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It has become a tradition for me to write down a list of New Year’s resolutions, at the beginning of the year. For the past couple years, my resolutions were all well accomplished.

2015 resolution — yoga:

I participated in the 100 days project and I chose Yoga to be part of my daily routine. The Bhagavad Gita says, “Yoga, is the journey of the self, to the self, through the self.” Yoga helped me begin on a path of self-realization.

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Atomic Design system chart

Create a design system with atomic methodology and Sketch tool

We all know the power of product consistency. Providing consistent user experience across different modules of your product can boost the usability. Once the users learn how to interact with a certain pattern in the system, they would assume the same workflow could apply on the other parts of the software. Maintaining product consistency will not only reduce the learning effort for users to navigate within the application, but also benefit the whole product development cycle, from design, engineering, to QA testing and documentation.

I’m recently helping our team build a design pattern library. This library will serve as a style guide to our design team internally. It was created in Sketch tool so that designers in the team can easily grab any components needed for future design projects. We use a Sketch plugin called Measure to export specs that our front-end development team can easily inspect element properties to create CSS style sheets. …

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Using whiteboards during a UX interview is very common. Whiteboards are an important medium for the design process because it allows designers to communicate ideas with stakeholders, or users, in a very collaborative way. The team can sketch together, erase, and sketch again quickly while walking through ideas. A strong understanding of the purpose of a whiteboard exercise will help a candidate better demonstrate his/her competencies and qualifications during an interview.

Typically a whiteboard challenge is not for evaluating how quickly a candidate can solve a problem. There is no right or wrong answer and therefore interviewers usually want to see how a candidate thinks on their feet. For example, is the candidate able to engage in collaborative problem solving with the team? Your interviewers are attempting to discern your ability to collaborate with future team members. Try and imagine a role play, where the interviewee is interacting with product managers, developers, user researchers and other potential extended team members. …

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One of the most common design interview questions is: What tools do you use for Design?

The question might also come in a variety of different forms or expressions like the following:

  • What are a few of your favorite design tools and why?
  • What is your proficiency level of the listed design tools? Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign.
  • If you could name one tool/application/software that you can’t live without (from a design perspective), what would it be, and why?

Why do interviewers almost always ask this question?

It’s an overused interview question, and to be honest, I rarely ask interviewees about what design tools they use. …

User experience design has been a uniquely emerging profession in the last 20 years. It is more similar in nature to engineering, rather than design, in terms of how much information architecture and problem-solving skills are involved in the process. There are some unique aspects of UX design that make it difficult for designers to get inspirations at random to apply to their projects. …


Hannah Chen

Designer @Lyft, ex-@Google, who is obsessed with handcrafting, world traveling , yoga, photography, food, arts, music, tech. Follow me @HannahCDesign.

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