Fast data processing for understanding customers

By Yan Yang, Data Scientist @ Chewy

Photo by Daniel Tuttle on Unsplash

One of the biggest challenges for an e-commerce company is processing customer-generated session data. Here at Chewy’s Recommendations and Personalization Management team, we are constantly exploring ways to process session data to improve our website and better our customers’ shopping experience.

PySpark running on Amazon Web Services’s Elastic Map Reduce (AWS EMR) is one tool I use often for this kind of high-volume data processing. In this blog post, I will walk through a step-by-step example from a past project to showcase this tool and discuss how to use it effectively. …


By Kate Goodin, Content Designer @ Chewy

A hand holding a phone over some sketches. Another pair of hands cuts a piece of paper.
A hand holding a phone over some sketches. Another pair of hands cuts a piece of paper.
Photo by Amélie Mourichon on Unsplash

Content design sounds great in theory: Focus on the customer to give them the content they need at the right time and in the right place. But in practice, it can be hard for fast-moving product teams to implement. Projects can be messy, with technical constraints, multiple stakeholders, and competing priorities. Can content design work in the real world?

At Chewy, we have a content design team in place, but we’re still breaking out of our roles as copywriters and testing out new, more collaborative processes. …


By Hemalatha Bahadur, Staff Software Engineer @ Chewy

Colorful cubes hanging from ceiling
Colorful cubes hanging from ceiling

Services Based Integration

This blog post captures the learning from a recent project implementation involving complex integrations between various in-house and third-party systems as a part of a legacy upgrade. The day-to-day changes in how the business runs are promoting enterprises to invest in technology to enable effective customer satisfaction, be agile, and retain the competitive edge. Technology enables the business to be more agile, thereby being customer-oriented and in turn leading to customer satisfaction. Most of the engagements that IT is seeing these days are legacy modernization and business transformations for which companies invest…


By Dudley Ablorh-Bryan, UX Developer @ Chewy

A desk holding two monitors with code on the screens, a smartphone, headphones, and a keyboard
A desk holding two monitors with code on the screens, a smartphone, headphones, and a keyboard
Photo by Farzad Nazifi on Unsplash

Working on the Chewy Design System team generally involves switching between engineering new UI components and constructing prototypes made from existing shared components within our Chewy Design System.

While I won’t be discussing design systems in detail, there is certainly rewarding reading out there for those looking to get up to speed. In short, a design system and UI library share styling and/or component logic between the design, prototype and production code while letting each stage focus on what it does best. And when it comes to where you develop, I’ll be focusing…


By Neha Shah, UX Researcher @ Chewy

Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash

Going from a college lifestyle to the “real world” can be quite the change. The transition from classes scattered throughout the day, and working all hours of the night, to a structured environment with its own culture can be challenging. But I found an internship was the perfect bridge for me to acclimate myself to the “real world.”

During the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) 2018 career fair, I came across Chewy for the first time. I was waiting for a friend when I decided to approach the Chewy recruiter and…


By Miriam Ross-Hirsch, User Experience Researcher @ Chewy

Person using laptop computer next to aloe vera plant
Person using laptop computer next to aloe vera plant
Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

If you’re looking for a user experience research (UXR) job, a quick Google search will give you tons, and tons, and tons, and tons, and TONS of articles to help you break into the industry. I read many of them before I transitioned out of nonprofit management and landed my first full-time UXR gig at Chewy.

If you’re an aspiring researcher, this blog post won’t tell you how to get a UXR job, but it will give you tips for starting your first UXR job, especially if you’re transitioning from another industry.


By Jimi Chen, Product Designer @ Chewy

In the Information Age, our lives are full of digital products and services. Many technology companies bring us convenient experiences through excellent design. Still, some users feel these experiences are boring, tedious, and full of long text. Luckily, in recent years, more companies have started to embrace illustration as an important part of their designs and create distinctive experiences within their products.

Why use illustration?

“A picture is worth a thousand words”

In digital experience design, a good illustration has the power to convey complicated ideas with a few simple visual elements. …


By Jess Holt-Carr, Associate Director of UX Research @ Chewy

Photo by Mike Tinnion on Unsplash

This article is based on a presentation I gave to Boston-based UX designers and researchers at Wayfair’s Emerge event.

There are not many times in life when you get the opportunity to create something from scratch, mold the process, add the people you want to be around day in and day out, and create a culture and practice that people respect. This is an opportunity I had this year at Chewy, and it’s something I don’t take for granted.

About a year ago (Halloween 2018), I joined the Chewy team…


By Tom Mackey, UX Researcher @ Chewy

Photo by Rob Curran on Unsplash

When planning research initiatives with stakeholders, one of the biggest considerations is sample size. How many participants do we need to recruit to collect high-quality and reliable data? And how can we do high-quality research while managing our costs? In other words, how can we manage sample sizes in order to optimize our value as researchers? After all, it is our responsibility to help achieve business objectives through a scientifically sound research approach.

How can we achieve optimal value when it costs resources, people, and time to carry out high-quality research?

The Costs of Large, Generative Studies

In every…

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