highlights from my digital product design internship at tiket.com 🟡🔵

a remarkable learning experience of the professional world and beyond

via
tiket.com

--

a mandatory picture in front of tiket.com’s logo🧍🏻‍♀

6 months have passed and my time as a product design intern at tiket.com has come to an end. To reflect back and document my journey, I‘d like to share some of my takeaways while working here. Since this writing will be pretty lengthy, I will be chunking it into several parts. Here’s an overview of it:

  • 🐈 My background
  • 💼 About tiket.com internship
  • 💛 tiket design culture
  • 👩🏻‍💻 Work scope
  • 🏨 Insights on my team, accommodation
  • 💻 Observations & learnings on hard skills (design & project based)
  • 🗣 Learnings on soft skills
  • 🧠 Mindsets that I adopt throughout the internship
  • 🌱 Lessons around personal growth and self-discoveries
  • 📌 Important things to do, note, and consider on an internship
  • ✨ Closing

Disclaimer: Please note that everyone’s experience is heavily influenced by the team they are in; hence, my views are mine and do not represent everyone. Read this writing with a grain of salt.

tiketdesign team picture! (During our Bali outing 🏖 >,<)

🐈 My background

Hi, I’m Via! I recently graduated high school and am currently taking a gap year for self-investment in tech & design knowledge (read my gap year journey here). In school, I majored in Natural Sciences. Thus, exploring and learning about the design world have always been outside formal classes.

This is also my first product design internship. Before shifting my interest to product design, I fiddled with graphic design and had an internship at a creative agency.

💼 About tiket.com internship

What’s tiket.com? — Tiket.com is the go-to Online Travel Agent (OTA) that invests in continuous innovation to simplify and revolutionize tourism using the technology that they build for more than 17 million of their growing users globally. With more than 85 airline partners, 2.7 million hotel inventories, and 10,000 things to do, tiket.com was announced to be the fastest-growing OTA in 2019.

How do I get in? — I was fortunate enough to get in through a referral. If you would like to know more about the application and interviewing process, I had written a reflection about my experience on it. Read it, here!

The internship — Overall, it was 6 months of fun yet insightful ride. Since tiket.com adopted WFA (Work from Anywhere), I mostly spend my time working from home, from 9–6 PM. Working at the office is optional but we go there usually to socialize and have team gatherings.

My team — In tiket design team, we are divided into cities where each of them handles a certain product. Throughout my internship, I was under Transylvania which tackle tiket.com’s accommodation. There, I specifically handled hotels.

*peep the cool office 😎
*peep the cool office pt.2 😎

💛 tiket design culture

All in all, my internship experience is similar to what I had initially expected (and fair to say, it is beyond). Before the internship, I did small background research on tiket’s design team to roughly visualize & imagine how the environment would look there. And to be frank, all of my insights were depicted by the team 👍.

In a nutshell tiket design has a strong and safe work culture. All of the individuals are very open, supportive, and humane. So here are some of my favorite observations and learnings:

  1. They encouraged us to ASK. They’ve built a safe working environment for everyone to clarify doubts, seek help and ask questions (although we might doubt our questions, they reassured us several times to ask away). This reassurance really helped me to gain confidence & courage. Thank you! :)
  2. Appreciating work-life balance. It is rare to receive work-related messages after working hours. This indicates that most peers value each other’s time. I believe that this is a huge privilege to have because finding a workplace that appreciates our personal time off is seldom.
  3. Entrusting trust & ownership to everyone. In tiket design, interns are treated equally as full-time employees (of course with an intern’s expectations). Meaning, interns are included to work on real and impactful projects. On certain occasions, we are also given the opportunity to lead the projects and meetings.
  4. Not all startup environment is about hustling 24/7. One thing that I highly appreciate about my team is that they genuinely value both our physical and mental well-being. There were countless times that my managers and seniors reminded us to not work overtime, and take rest, and emphasized us to claim the overtime pay if we do. Not to mention, tiket design team also has its own therapist free for their full-time employees 🥲.
  5. Workers are humans, not robots. I naively thought that as a worker, we cannot complain about anything because complaining would just lead to unproductivity, and signs of ungratefulness. However, it is a sane thing to do. Working with my colleagues taught me that as humans, we have a broad range of feelings and all of them are valid, including negativity.
tiket design’s Bali outing! 🏖

👩🏻‍💻 Work scope

As a product design intern, my work scope is not far from:

  1. Designing (obviously). I designed UX flows and user interfaces for projects ranging from B2B and B2C.
  2. Collaborating with Product Managers, UX Researchers, UX Writers, and UX Illustrators. This includes brainstorming together, nudging each other for revisions or inputs, and updating each other on our progress.
  3. Presentations to stakeholders and internal design team. Usually, we present our designs to update other verticals or to seek feedback from Leads, PMs, and other designers.
  4. Research (minor). Although there is a UX researcher, designers are expected to be included in the research phase so that we can understand the problem/opportunity fully. Some of the research I did were mostly comparative studies, usability testing, and conducting workshops.
tiket’s onboarding pack + tiket’s 11th anniversary! ✨

🏨 Insights on my team, accommodation

  1. Accommodation is one of the most complex, and revenue-generating products. Hence, there is a certain pressure enforced on this team, because once the product we designed underperforms, it can negatively impact one of the major revenue streams.
  2. Designing doesn’t just stop in B2C. In accommodation, we are not only designing the interfaces you see in tiket.com’s app. But, we also design interfaces for our hotel partners, vendors, and market managers.
  3. You can work on multiple projects with different sets of teammates at a time. I think this applies to other cities as well. But these situations are often found. Sometimes for a certain project, I worked with PMs who handle B2C side, but when I switch to other projects, I need to communicate with a PM who handles B2B side.
Accommodation team picture! 🏨 (ft. Design x Product team)

💻 Observations & learnings on hard skills (design & project based)

  1. Less UI, more UX. Tiket design has its own design system team (DS) that provides most design components to boost efficiency in designers’ crafting process and to ensure that the experience and quality of our designs are consistent across all verticals. Hence, this allocates us more time to fiddle with the user experience and to explore other UI designs based on the foundation & guidelines made by the DS team.
  2. Design process is flexible. As beginners, we are often bombarded with the term ‘design thinking process’ and how it always starts from ‘emphatise’ and works its way out, systematically. However, in reality, design process can be messy and due to time or resource constraints, it doesn’t always start from ‘emphatise’. Projects can start anywhere and spark connections from one stage to another.
  3. Always hook ourselves back to the original intention. Designing a new feature for a certain page gives us excitement. But, sometimes that excitement strayed us away from the original’s page intention which might result in complicated and convoluted designs. Thus, hooking ourselves back once in a while could help prevent this.
  4. Prioritize the English version over Indonesian when presenting designs (especially when you have foreign teammates). I know this is common sense, but unfortunately, we still miss this. When making design, we usually prioritize the Indonesian version so it could be easily utilized for UT. However it becomes a drawback when we need to present because we missed out on inclusivity — we overlooked that few of our stakeholders are foreigners.
  5. Satisfying users' needs are not only our main focus because we also need to deliver our stakeholders' and business needs. Ideally, we try to balance the needs between the user and the business. However, in some situations, we need to sacrifice one of them in order to get the product going. Prioritizing which needs come first, and looking at the product from multiple angles is a crucial skill to have.
  6. Know your crafts. Always, always, and always understand the reason behind your designs. Why do you design it like that? How does it help users/businesses to achieve their intentions/needs/goals? What assumptions do you make while making this design? Understanding helps us validate whether we are delivering the right intentions (point no.3). Ps. these types of questions are commonly found when we’re presenting or discussing our designs. So writing it down helps a lot! (Especially for a dory mind like me xD).
  7. Think a few steps ahead. Since design will always be evolving and the fact that development is costly. Taking the scalability of our designs into consideration would be nice to adopt in our early design stages.
  8. Explore endlessly. Don’t let our doubts and known constraints hinder us from exploring new ideas and designs, because those ideas might be our kickstarter. Tip: Exposing ourselves to various design references (eg. scouring through pinterest, dribbble, behance, etc.) and sketching out your ideas roughly on a piece of paper might help in this exploration phase!
  9. Ask for feedback throughout your design process, not last minute. This prevents us from working twice (or more), boosts our workflow as we improve each design consecutively, and indirectly updates our progress to teammates/managers.
  10. Be critical in accepting feedback, because not all feedback should be implemented. Those who give feedback might be unaware of the tight timeline or the limited resources you have, so — the decision maker is you. You know your project best. However, do remember that you have your peers to assist you :D
  11. Facilitating workshop skill is a plus point. In certain projects, we need to conduct a cross-department workshop or an internal one. As a facilitator, we need to be able to adapt quickly to the participant’s behavior. If what they do isn’t the same as the research plan, we need to come up with a sudden task or words to anchor them back to your initial objective.

🗣 Learnings on soft skills

  1. Good communication skill is your foundation. As a product designer, we collaborate with multiple stakeholders, with each having different priorities and expectations. Hence, conveying a coherent and clear message is necessary to minimize misunderstandings. This skill is challenged daily as you will encounter situations where you need to express ideas, raise concerns, and ask for feedback.
  2. Overcommunication is key, but don’t rush things out. Take your time to align everything first with your teammates before reporting to other parties. When we rush things out, we are prone to miscommunicate ideas and miss out on important details that other peers might voice out.
  3. Ability to speak and write in English is a plus point. Following up on no.4 of the previous topic, it is extremely handy to have this skill because you might need to communicate, conduct workshops, and present your designs to foreign teammates. You don’t need to be grammar-perfect for this. Once you can convey your thoughts in English, it’s all good 👍.
  4. Know your audience. When doing meetings or presentations, it is essential to understand our audience’s priorities and viewpoints. What are the things that they deemed important? Because bear in mind that all of us have restricted time. Let’s all try to make meetings more concise, straightforward, and mindful.
  5. There is more beyond a presentation. Big presentations especially to leads, or other departments require strategy and negotiation. It is not as simple as just reading the slides. Although it might not work every time, I learned that we can always tailor our presentation to devise an expected reaction or to prevent certain reactions.
some views that I will miss 🥲

🧠 Mindsets that I adopt throughout the internship

  1. Be agile. There are numerous times that we need to alter our projects’ timelines due to holidays, colleagues’ leave, mismatch of schedules, or plan failure. Hence, we practiced ourselves to adapt quickly to the changes and plan our next step.
  2. Dance to the environment. Working in a company means we will be working with people that may have different backgrounds, communication and working style from us. I learned that we cannot enforce our ‘standards’ to other people because what work for us might not work for them. Instead, we are the ones that need to adapt to each of their behaviours — dancing to each respective’s person rhythm.
  3. Enjoy the process. Some projects aren’t as smooth as we thought, and that’s totally okay because it’s the beauty of embracing imperfections. I am a firm believer that process ≠ outcomes, hence, I believe instead of trusting, we ought to enjoy the process; enjoy the learnings we receive from failures, and the bond we strengthen from tough situations.
  4. Don’t limit yourself — you are capable of doing more than you thought. If it wasn’t because of the last-minute change of plans, I don’t think I would ever want to volunteer to moderate a full English-speaking workshop in front of 20 seniors. However, due to the time and language constraints that my other teammates have, I have no choice but to be the moderator as I was the only one who can speak English fluently.
  5. Always be an empty glass. Oftentimes, we thought that our first plan would work the best. However, it is not always. Sometimes, other ideas work better than we expected.
  6. Work is completely different from school. At work, no one will be drafting your assignments or tasks in detail, because when you receive a project brief, you’ll be the one to initiatively plan your next steps. However, keep in mind that you are not alone. There are reliable seniors that will assist you. Just be initiative — ask, clarify and confirm things on your own.

🌱 Lessons around personal growth and self-discoveries

Honestly, this is something that I didn’t expect to have during this internship. I thought that I would only be learning professional lessons, but turns out I get to learn about myself too…

Here are some of my takeaways:

  1. Overcoming fears — Deep down, I have this huge fear of talking spontaneously in front of a crowd (read more about it, here). In a nutshell, I got anxious and overwhelmed easily which can lead me to cry during/after the session. This happens not only once, but a lot of times in my life, including this internship. However, as I get exposed to it more often due to numerous meetings/presentations that I must do, regulating my anxiety is much easier. And it’s safe to say that I finally — conquered my fear (although perfecting it is still a long way to go).
  2. Discovering my hidden sides — I am extremely lucky to experience an internship period where I can work offline and have team outings together. Because of this, most of the things I did at tiket were the first for me (perhaps that’s why this internship is so memorable 😭). Through these experiences, I discovered my hidden sides that I didn’t think even existed. For instance, I found out that I love strolling around new places, and sparking conversations with strangers (but of course with caution 🙏). Read more about the eventful events in my June and July log.
  3. Identifying my strengths and weaknesses — Being involved in different projects and processes made me realize traits that I should keep or improve on. For example, I noticed that I tend to do things in a rush which makes me prone to miss small details.
Transylvania team 🏨🧛🏻‍♀️

📌 Important things to do, note, and consider on an internship

1. Familiarize yourself with the new work environment

  • Get to know your peers by having 1o1 sessions with them or a chill async chat. Clarify any certain expectations, boundaries, or preferences that they have for you and vice versa.
  • If you have access, observe and read past chats to understand how they communicate and interact. This way, it is easier for us to blend in and connect with one another.
  • Clarify and define your intention at the beginning. Write down your goals, expectations, and action steps and share them with your mentor, buddy, or managers so that they are aware and can help you achieve them. Writing it down also helps us track our progress along the way.

2. Honing your design skills

  • Set up weekly Figma lessons with your assigned buddy/ mentor. For me, this session helped me a lot in utilizing Figma’s tools and sharpening my design process. The agenda in these sessions are (1) Learning auto-layouts and applying them in real usage, (2) Replicating an app design from scratch, and (3) Making our own design based on a topic we chose. These agendas are spread out over 1–2 months (or stop until you feel more confident in designing).
  • Arrange a weekly session of ‘Brain & Craftmanship Exercise’ with your buddy/ mentor. The objective of this session is to sharpen our craftmanship and critical thinking, hone our public speaking, and build courage on voicing our opinions. Activities for this session are: (1) Application critics session (reconstructing the ‘Why’s), (2) MUN session (debating on a particular design/world issue), (3) Whiteboarding challenge with this design prompt generator (https://designercize.com/).

Please note that all the sessions above are tailored to my internship goals, so some might sound irrelevant to you.

*Shoutout to my mentor and buddy, Alvin Niza who has been so supportive and helpful in those sessions :D!

3. Personal Growth

  • Request a mid and end internship review to your manager/ mentor. You can ask help to your mentor to make a 360 feedback form that will be distributed to peers who have worked with you. Those answers will be the materials for you to reflect and introspect yourself.
  • Write daily and monthly reflections — journal your experience and learnings every day. I believe writing is a catalyst for growth because it forces you to think independently, systematically, and thoughtfully. Additionally, this serves as my knowledge bank because it contains my documentation and learnings that my brain couldn’t remember 😂.

4. Maximising Opportunities

  • Don’t take your internship for granted. Use every opportunity to be visible and be known. Participate in internship/ team events, volunteer and be vocal at meetings, and work extra mile at your projects, so that you will be recognized (…but ofc! ‘Every opportunity’ doesn’t mean you should take all of them, just take ones that you feel you’re capable in doing so!).
  • Go beyond your bubble. tiket design team is filled with talented and exceptional people, it’d be such a waste to not learn from them. So sometimes I squeezed in some 1o1 sessions with peers outside of my team/department to connect and learn from their experiences. It is interesting to see that everyone has different life stories that shaped them to this day.

5. Documenting regularly

Documentation is one of the laziest tasks to do… but.. it has always been beneficial in the long term. It helps to recap team agreements, arrange case studies, draft presentations, prepare hand-off files, and many more.

Here are some of the documentation practices that work for me:

  • Write meeting notes in every meeting.
  • Store all project-related links in 1 centralized file (or place where you will remember).
  • Archive your works, because sometimes there are situations where you need to revisit your old designs.

✨ Closing

Thank you Transylvania and tiket design for being my 2nd home in these past 6 months, I will truly miss this team 😭. Biggest thank you to my mentors, managers, and colleagues too! Wouldn’t make it through without your help and guidance 🥲.

much love to this team!! 💗
Very fun Jakarta adventure with Transyl 🏨 💕
…at last, to everyone here, thank you!! ✨👋

That’s the end 👋!

Thank you for reading my journey at tiket.com. Hopefully, this will be insightful for you!

Get to know me further by visiting my personal blog and portfolio. Feel free to connect on LinkedIn and Twitter as well! :)

--

--

via
tiket.com

writing about my journey in discovering design & life 🍃| i show my work at www.pricharielp.space and mostly write at itsmeowpage.super.site