Experience Design at Intuit's Mint team
Intuit is a financial software company who aims to simplify financial management across professional and personal spaces. Mint is their personal finance product. Starting out with just budgeting functions, Mint has since expanded to bill pay, credit card management, and savings.
User Research, Strategy/UX, Graphic Design | Summer 2016
I worked with designers, product managers, marketers, and developers to tackle 3 projects investigating around the product's expansion.
During my summer, I discovered the product design world, and navigated communication across a large company while juggling work with a small team.
I learned how to empathize and design for users very different from me, how to ask good questions, as well as some personal finance skills. I also enjoyed bringing my energy into the workplace everyday!
Disclaimer: I can only provide a limited amount of information on my projects publicly, but I'd be happy to chat more about how my experiences influenced my growth as a designer. After all, the Mint team holds a special place in my heart, and I still keep in touch with co-workers and interns to this day!
My main project focused on researching and strategizing product changes to reduce credit card debt.
A senior UX strategist lead our initial phases, and then passed on the responsibility between me, a senior designer, and a product manager. I often led brainstorming sessions with fellow interns, marketing, and software developers.
What I brought in. User research and interview experience, as well as an eagerness to learn.
What I took away. How to work with people from different backgrounds, how to ask uncomfortable questions, working with product & technology constraints, seeing how brand affects product usability, and the importance of appealing to both emotional and logical sides of users.
Outcome. I re-designed email visuals and content to provide a lower-cost entry point to introducing more efficient credit card repayment habits. I also submitted literature reviews and user research documentations to the team's resources.
I also helped pitch reorganization of Mint's information architecture.
Mint's existing architecture is built upon Check and Quicken, which served basic financial management. In addition to the new bill pay feature, Mint hoped to consider other changes (such as my credit card debt reduction work) to adapt to growing needs and trends. I conducted competitive analyses to critique Mint's current approaches.
My manager and I then sketched prototypes reorganizing existing and potential functions within Mint. I compiled the presentation that he would later on present at upper level meetings.
What I brought in. Knowledge of iOS and Material Design trends, benefits/weaknesses of interactive design patterns, and insight on comparing Lynch's city analysis to digital products.
What I took away. Understanding "jobs to be done", and presenting information to non designers.
Outcome. Low-fi wire frames and IA proposals. Slide deck, including illustrations and typesetting for manager to present to upper level management.
Between those projects, I designed promotional materials and started conversations on data visualization changes.
I worked with the brand designer and a marketing team member to develop promotional material for internal use. I also received mentorship on the potential of brand design.
What I brought in. A love for typography, color, and illustration. Interest in how the voice and tone of a product affects users and employees.
What I took away. Greater attention to detail, and understanding strengths/weaknesses of various data visualization techniques.
Outcome. Set of swag merchandise (including t-shirts, stickers, and notebooks), internal posters, and a slide deck to start a conversation on redesigning data visualization with the team.
I developed several time management methods to juggle multiple projects and erratic schedules.
Not only did my projects require different parts of my brain, but I often had inconsistent, if not unpredictable, workday schedules filled with meetings. To keep myself on task, and optimize my available time to meet with various teammates:
- I minded the patterns of small and large chunks of times throughout the day and tackled tasks accordingly. (Ex: the hour between stand-up and lunch break was reserved for lower-cognition work such as tightening visual design or organizing presentation material.)
- I tracked week-to-week progress, taking advantage of Intuit's weekly goals sheet where I indicated success measures of goals, and ways I would work towards them.
- I kept a reflection journal where I consistently synthesized insight from all of my projects to support personal and technical growth. It was also a helpful way to talk out ideas when teammates were busy with other tasks!
In my down time, I enjoyed exploring the
Bay Area with co-workers and interns.
While Intuit campus is in South Bay, I had many chances to explore the surroundings with interns at other teams. I believe experiencing new cultures and environments expands my perspective. I'm particularly happy to have finally seen, and walked, the Golden Gate Bridge!
Working with the Mint team was as rewarding as it was collaborative thanks to my welcoming teammates. My face was soon added to our team whiteboard and I was even gifted a balloon for my birthday.