Cindy Yuan
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Cindy Yuan | Cisco

In the Summer of 2017, I had the incredible opportunity of working at Cisco as a User Experience Design Intern. I was part of the Unified Communications Technology Group’s UX team, which meant that we got to work on innovative Cisco Spark video and audio collaboration devices to redefine the meeting experience.

 

Cisco

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ROLE & RESPONSIBILITIES

In the Summer of 2017, I had the incredible opportunity of working at Cisco as a User Experience Design Intern. I was part of the Unified Communications Technology Group’s UX team, which meant that we got to work on innovative Cisco Spark video and audio collaboration devices to redefine the meeting experience. I spent most of my time designing the products’ screen and voice UI and mapping out flows for various error cases, as well as performing competitive analysis and strategy research for the products’ website. I also helped conduct usability testing for the products, discovering user frustrations and identifying the gaps between their knowledge and how the device works.

Throughout the internship, I was lucky enough to work on all three major aspects of UX — visual design, interaction design, and research. I was also able to experience design from the teeny tiny details, like manipulating singular pixels in typography and icons, to high-level strategy and planning, like conducting research for product marketing and conversion strategies.

 

REFLECTION

At Cisco, it was my first opportunity to design for a voice-recognition product, and it was a real challenge. I learned how to use mainly voice and limited visual display to provide enough context to the user, meet their expectations, and match their intentions with natural gestures and visual feedback. It was especially rewarding to work with the developers and see my designs come alive on the actual devices.

I also discovered the importance of error cases, which is an often overlooked aspect of UX. Getting to decide how the products behave during various error scenarios was challenging yet surprisingly exciting. Especially with voice-enabled devices, careful error handling is a crucial way to ensure the user’s experience with the device is as smooth and pleasant as possible. Overall, it was a fascinating experience getting to work with such a dynamic design team and with such future-facing technology.