UX Internship

User research for Samsung Galaxy device search

8 months internship at Samsung R&D Vancouver office. Work included user research for SmartThings app, Samsung B2B portals, and Samsung S9 device search app.

I worked closely with a senior researcher, designers, developers, product managers, and senior stakeholders to uncover user insights and identify design opportunities on several of Samsung’s products. One of the major projects I worked on was the user research for Galaxy S9 device search app.

To comply with Samsung Electronics NDA, I do not disclose any confidential information. The information provided here does not necessarily reflect the views of Samsung Electronics.

A round of usability study was conducted on an earlier prototype before I joined the team. As the first step, I reviewed the reports from the previous studies and looked into what we already knew. Then as a team, we planned for another round of usability studies on the improved prototype. My major contribution to the project aside from planning was the synthesis of findings.

To impact the design meaningfully, we had to understand both users and stakeholders. One of my roles as a junior researcher was to engage stakeholders with the research. This would allow stakeholders to develop empathy toward users as well as rapid consumption of research findings in design and development.

Framing

To understand the scope and to frame the project, I interviewed stakeholders including the product owner, developers, and designers of the app. I strived to understand their goals, as well as their assumptions and hypothesis around users behaviors. These along with revisiting previous research findings framed our research questions.

  • What do users use the device search for or not? and why?
  • What do they expect from a device search?
  • How device search fulfill their expectations or not? and why?
  • What are some critical moments they face when interacting with the feature? how they recover?
  • What are some design opportunities for device search?

Searching

To understand user behaviors, and expectations we conducted a series of usability studies, where I was responsible for recruiting, observings and note taking. To have a deeper understanding of users in their everyday contexts, we conducted a diary study with fewer selected participants.

Finding

I used affinity diagrams to discover themes and to glean insights from our studies. In addition, I constantly revisited the raw data from our study sessions to further validate my assumptions. This helped me to identify users pain points and goals, as well as the patterns that participants used to search for different types of content on their devices.

Informing

We ran 2 round of studies each followed by a new prototype being constantly tested and instantly improved by the team. Having the stakeholders involved with the research early on was an important factor to get buy-in for our findings. We communicated the research findings in a variety of ways to different stakeholders. A sufficient documentation was delivered to the product team and a lean copy reported to the senior managers. Also, we presented the findings to both key stakeholders and our UX team in a meeting.

To further help the product team to build empathy with our users, me and my supervisor hosted a UX Lunch and Learn event where we invited the entire team and stakeholders to have some pizza and watch some of the most interesting insights we learned from our users.

Reflection

Collaborating with a wide range of professionals served to elevate my development as a designer. I was fortunate to work closely with visual designers, software developers, UI designers, interaction designers, content strategies, analytics and QA engineers, as well as senior management during my time at Samsung. This breadth of talent improved both my ability to collaborate and my understanding of a range of domains. Furthermore, I was able to develop my UX research skills through project work and mentorship by the senior UX researcher.