2019 Design Interns at the Hyderabad campus (with the interns from the Bangalore campus joining on a Teams video call).
In the summer of 2019, I was part of the Microsoft Foundry program at Microsoft Hyderabad. The Foundry is an internship program designed to allow interns to work in cross-functional teams that mimic the structure of collaboration between design, development and product management that is followed by most teams at Microsoft. Each team at the Foundry consisted of 1 design intern and 3 or 4 software engineering interns. The teams worked together to solve a self-contained problem over the span of about 2 months.
The work is covered by an NDA and so I can’t give details here, but as the designer on the team I conducted user interviews, found use cases where we could simplify user flows, worked with our Product Management mentor Raunak to create user stories and a spec for each feature, and worked with the engineering interns on my team to understand how we could use Microsoft NLP, AI and cloud technologies to help users achieve their goals.
Team Work Compass
I designed the UI for our interventions and worked with the development team to build a functional prototype that we demonstrated at the end of our internship.
As a designer, it was a challenge for me to understand just how the technologies we were using worked and the limitations they carried. Designing carefully with these considerations allowed us to present something that seemed to work almost magically when the AI model had a higher degree of confidence, and gracefully degrade when there was lower confidence in our results.
I had a great time working at Microsoft—the people are friendly and supportive, and the 9 weeks I was there at the beautiful Hyderabad campus just flew by. Here’s a short video of the design interns (Me, Anjan, Naveen, Yasha, Sidharth and Nebin) hanging out, (not) working and generally having a great time.