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IBM Cognitive Systems

UX Design Internship
Summer 2021

About the internship

My role
UX Design intern
May - Aug 2021
12 weeks
Worked remote👩‍💻
from New Mexico

Jandra Aranguren (lead)
James Xie (dev)
Jose Paez (PM)

Interaction design
User Research

During Summer 2021, I joined IBM’s Cognitive Systems Design team where I collaborated with engineers, technical experts, offering managers, and fellow designers to contribute to PowerVS, an enterprise hybrid cloud offering.

At the start of my internship, the Cognitive Systems Design Team was a small (but growing) team. Due to this, I was able to wear many hats—from conducting user research and testing to executing design tasks and pitching ideas to offering managers.

What is PowerVS?
PowerVS, or Power Virtual Server, is an enterprise Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering. It allows companies to quickly create and deploy “virtual server instances”  without needing to be on-premises.

PowerVS users benefit from access to IBM infrastructure and physical computing resources, flexible compute capacity, and pay-go billing without needing to manage or operate the resources themselves.

My Impact

💥 Increasing visibility for IBM cloud products

Users need a whole ecosystem of products to form a cohesive solution to their IT & data needs. I designed a solution to better publicize complementary services within IBM Cloud’s PowerVS offering to help users complete their ecosystem.

💥 Improved accessibility

Disabled icons were not visible to screen readers posing a big problem for accessibility. I defined a new standard for implementing icons to improve accessibility for screen readers and keyboard users.

💥 Simplifying the experience

After being approached by the PMs to design a new feature, I researched, designed, and prototyped the new feature while successfully simplifying and reducing the experience down to three steps.

Work-from-home life

What I learned

🎨 Working with a design system

Through working with IBM’s robust, open-source design system, Carbon Design︎︎︎, I was able to craft digital experiences that are engaging, accessible, and consistent with other IBM products.

🤝 Effectively collaborating with others

From weekly design triage meetings with the development team to pitching ideas to the offering team, I learned how to loop others into the design process, gain allies, and collaborate across disciplines.

⚖️ Balancing business goals with user needs

While completing school design projects, I have free reign to only think about user needs and the project rubric. When designing for a company like IBM, I also needed to consider business goals, arising constraints, software limitations, and implementation. 

If you would like to know more about my projects and experiences, please set up time for a conversation or portfolio review.

Reach out ︎

Thank you for viewing✨

Let’s stay in touch—please reach out via email if you’d like to discuss working together. I’m also open to new friends, music recommendations, and coffee chats!