Work experience at Xero
After finishing my Bachelor of Design in November 2010 I found myself emerging from a four-year student cocoon ready to join the ‘real’ world. Lucky for me I was one of the few in my year to land a 12-week internship at Xero through Summer of Tech – this being the first time the programme included placement of design students.
To be honest I didn’t know much about Xero when I first started. The thought of designing accounting software sounded a bit dull and tedious, I was just happy enough to be getting paid! So, after my first week I was astonished that I was in fact enjoying the work I was doing. Who would have thought accounting would be fun. The thing about Xero is somehow they actually make accounting enjoyable, addictive and visually delightful. They are an awe-inspiring hardworking team who live and breathe their product and never fail to impress, even as the company rapidly expands.
Nothing like a great assignment
Over the three months, one of my projects was to design the improvements for Xero Answers for Developers, a new site for the Xero developer API community which I worked on with the fantastic help of Janella Espinas (the developer intern). Something else I worked on was some concepts for a possible new developer centre, also for the API community.
I am honestly proud of what I have achieved and have picked up some valuable usability and visual design skills by working with the awesome design team.
My skill set has broadened to include:
- Understanding the importance of game design theory within interaction design
- Using Adobe Flash as an excellent prototyping tool
- Working alongside developers
- The importance of voicing opinions and being a part of a collaborative team
- Designing an entire user experience end-to-end
Thanks for the opportunity
Summer of Tech has been a great programme and an eye-opener for students to the real working world. Programme organisers were (especially Ruth!) amazing with constant support and weekly seminars and workshops, offering wicked information for graduates starting their careers. Though it would have been nice if there were some more design-orientated seminars as they were mostly developer focused and I struggled to understand all the geek talk!
I hope in 2011 more design agencies will get involved with the Summer of Tech programme and open up more opportunities for design graduates as they strive to become part of the creative workforce when they leave university.
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7 April 2011 #
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