I applied for a position as a UX intern at Touchwonders, even though they didn’t have any vacancies open. The Dutch have a saying “Nee heb je, Ja kun je krijgen”, so I took a chance and went for it. Thankfully Touchwonders were also interested in me, so they invited me for a first meeting. One of the reasons I decided to choose for Touchwonders, is that they gave me the impression that I would be part of the team and not just some intern who would do the stupid little jobs.
Why did you want to apply at Touchwonders?
When I was looking for internships in the summer, I was specifically looking for companies that had unique specialisations or values that matched with mine. 2 years ago, I had an internship at a company that designed and developed for SMART TV applications. Designing for SMART TV’s is different than designing for mobile. There are different things you need to take into account. The reason why I wanted to apply for an internship at Touchwonders is that they specialise in iOS and I was drawn by their approach to a mobile solution. It was slightly different than the methods we were taught at the university, so I was intrigued by how this company could help me improve as a designer.
What do you do at Touchwonders?
My favorite part of being a UX designer is to think of solutions how to make things better. I like to work together with the team and do some brainstorm sessions because you get inspired by other people’s ideas and you can come up with better versions of your first solution. At Touchwonders we organize multiple innovation days where we emerge experiment with new technologies to stay updated about the latest in tech and design methods. Some of the subjects of the workshops were “Design Thinking”, Voice Technology and AI. I admire Touchwonders for being so pro-active with educating themselves. As a student, I hated reading all the educational articles that were mandatory for some subjects. Now that I’m actually in the working environment as a designer, I acknowledge how important it is to know as much as you can about your own field.
How is your experience so far?
Every morning we start with a daily stand-up. We do this to keep each other updated on the things we do. It’s easy to lose track of what your team is doing because you are so focused on your own tasks. During the daily stand-up, we also have the opportunity to ask for help from our team members. I love the fact that this team genuinely cares about one another. When I first met them, I told them about my wish of wanting to travel to Japan and South Korea and that I love K-pop. During my internship, each of them came to me to tell me little things they have found out about either K-pop, Japan or South-Korea, and I really appreciate this because they really made me feel like I was part of the team. I have weekly meetings with my supervisor, and we always discuss how things are going with my internship and if there is anything I have to do for my education. What I appreciate so much about Touchwonders is that they are really prepared to help you achieve the learning goals you have set for yourself. You’re equally as important as any other member of the team.
What have you learned at Touchwonders?
I feel that I still have a lot to learn and to have the opportunity to be able to learn from this team is a chance I can’t let go to waste. The things I want to improve as a designer is to be more mindful of how consistent my design is, to be more focused on details and to be able to put together a good style guide. One of the things Touchwonders values is chasing details, and I admire that a lot. In the past 20 weeks, I have learned that there are more useful ways to use the tool Sketch. If you are skilled at using your tool, it will be easier to focus on the details of your design. Another skill I didn’t expect to improve here is my visual design. My personal goals were mostly focused on being a better UX designer, and the team was very encouraging when I was a bit insecure about my visual design skills. There was never a moment in which I regretted my choice to do my internship here. I would recommend other students to apply for an internship at Touchwonders if they want more than getting better at their personal goals.
I’m supposed to stay for 20 weeks, but I found an intriguing project that I would like to work on for my graduation project. I’m pleased to tell you that I will stay here for another 20 weeks. The project I will work on is a concept Touchwonders created a few years ago, but it never got picked up to be fully developed. You may have heard that sitting too long can be dangerous for your health. We are all guilty of sitting too long behind our desks, and it has gone so far that the Dutch are declared the European champion of sitting too long. Our application ‘Elevate’ will hopefully encourage employees to take a break more often to walk around and take a stair or two. My research will mainly focus on how the app can motivate the employees to take the stairs more often. I will look into different technologies and methods to use for the app so we can be healthier together.