Note: My internship took place in 2020. Lucidweb shut down in 2021 due to the Covid situation.
During my studies in Web Design at the Haute École Albert Jacquard, I had to complete a 3-month internship within a company. The goal is to expand my knowledge in my field and learn about life inside a company. I had the choice to work in any area (frontend dev, backend dev, UX design, UI design, graphic design), but I made the decision to go for an internship that would help me learn more about UX design.
The company that I will be collaborating with is Lucidweb. They offer a service that makes virtual reality (VR) content, augmented reality (AR) content, and 360 content accessible on every screen via the browsers. It means that they work with clients to create VR, AR, and/or 360 experiences and facilitate the distribution on the web.
These three months will mainly be working remotely. Due to Covid-19, I have no choice but to stay home. However, they offered me the opportunity to organize an afternoon where I would be able to visit the workspace and try on the VR headset in order to fully understand and appreciate the work I would be doing.
My first day was really about learning how Lucidweb works. Eliana, who is my supervisor for my internship, but also the UI/UX designer for the company, walked me through all the software and programs. We will use Sketch and XD for the designs, Zeplin and Google Drive to share all our work, Asana, Slack, and a new mailbox to stay organized as a group.
My first assignment was to render a user test of their website. As a new member of the team, they took the opportunity to have a new point of view to review their website: Lucidweb Pro. Therefore I recorded my screen while commenting on every step. After this, I was asked to answer a form to report all the bugs I might have encountered. It was interesting for me to be on the other side of the job. Thanks to my experience as a web designer student, I hope I was able to give constructive pieces of advice for the dev team to work on and build on.
Slides into presentations
The first main task I was asked to do was to organize PowerPoint so that it would be ready for other members of Lucidweb to use. I started with arranging fonts, aligning content, and creating animations. It was mostly double-checking for details. Then I was asked to create template slides so we would always have a conductive line for the design. Eventually, I organized a whole PowerPoint by myself. I had to edit texts into more readable content, with icons and logos. I also had to transform screenshots of websites into mock-ups, and sometimes create animated gifs of them.
These tasks were needed gradually during these two first weeks. The more I did, the more responsibility I was given and that was exciting. I have learned that in a company, every detail counts and everything needs to be neat. I had to do many versions because something was missing and now I have learned to double or triple-check my work. Even if I still make mistakes. It was really rewarding when Eliana approved my animated gif for the mock-up. She asked me to do one more and I learned more about the export process for gif in After Effects. Eliana also taught me methods to improve my productivity in PowerPoint.
Big review for a big rethinking
The second main task I was asked to do was to make a big review of all the VR players for mobile devices. Within competitors and other websites that use them, I had to compare them and write down all their features. I started with a list of competitors that Eliana gave me. I sorted them into 3 categories: the regular players with regular videos that don’t use virtual reality technology (e.g. Uptale), the VR players that are videos (e.g. Atmosphaeres), and the VR players that are a 360 image (e.g. Airpano). I added to the list a few websites that I considered interesting for review, some that use VR players but which are not competitors.
I gathered information about the videos such as the URL, the title, and a small description of the video. I described all the buttons and what they are used for. I wrote down all the elements that are used to create a player. I finished by doing many screenshots.
After I presented the beginning of my research to Eliana, it turned out that she needed my study to focus on more specific players that would be interesting for us. At this stage, I had to be more specific about the information I was to provide. So I made user journeys for each of them and I wrote down all the steps. From the search in the browser to the replay button at the end of the video, I recorded my screen to fully understand the experience.
The process of this user research was very informative, I ended up learning a lot about video players in general. I’ve gained a huge amount of knowledge and Eliana was always asking me “What do you think about that ?”, “Why do you think this player doesn’t work ?”, “How could this player be improved ?” or “What is interesting here ?”. It is exactly the type of reflection that I was looking for to learn more about UX.
Right now, this project is on hold. I gathered information because the Lucidweb team would eventually like to update the design of the lucidweb.pro website and this would be useful for that. But it is not a project for now.
The organization due to Covid-19 is surprisingly good. I have follow-ups with Eliana almost every day via video meetings. Even though it is not ideal, I think I have a good pace of work and good communication with Eliana.
Every Friday, we have a general meeting with the whole Lucidweb team. I didn’t have the chance to meet my colleagues but I have learned about the job they do. We meet for 30 minutes and each of us summarizes what we’ve done during the week.
It’s a bit unusual because the meeting happened in a 3D environment: Mozilla Hubs. It’s a new way to interact with each other. I found that idea really nice as I was a bit intimidated to speak in front of everyone. I didn’t have to show my face because we had avatars.
To sum up, I believe these were a positive first two weeks. I think I made the right choice working with this company. I find very interesting all the subjects Lucidweb is working on and I am looking forward to doing some more work.