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I spent the summer of 2021 as a Digital Technology Intern at Otis Elevator Co., the world’s leader in designing, manufacturing, and servicing elevators and escalators! Otis’s Digital Technology Internship program is a unique cross-functional program that provides interns with hands-on experience in a variety of areas, and I focused on UX design and project management.

Over the course of my internship, I worked on two major design projects: designing a prototype for a touchscreen application to improve the in-elevator experience for passengers, and creating a page for the Otis website to inform customers and employees about Otis’s Employee Resource Groups. Although I can’t share some details of these projects due to the NDA, I would love to reflect on my process, key deliverables, and takeaways from my summer with Otis!


10 weeks

(June 2021 - August 2021)


Lacie Pagan (Mentor)

Deborah Boucher (Manager)

Justin Tang (Senior Manager)

My Role

Digital Technology Intern

UI/UX Designer

UX Researcher

Project Manager

  1. Led the design, research, and prototyping of two projects within Digital Technology

  2. Analyzed research specs and customer feedback for existing Otis technology to identify areas for improvement

  3. Conducted competitor analysis and market research to ideate solutions and inform design decisions

  4. Conducted stakeholder interviews to identify design opportunities and understand company vision

  5. Utilized existing UI library, components, and branding to maintain design consistency and improve current designs

  6. Utilized Figma and Sketch to design prototypes for stakeholders and future development teams

  7. Presented designs to senior managers for reviews and designed multiple iterations based on feedback 

Project 1

Project 1: 

Improving the Passenger Experience

How might we provide Otis elevator passengers with additional safety and guidance features to enhance their riding experience? 

An interactive touchscreen display that provides passengers with information about the elevator and building they are in, as well as improved access to emergency safety features. This solution makes use of the same technology as the Compass® 360, Otis’s elevator dispatch system, but focuses on improving the in-elevator experience of passengers.


By providing passengers with a way to interact with the elevator and quickly access important information about the building they are in, Otis will provide customers with safer, more engaging elevator rides

  • User satisfaction rated as 88%

  • Task success rated as 93%

  • Ease-of-use rated as 6.8/7


So, why did we design this?

For my first project, I was tasked with designing a solution to optimize and enhance passenger experiences in Otis elevators. Our goal was to integrate this concept into existing Otis technology, by designing an extension of the Compass® 360, Otis’s elevator dispatch and destination management system. 



Landing screen

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Floor selection keypad

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Building directory

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Building locations and amenities

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Step-by-step elevator dispatch and wayfinding instructions

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Although the Compass® 360 consoles are interactive and efficient, the current models present a major issue: they’re only capable of dispatching an elevator. Their main function is to help passengers select their destination and find their elevator. This limited functionality means that they no longer serve a purpose once passengers are inside the elevator.


Conducting internal and external research

During our research phase, we conducted market research and a competitive analysis of the in-elevator technology of Otis’s top competitors, including Schindler and Kone. We also reviewed research specs, design documentation, and customer feedback for the Compass® 360, which included feedback from building managers and elevator passengers.


"I would like to be given some information inside the elevator about what's happening outside and around me."

"Elevators constantly need repairs and maintenance, but customers get annoyed if they're not informed in advance."

"I just want to feel safe when I'm in an elevator. Something can go wrong at any time, and in case it does we need to be able to get help fast."

After gathering and analyzing customer insights, we found that the Compass 360 was fairly helpful, but it was not a useful resource in terms of meeting customers' expectations. Passengers want a product that will continue to provide them with guidance even after getting in the elevator. Overall, customers have three main priorities when riding an elevator: safety, reliable service, and an engaging experience.


Reimagining a passenger's journey

With the findings from our research, I began planning out the key use cases and product requirements, based on our customers' needs. I created this site map to visualize the overall structure and create a framework for the features we wanted to include.

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Site map of navigation and key features

1. Home

The homepage provides passengers with useful, at-a-glance information about the current time and location.

2. Locations

This feature serves as a building directory for the passenger, allowing them to find specific locations and plan their next destination.

3. Information

Here passengers can find information about the elevator, including announcements about maintenance and downtime.

4. Help

Passengers have quick access to emergency safety features, but are reminded to only use these in the event of an emergency.

Above is a high-fidelity prototype that I designed and received approval to showcase here! This prototype was also submitted for the Digital Technology Datathon, a companywide event for Digital Technology interns to showcase their work, and my team won the Audience Favorite award! 


Measuring success

After finalizing our designs, my team conducted a final round of usability testing to validate our designs and measure the success of our product. We recruited 6 internal customers for this.


Users reported that they were very satisfied with the product.

task success

Users made no errors or only minor error in completing the usability tasks.

ease of use

Users reported that the product was very easy to use.

Final Solution 1
Project 2

Project 2: 

Promoting Employee Resource Groups

How might we promote Otis’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion to current and prospective employees? 

An informational page on Otis’s website that educates customers and employees about Otis’s Employee Resource Groups, which are a central feature of the company's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion(DEI) initiative, and work to cultivate an uplifting community.


By providing passengers with a way to interact with the elevator and quickly access important information about the building they are in, Otis will provide customers with safer, more engaging elevator rides

  • User satisfaction rated as 94%

  • Added value rated as 7/7

  • System Usability Scale (SUS) score of 86%


Advertising to current and future employees

The second project I worked on was designing a new page for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion section on Otis’s website. I was a UI/UX designer for this project, and I worked with a cross-functional team of employees from Digital Technology, HR and marketing. Otis's Employee Resource Groups are award-winning and a central part of the employee community, yet they are not advertised anywhere on Otis's public website.


Understanding our stakeholders' vision

To gather information on the goals and needs of each resource group and understand how they wanted to be represented, we conducted stakeholder interviews. We interviewed the leaders of each ERG to gain a better understanding of the impact and value that Otis’s ERGs provide to customers and employees, as well as the larger Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative.


1. Each ERG provides employees with different benefits and experiences, such as mentorship, personal development, and volunteer opportunities. 

2. ERGs are looking to increase membership in order to receive more funding for community events and employee development projects.

3. ERGs want to highlight their achievements to show that membership is mutually beneficial for the group and the employee.


Competitive analysis

In addition to interviewing stakeholders, I also conducted a competitive analysis of the ERG pages of other major companies with top Employee Resource Groups, including Microsoft, T-Mobile, and AT&T. This helped me identify patterns and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each company's ERG advertising.


Visually-appealing display of ERGs, including corresponding images and logos


Detailed description and info about each ERG


No information about each group's achievements


Doesn't explain how employees will benefit from joining ERGs


Doesn't describe how ERGs further the company’s larger diversity initiative

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Final Solution 2

In designing this prototype, I used components from Otis’s Web UX Design System in order to maintain visual consistency. This will also allow for seamless integration between our designs and the current Otis website.


Measuring success

After creating our high-fidelity designs, we conducted usability testing with 7 users, including employees and members of ERGs.


Users were extremely satisfied with the product.

added value

Users reported that these designs added significant value.

SUS score

Users rated the overall usability as 86/100/

1. Taking Initiative

The interdisciplinary nature of the Digital Technology Internship program gave me a cross-functional professional experience with exposure to a variety of technical fields. Because I got to choose the projects I worked on, I had to quickly familiarize myself with the company’s products and technology, understand the role of UX design at Otis, and find areas that I could contribute to with my work. Although it was a challenge, I gained valuable, hands-on UX design experience with projects that will have a lasting impact on Digital Technology at Otis.

2. Understanding the Company's Vision

As a company that focuses on industrial engineering and manufacturing, Otis’s digital presence is hard to see from an outside perspective. Because of this, Otis’s UX Design division operates very differently than a tech company’s UX department might. While it was challenging to ideate and propose feasible design projects, it gave me the opportunity to explore areas of design that were new to me, including human factors and accessibility design. My internship at Otis definitely made me a more well-rounded designer, and I’m so grateful for that!

3. Keep Asking Questions!

Although starting a new job can sometimes be overwhelming, I received so much guidance and advice from my colleagues and mentors this summer. All I had to do was ask! I got to meet and work with employees from many different functional areas, which taught me how to ask meaningful questions and understand a problem space. This summer, I was lucky enough to work with people who are very familiar with Otis’s technology and have decades of industry experience and knowledge to share.

I couldn’t have asked for a better team! :)

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