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, including UX design, software engineering, data analytics, cyber security, and business development. I had the amazing opportunity to work under the Digital Strategy division in Farmington, Connecticut (remotely!), where I focused on UX design and project management.
(June 2021 - August 2021)
Lacie Pagan (Mentor)
Deborah Boucher (Manager)
Justin Tang (Senior Manager)
Digital Technology Intern
Over the course of my internship, I got to work on two major design projects. The first was designing a prototype for a touchscreen device to improve the in-elevator experience for passengers. The second project was designing a page for the Otis website to inform customers and prospective employees about Otis’s Employee Resource Groups. Although I can’t share specific details of the projects I worked on due to the NDA, I would love to reflect on my process, key deliverables, and takeaways from my summer with Otis!
Improving passengers' experiences
For my first project, I was tasked with designing a solution to optimize and enhance passenger experiences in Otis elevators. As a UI/UX designer, I worked with three other Digital Technology Interns and I was mentored by two Senior Directors of Digital Technology. Our proposed solution was an interactive touchscreen display that provides elevator passengers with information about the building and elevator they are in, as well as improved accessibility to the elevator’s safety features. Below is a mid-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!
So, why did we design this?
Our final prototype was designed as an extension of the Compass® 360, Otis’s elevator dispatch and destination management system. Although the Compass® 360 consoles are interactive and efficient, the current models present a major issue: they’re only capable of dispatching an elevator. This limited functionality means that they no longer serve a purpose once passengers are inside the elevator.
My team’s solution makes use of the same technology as the Compass® 360, which is a touchscreen display that integrates seamlessly with the structural design of Otis elevators, but focuses on improving the in-elevator experience of Otis passengers. By providing passengers with a way to interact with the elevator and access information about the building they are in, Otis will provide customers with safer, more engaging elevator rides.
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. Using our findings, we created a prototype for our solution, with an emphasis on safety, reliable service, and an engaging customer experience.
Advertising to current and future employees
The second project I worked on was designing a new page for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion page on Otis’s website. I was once again a UI/UX designer for this project, and I worked with a cross-functional team of employees from different areas, including sales and marketing. We were asked to evaluate Otis’s ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) from the perspective of customers and prospective employees, and design a solution to better promote them with Otis’s existing website and branding.
Below is one of the mid-fidelity iterations I created. I received approval to showcase these designs.
Understanding our stakeholders
To gather information on each of the ERGs and understand how they wanted to be represented, we conducted stakeholder interviews with the leaders of each resource group. From this, we gained 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. We also conducted a competitive analysis of the ERG pages of other major companies with top Employee Resource Groups, including Facebook and Microsoft.
Keeping consistency with Otis's brand
In designing our prototype, we made use of the UI and styling components in Otis’s Web UX Design System in order to maintain visual and hierarchical consistency. This will also allow for seamless integration between our designs and the current Otis website.
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. Collaborated with Digital Technology team, including senior directors, project managers, and cross-functional interns
8. Presented designs to senior managers for reviews and designed multiple iterations based on feedback
Myself and some of my fellow interns!
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! :)
That's me (again)! 😁