Cisco Systems

Facilitating a Design Thinking Workshop:

During the summer of 2016, I was a User Experience Design intern at Cisco Systems. My project is under NDA, but feel free to reach out to me to learn more about my work. At a high-level, I conducted 2 user research studies and provided design recommendations in order to improve a network security product. I also planned and co-facilitated 2 design thinking workshops with an interdisciplinary team of designers and product managers. The purpose of the workshops were to define our target user and better align teams on product strategies. Many of workshop activities were focused on understanding each other's roles. We needed to improve collaboration amongst product managers and user experience designers so misalignment could be avoided in the future. I learned a lot about how to facilitate design thinking activities within a large group. I’ve created directions for how to facilitate a workshop and attached them below.  My main takeaway from my internship was understanding how the human-centered design process fits (or rather doesn't fit) into the agile product development process. It was a great experience working with my teammates to push design thinking in a primarily engineering driven company. 

Designed Desktop Application for Cisco's Global Intern Innovation Contest:

Outside of conducting user research and defining design recommendations, I participated in Cisco's Global Intern Innovation contest where we were challenged to use our skills to improve any part of Cisco.  I collaborated with three interdisciplinary interns to design a desktop solution that addresses intern and new hire underutilization at Cisco. The solution was designed after we discovered widespread intern and new hire under-utilization through quantitative research study conducted among 1,200 employees, and a qualitative research study conducted amongst our peers. My team placed as a "Top Three" finalist in Cisco’s Global Intern Innovation contest!

Selected to Interview the CEO:

The highlight of my internship was MC’ing a global intern event where I facilitated conversations from interns around the world and interviewed Cisco’s CEO, Chuck Robbins. In order to be an effective researcher on any team, I need to be able to articulate my research findings and propose bold design concepts to various audiences. I took on this leadership role to build on my communication skills and creative confidence.

Here is my guide to facilitating a design thinking workshop: