Crystal Juarez joined the Liferay North American Product Design team for a three month internship. The design internship’s purpose is to help sharpen early career designers’ skills, offer them real-world experience and provide value to our team. Crystal previously worked at Liferay on our recruiting team for a brief period, but discovered a passion for design and completed the General Assembly UX Design Immersive program. We asked Crystal some questions about her internship experience at Liferay.
Moments of learning something new in Figma were really rewarding! I would tell friends and former classmates because I was so excited. Along with that, I knew I had a lot to learn. This internship paired me with the type of manager (shout out Ryan) that sat with me to map out what and how to learn it.
I had just finished school, but I feel like I was introduced to a whole new world. There is more to design than I had originally thought. There is so much you can learn and so many different directions you can go in. As conversations took place and I heard more about all things related to design - different places designers got inspo from, watching youtube videos, etc - it was so interesting and eye opening to see everything that is design.
Reminding myself that I am still learning and keep a growth mindset. “I don’t know this yet and I am going to learn” instead of getting frustrated and self critical. That, along with the pandemic hitting and events that occurred due to the political climate we’re living in were all things that made my experience unique. I wouldn’t say these things made my experience difficult, but there’s just no way you can think of this period of time and not mention these events. Everything going on reminded me that the reality is, some things are out of your control (help where you can, but don’t get lost in it) and ultimately, you still need to show up and put in work.
When I was not working on my research project, I helped Designers with:
My internship project revolved around user research here at Liferay. I went through the entire design process from conducting research to creating mockups for a prototype of an app to help designers decide what research methods to use.
User research at Liferay is a growing department and we have areas of opportunity where we can implement it more strategically. I’m excited to see how user research grows at Liferay and happy to have contributed to it.
Deciding on what problem to work on and how to address it. I remember telling my mentor (shout out to Chris!) that I had gotten lost in the sauce. Thankfully he was there to dig me out and help me relish in the process of it all (get it, get it?).
Where do I start? School was an overview of research and design. Here at Liferay, I learned everything I know now on Figma, about the Software Engineer world, working with Product Management, and a lot more. Since day one I was exposed to new ideas, which prompted me to do research and talk to my team. Through conversations with them, I was able to see how other Designers think. I can say I am more integrated in the design community and overall a lot more knowledgeable than I was when I first began.
As cliché as this sounds, my advice is to simply be yourself. Liferay has a unique culture with people of all backgrounds and personalities. If it’s the right fit, it’ll happen. On a more general note, get experience, build your network and reach out to other designers. I’ve found that designers here at Liferay, and in general, are more than willing to help.
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