June 4, 2024
2 min read

From Intern to Associate Designer

At Parallel, my dreams found a home. Here, I’m not just a designer; I’m a creator, a thinker, and a game-changer.

From Intern to Associate Designer

In my 4th year of pursuing Industrial Product Design at the U.P. Institute of Design, I realized I had a calling for more. Stepping into the design world, I wanted to expand my horizons to gain a holistic design experience, from aesthetics to functionality to strategy, and elevate my career growth. Before deciding to enter the workforce, I listed down my expectations -

  • Getting hands-on design experience
  • Surrounding myself with the right people
  • Conversations that are stimulating and help me look at things differently

I remember browsing the websites of different product design companies when I came across the work Parallel did for DigiLocker. The case study was enough for me to take the leap and apply at Parallel, as the company would help me build an experience covering a wide range of the learning spectrum. Fast forward one month, and I finally received the good news I’d been waiting for - a product design internship offer.

Onboarding Process ✅

Parallel's onboarding was super smooth! I was in touch with the HR Manager, Gargi, and her intro calls eased me in. The best part about my initial weeks was that I was given the time to learn about the processes and industry mandates before starting to work on any project. A UI boot camp, part of the welcome kit, ensured I was familiar with the trends and design practices. Before tackling projects, I honed my skills – thanks to my mentor, Kartik, who explained everything from design hygiene to work processes.

What does my normal day look like? 💻

My days are a dynamic mix of work and fun. We start with standup calls, keeping everyone in the loop. The team is incredibly inclusive – I'm not just an intern but part of the team! Working sessions focus on projects, but we also have "Jam Sessions" – internal workshops where designers tackle methodologies and brainstorm solutions. Seeing how different designers approach problems is fascinating, giving me valuable new perspectives.

One Project, Infinite Learnings 🌟

Identifying Dark Patterns

It’s my 4th month at Parallel, and I can say with 100% confidence that I have already learned so much.

I was lucky to work on a research project about ethical design during my internship. We analyzed dozens ofIndian apps, dissecting over 11,000 screens to identify manipulative design elements that trick users. This wasn't just about spotting bad practices; it made me hyper-aware of ethical design principles. Now, every design decision I make considers both functionality and user well-being. This project was unique – it wasn't just UI/UX; it was a strategist's dream! I learned to think like a researcher, then transitioned to a product designer's perspective, all while considering strategic objectives. It's rare to find an internship that offers such a holistic learning experience.

Fueling my growth through collaboration

BTS from the Dark Patterns project

At Parallel, one valuable lesson I learned early on was always working in collaboration. We ditch the solo act! I was encouraged to jam with colleagues from different backgrounds to tackle challenges. This collaborative brainstorming unlocks diverse perspectives and leads to innovative solutions. Also, I was always pushed out of my comfort zone and voiced my opinions without fear. I gain insights into their thought processes and approaches by talking to team members about the projects they have been working on. This practice broadens my design knowledge and helps me develop clear and articulate communication skills. Additionally, Parallel's positive work culture goes beyond just tasks. Our lunch breaks are the best time away from work; fostering friendly connections and empowering mentorship creates a supportive environment where everyone feels valued.

How Parallel prioritizes learning and growth🚀

Reading a new book in-between work

My internship at Parallel has been an enriching experience, and I look forward to growing both professionally and personally in the coming months. I learned many new things, and I believe I’ve grown a lot as a person in these four months. How does Parallel help in my growth? The answer is here:

Constant Curiosity

Being surrounded by professionals always eager to learn more, you automatically develop the muscle of curiosity. I stay on top of design trends by scouring online resources like Medium articles and case studies from design studios and exploring the work of different designers.

Freestyle Fridays

Learning Game Design

Parallel fosters a collaborative learning environment. The second half of Fridays is for exploring new ideas and jamming on different design concepts. These dedicated Fridays allow us to tackle projects outside our regular work. I used this time to learn about game theory and game design principles, including techniques and best practices for creating the UX of digital game design, by learning theories from Will Wright.

Education & Resource Sharing

Learning isn't a one-way street at Parallel. We believe in sharing knowledge. My team encouraged me to read books like "Sprint" and the Shift Nudge Course to expand my understanding of the UI world. The company invests in our personal development, allowing me to develop my skill set.

Entering the Life at Parallel

Four months passed in the blink of an eye, but there is still so much more to look forward to. At Parallel, I learned to take a holistic approach to product design, considering not just the aesthetics but also roadmaps, strategies, and user experience goals. This collaborative spirit and constant support from my mentors led to my full-time role as an Associate Product Designer. Parallel is a place where you're surrounded by positive energy and constantly learning, and I am thrilled to move towards the next chapter of this journey.

From Intern to Associate Designer
Anushka Tyagi
Associate Product Designer

Anushka is an Associate Product Designer at Parallel who specializes in Experience Design and plays a key role in the entire product design journey from discovery to final design execution.