The University of Southampton
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A Year in four months – Part V: what I learned as User Research Intern at OneWeb

Thanks to Daniel Horvath, our User Research Intern, for putting this blog post together.

My name is Daniel. I am originally from Hungary but have lived in 6 countries over the years. I have just completed my degree in psychology at the University of Southampton.🎓

I can’t believe my time studying at Southampton has come to an end but I’m very excited that I got this opportunity to be a part of the OneWeb programme.

This is me graduating in the summer. 

I took on the role of User Research Intern with two other Psychology students, Sara and Mathilde, and we’ve all been working on different aspects of the programme.

We first encountered the Interns position via the job board of the University’s Career Services. Soon after, we were interviewed and offered the vacancies, which was great! I was always interested in exploring human-centred design and user experience (UX), so joining this programme as part of the user research and service design team has been an amazing experience.

It’s a collaborative effort

Throughout my internship, I learned how important it is to plan out and set our goals – from creating full experience-based journeys to doing a team stand-up. And being part of this programme has been a lot of fun. The work is varied with new challenges popping up all the time, so no day is the same.

We have been doing a lot of user testing – identifying needs and testing prototypes. I have also been asked to carry out competitor analysis and a literature review. The team is very keen on getting me involved and hearing my ideas – it feels great to be contributing! We are also working with some great tools to research, interview people, and keep track of what we’re doing to finish projects in a timely manner.

Before joining the programme, I didn’t realise just how many things happen behind the scenes that people don’t realise – prototyping, for example. The prototyping process can be long and it goes through stages of iterations and testing – from conceptual stages to high fidelity prototypes. Taking part in a live user test is important. It helps you understand how users actually interact with the product and to see whether your design decisions translate into the expected user behaviour. More importantly, it involves a huge amount of team effort and collaboration to come up with innovative solutions that work and solve problems.

Work as a team. User research is a team sport. Credit: Saikiran Mohan

I feel very lucky because I have this opportunity to gain experience in so many different aspects of UX – from research to design. In addition, the people I get to work with are wonderful. Everyone is super friendly and supportive, so it’s a pleasure to be part of the team. I have an interest in UX as a career, and the people I work with encourage me to explore and experience everything that is involved in this field.

What has been difficult?

I recently did my first user test. After observing a few test sessions, I was asked if I’d like to give one a go myself. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity so naturally I said yes.

It was a bit daunting to run my own session after seeing only a few, but everyone was really supportive and I felt up for the challenge.

The session ended up being really great and we were able to get some valuable feedback on a prototype that one of the teams worked on. It was definitely a challenge but I can’t wait to do more.

What would I like to do more of?

I would like to try more things I haven’t done before. It would be great to get more insight into the design aspects of the project. Apart from this, I love collaboration and brainstorming, so I can’t wait for more sessions where we just sit down and try to figure something out – be it generating themes from a series of user tests or discussing how our findings can be implemented.

What else…

If you get an opportunity to be part of this project, whether in testing, internship or workshops, definitely apply and make the most of it! There are so many opportunities on the University’s career site that you otherwise wouldn’t have access to. There is no better way to learn than throwing yourself in new situations and experiences! (just) Do it!

Getting involved with OneWeb

As part of the programme, we are now considering how we get more students involved with our team. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch.

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