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Luke’s Internship: Understanding the Psychology Behind Product Design

14 November 2023 •

By: Luke Streeten Culture

I received the opportunity to become a product design intern, which is an experience that I am lucky to have been a part of. As a product design intern, you learn from a creative team, collaborating with professionals and engaging with unique and captivating ventures. Here is some insight into my experience as an intern at Byte Orbit–from the first day filled with excitement and nerves to the moments of triumph and joy every aspect of it was amazing.

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Psychology and Communications. I’ve always wanted to pursue a career in clinical psychology but became tired and disinterested after completing most of my degree during COVID. After thinking about what career I could pursue, I had a conversation with someone in the tech industry who told me about Product Design. I was immediately interested and wanted to learn more.

Week One

The first day began with intense nerves. I spent 10 minutes pacing back and forth outside the Byte Orbit building, wondering if I could handle it since I had never ventured into the product design sphere before. However, my anxiety was eased when I was introduced to Leney and Elizabeth, who were also new interns, my teammates and now friends. We hit it off right away, and that's when I realised that this internship was going to be a success.

The culture at Byte Orbit immediately made any anxiety disappear. The people were incredibly friendly and there was a sense of community and friendship among the employees. Marichen, a product designer, guided us with our tasks and checked in every day.

Throughout the week, we had numerous meetings both online and in person, where we received overviews of various Byte Orbit ventures and the tasks we needed to accomplish for each. While I often felt overwhelmed by all the new information, I remained deeply grateful for the opportunity to gain experience as a product design intern. The work was entirely different from what I had studied at university, which made it an incredibly interesting and enjoyable challenge.

Week Two

Byte Orbit Creative Team Survey

This week, our teamwork flourished as we developed a good line of communication and processes for completing work. We sat in on quite a few meetings, all of which were insightful. We worked hard on creating the framework for the Test Pilot survey, which would focus on AI. Test Pilots are volunteers that help test products and provide feedback to the company. The digital marketing designer, Michael, made some great graphic headers for the survey, which really helped it to come together.

The majority of work done this week was refining our documents for a competitor analysis of certain Byte Orbit ventures and gathering information about AI and survey questions for the Test Pilots. The tasks we worked on this week will be part of the presentations we need to give in week six. Up to this point, I had gained valuable insights into the inner workings and processes of Byte Orbit, which has improved my ability to adapt and collaborate effectively with my team.

Week Three

Week three proved to be a particularly demanding week as we faced the challenge of creating four new presentations that were not originally included in our guidelines. My team and I put in extra effort to emulate the style of Byte Orbit presentations while also adding our own creative touch. The majority of our focus during this time was on archetypes and subscription models, which I learned a lot about during the process. However, the true highlight of the week came when we sent out the AI surveys–one to the test pilots and the other to the creative team at Byte Orbit.

Week Four

At the beginning of week four, our focus revolved around crafting presentations and receiving feedback for them. Handling feedback or constructive criticism has always been a challenge for me, as I tend to take it to heart. However, this week proved to be significant as I confronted this struggle head-on. Despite my initial difficulty in accepting some feedback, I managed to overcome it and incorporated the suggestions into my work. Embracing constructive criticism as a tool for improving my work and processes has become a major aspect of my growth during this internship.

At the end of week four, we analysed the survey responses, and the answers proved to be incredibly intriguing. Marichen, who had been checking in on us regularly since we started, gave feedback and corrections, focusing on how to better display this data on the survey presentations. This data provided us with valuable insights into the opinions and perspectives that both Test Pilots and Byte Orbit employees had on AI. Particularly its impact on job security and the work environment. We compiled this data into two presentations for week six.

Week Five

In week five, we dedicated ourselves to finalising our presentations. These presentations revolved around the internal Byte Orbit ventures that we had started all the way back in our first week.

On Friday, I felt a mixture of joy and sadness as we completed the final presentation. Witnessing the remarkable outcomes of our dedicated efforts was truly gratifying, yet slight sadness was present as I was aware that my journey at Byte Orbit was drawing to a close. Reflecting on the entire experience, I can't help but acknowledge what an incredible journey it has been so far.

Week Six

During week six, we finished up the last few details for our presentations. It was a sad week, but I was so happy to have been a part of this wonderful experience. On the final day, my nerves were through the roof, similar to how I felt on the first day. This is because we were to present six of our nine presentations to members of the creative team. I had not presented anything since high school, so my confidence was not particularly high. However, I managed to do it with only a few voice shakes at the beginning. We all presented really well after many hours of rehearsal and practice. The presentation environment was relaxed, which helped relieve some of the pressure. Once we finished the presentations, our time at Byte Orbit came to an end.


How psychology helped me as a product design intern:

  • My degree provided me with insights into human behaviour, nature vs. nurture, and classical conditioning. These insights and ideas allowed me to understand user-centred design and empathise with the consumer.
  • This way of thinking perfectly aligns with product design and helped me keep up with my teammates despite not having studied design.
  • I believe the theories of Carl Jung, Maslow, and even Freud have provided me with a unique perspective when engaging in product design. This is something that will hopefully be useful in the future.
  • My degree was heavily research-centred, which was a great help when analysing competitors and subscription models.
  • While initially afraid I was not qualified to be here, my knowledge obtained through my degree helped me adapt and successfully complete the work given to us over the course of six weeks.
  • I still have so much to learn, and there are many aspects of product design that remain unfamiliar to me. However, I believe that my degree provided me with a solid foundation to build upon.

My internship at Byte Orbit was an incredibly enriching experience. I had the privilege of learning from a diverse group of individuals, each contributing to my growth. My skills and confidence have significantly improved and I hope to be able to pursue product design as a career. This is all thanks to the internship.

A special expression of gratitude is owed to Marichen, whose guidance has been unwavering, and to Danny, Leo, and Clara, as well as the entire creative team, who were consistent sources of valuable feedback and assistance throughout. I am also grateful to Alandri, who interviewed me and paved the way for my involvement in this internship.

The environment and culture cultivated through the collective efforts of everyone is something I hope to encounter again someday.

Thank you Byte Orbit for this experience.

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14 November 2023
By: Luke Streeten

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