Week 1: Your expectations
Why did you select this internship site? What do you know about the organization? What do you hope to learn? How does this internship fit with your major and/or your career plans?
I selected this internship at Facebook because I always have been fascinated in designing for product in such a large scale and facebook provided a lot of design opportunities, mentorship as well as impact I could have as a designer. In Ads Attribution at Facebook, basically a team which leverages dashboard functionality to measure which uses a set of rules to determine how to attribute ads conversions to different touchpoints (events). Touchpoints are interactions like impressions, clicks that are meaningful enough to be conversions like views on a specific tagged product etc. Facebook utilizes different touch point and attribution models to measure how specific ads are working and how to optimize the money spent by advertisers.
There are a lot of attribution models leveraged in facebook which included last touch where the ads get full credit and also first touch in which the the first touch point get all full credit before the users enter the purchase's conversion. There is also multi touch as well in which users are distributed equally to different touch points as well as last touch ads preferred model where the ads can take all the credit of the purchase.
Ideally in this specific internship, I would want to apply high level business concepts from ads like all these different models to craft and launch end to end features for ads optimization. I want to deep dive and understand how every metrics work in the business ecosystem from crafting user journey, persona, small businesses to undergoing extensive user research. I also want to contribute to the visual and iconography system for the various ad products. Lastly, I also want to learn and understand different statistical models and implementations behind driving different design decisions and collaborated with different cross functional teams to prototype core UX features to measure how ads work for businesses.
My major fit well with my career path since I study cognitive science and can leverage different learnings from psychology, computer science, philosophy and linguistics to understand how to learn the human psychology behind researching on specific design decisions and understanding technical feasibility of a certain feature.
Week 2: Your expectations
What is the history of the organization? How long has it been in existence? How formed? By whom? Provide information on the historical, economic, political, social, and technological context for its formation. Who are the stakeholders and constituencies for the organization? What are the relevant technologies used or
developed by this organization?
The organization was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Andrew McCollum and Chris Hughes in Harvard College. The whole history of the organization started with Zuckerberg building a website called "Facemash" in 2003, which was used to compare faces of each other to see the hotter person. Facemash attracted more than 450 visitors and 22,000 photos views in the first 4 hours. Even though the site was shut down by Harvard for several privacy, copyrights as well as security problems, those charges were dropped eventually as Zuckerberg expanded on the project to create a new social study site. By creating a new website for art images, he created a "face book" directory containing photo as well as personal information. Since the technology was already available at that time, Mark Zuckerberg was able to code a new website called the Facebook in just 2 weeks with Harvard student Eurado Saverin, which each of them invested 1000 USD into the site.
Even though the intitial IPO of the company was very successful, it raised more than 16 billion after Visa in 2008 and AT&T wireless in 2000. However, the initial IPO has been controversial given that there was an immediate price decline as well as lawsuit around SEC and FINRA.
Specifically, I worked for Ads and Business product, which is one of the most crucial platform that generated more than 80% of the revenue for Facebook. It consists of 3 main product, which include the basic LAX and Shops product that are used by low expertise, low spend consumers who accounted for 4% revenue and 9.3M accounts. These included lightweight ad experiences as well as strong business funnels. The second intermediate product is business suite, which accounted for high spending advertisers whom accounted for more than 20% revenue and product included Facebook business suite. The last product is Ads Manager, which consisted of more than 76% of the revenue and is mainly used by big businesses. The technology being used includes React for front end and MongoDB for backend. The relevant technology being used to design include an internal tool called Proton and Figma for design.
The main stakeholders in my organization includes Jeff Winter who is the design manager for the team as well as Roger Zhu, who has been my main manager for the project.
Week 3: Your duties
What is the meaningful work you are doing for this organization? How have you been oriented or trained to work there? Who is your supervisor? What is his or her training and experience in the field? How often are you meeting with the supervisor? What other staff members interact with you? What is the climate in the office, and how
comfortable do you feel in your role there?
One of the work I have been doing right now is redesigning the attribution setting selection of the ad's product. For experienced users who are just onboarded to the attribution product, uses can only see the setting once they click it and not be able to see it inside the product. It's been an important user need. I have been oriented to learn more about the product by talking with the customers, bringing a few design solutions that addresses the user needs as well as getting legal feedback. I worked closely with content designers as well as user researchers to understand the main problem and design various options for the competitor products. Later, I was able to narrow down my design into few options and started few rounds of design critiques to address the design decisions.
There is not much training to start with. I have been oriented to work here with my supervisor Roger Zhu. He has more than 6 years of working experiences at various startups and eventually at the attribution team at Facebook. I have been meeting with my manager every single day the past few weeks to make sure my design work is aligned with the expectations. His background is in industrial design, which he produced concept design, 2D Industrial design and 3D industrial design for compact drill.
Other staff members I interacted with includes other senior product designers, content designers as well as user researchers and other cross functional partners.
The climate of the office is pretty chill, given that it is fully remote. I always felt like there is more to learn about the role as whole and always been too much to learn.
Week 4: Connections with curriculum
What connections do you see between your work at the internship and the material you learned in the core course or the electives for the Digital Humanities minor? How do research and theories match with practice? What theories can be derived from practice?
One of the connections between my work at the internship and the material I learned in the core course for the minor has been the ability to build websites through wix. The core class helped me to understand how to tell stories effectively, especially learning how to analyze data using popular tools like tableau. Research and theories are aligned with practice in which the theories derived from the class has been more informative and laid a framework on building a successful strategy to attack the project. In learning how to use particular theories, I laid a design brief plan in my internship on what's the existing problem, the unknown and ambiguous problems as well as how to tackle the solution at ease.
Some theories that can be derived from practice included those like JBTB, jobs to be done framework to analyze how's the current user journey looks like and how the solution can help to solve the problem by providing a robust framework and a walkthrough to achieve it. For example, this framework has been applied in my work setting in which I analyze how other big advertisers are using the attribution product to see how their product produces conversion through key KPIs.
Week 5: Future career paths
What connections do you see between the work you’re currently doing and potential future career paths? In what ways has your experience shaped your thoughts about the careers you are interested in pursuing?
The connection of what I am seeing and my potential career path is very strong. I am very interested to becoming a product designer as my future career and this specific internship at facebook really helped me to become one.
My experience has shaped my thoughts in various ways. For example, during my time at Facebook, I was able to learn a lot of about the design process, from using divergent thinking to go through design decisions as well as converging my ideas into actionable insights that are executable by the engineers. To continue, I was able to push pixel perfect design and which those design has helped to shape my thoughts to be determined as a designer. On the other hand, I was able to work cross functionally with the team and gained insights from various cross functional partners ranging from user researchers, content designers and engineers. All these insights reinforced me to become a designer and pursue the path as a designer in the future.
Week 6: Relevant Technology
What technologies shape the work of this organization? What challenges or opportunities do these provide? What kind of future do you see for these technologies?
The technologies that shape the work of this organization includes front end react and php that used to power the attribution ads product as a whole. Sometimes the alpha product will crash and does not function very well. For example, the product might fail to load some of the data due to the fact that there might be a bug inside the product.
The future that I see for the technology is going to be massively useful with the fact that the technology can have a positive impact to people's lives.
Week 7: Relationship to Los Angeles
In what way does this organization serve or benefit the residents of Los Angeles, or more broadly, the state of California? Who benefits? Who does not benefit from the work of this organization? Is there any outreach or dissemination of work from this organization to others in Los Angeles? What would you say is the public’s opinion or impression of this organization and the work being done?
The organization provides high level attribution tools to measure ad insights for the residents of Los Angeles as well as the state of California. Those who will be using the attribution tool to measure their ad insights will greatly benefit from the organization. People who only view ads might not benefit from the work as much. There is no outreach or dissemination of work from this organization to others in LA. The public opinion is more negative to the organization since people falsely believed that they are being monitored in facebook but with the recent crackdown of the cookies and deprecation of cross publishers of ads like Google and Amazon ad tracking system, this is no longer the case.