Working in Enterprise Technology
THD Transfers is a feature of the rental experience that allows Home Depot associates to transfer tools and equipment across different locations.
Steve Kansa— UX Designer
Megan Phillips — Product Manager
Joseph Mburu — Engineering Anchor
TRIO Engineering Team (8 Engineers)
In August 2021, I started as a UX Design intern at Home Depot, within their Enterprise UX (EUX) team. I worked on the Tool Rental team focused on Rental Inventory Management. As a part of my internship, I got to work on an important product roadmap item: revamping the company's transfers process (which actually didn't have a front-facing UI at the time).
What I Worked On
As a UX Design Intern, I worked on creating Home Depot's transfers feature. If you think about Home Depot as a company, they have a lot of tools and equipment they have to move between stores, warehouses, rental facilities, etc. A transfer is essentially just when a Home Depot associate moves a pieces of equipment from one Home Depot location to another.
In order to do this, I did some preliminary primary research on what the current transfers process is, what painpoints are associated with it (spoiler: there's a lot!), and hashed out the high fidelity design for the feature flow.
A look at an earlier iteration of inventory management application home, where you can view transfer statuses of individual tools.
Other Things I Did
Outside of my design work, I was able to present my research to Home Depot Rental leadership as well as the Technology division's leadership.
Home Depot had recently switched to Figma at this time, and as a Figma mega-user I also helped designers troubleshoot Figma issues.
Lastly, I planned chats and events with the other UX Design interns on my team. This last thing is something that I hold near and dear to me as someone who thrives off of building robust support systems when I'm in an unfamiliar environment.
What I Learned
1. Enterprise solutions require connected and scalable design solutions
As I designed, I learned the importance of future-proofing and scaling my designs. The nature of enterprise means that applications are often heavily interconnected with one another, it means through design, you must take into account how these connections happen and how you can continue and improve them in future iterations, and even leave room for future features.
2. Working in a design system means learning how to not break it
Home Depot's Enterprise UX team is a huge team of over 200 designers, this means that our Design Systems team can't micromanage every single design and whether or not we are breaking design system guidelines. I learned to frontload this effort and try and figure out how to design within the system guidelines earlier on so that I could comfortably work in higher fidelity later and save myself time.
3. Participatory design doesn't mean getting everything from users
Home Depot's UX culture is big on participatory design. Designers are constantly organizing great workshops with stakeholders and involving users in every step of the process. One thing I learned as I worked was how to involve my team and my users in each step of the process without overwhelming them. I began to learn how to strategically choose when to involve them more, and when I could use my own expertise to make educated decisions as the designer to save them some time.
Due to privacy concerns, I can't share this work publicly. If you would like to see this work in more detail please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com. :)