Have you ever wondered how design and research fit into the greater production timeline at Amazon?
Well, we were able to grab some time with Sarah Chaussee, Senior UX Designer on the TRX team (Transportation and Recipient Experience), which is a design team that falls under the Amazon Transportation Services (ATS) umbrella. In our chat, we connected with her and her two cross-functional peers on ATS, Sammy Ghorbanian (Sr. Product Manager) and Patrick Krile (Software Development Manager) to discuss their experience around the intersection of design and product development.
TRX builds the mechanisms and support systems that send Amazon products all around the world (from carriers, to shippers, to drivers, and transportation system operators); all while providing the best-in-class services we strive for as the most-customer centric company.
Sammy (product manager) discussed how she partners with Amazon’s TRX research team to monitor customer problems and identify unique ideas to help set direction. Sometimes these partnerships come together and provide solutions to problems that customers may not even realize are a challenge. Sammy believes that research teams are most effective when all roles in a product building team; UX, research, engineering and product come together to put the customer at the center and build a product that is beneficial for them.
We need to look at the problem from all angles to make sure what we end up building is right for the customer, grounded in their experience -Sammy Ghorbanian
Sammy brought up the concept of looking at the partnership as a three leg stool of product, design, and engineering, which affords a holistic product for the customer.
When we asked Patrick (software engineering) to share his perspective on what value design brings to the engineering space, he explained that “we’re able to build software that’s actually pleasing to the customer when we build things that people actually can use, and want to use.” The panel agreed that the research and collaboration they’ve practiced across each of their unique functions has provided a unique mechanism to solve complex customer problems.
Patrick expressed that engineers work more efficiently and effectively when they have a clear understanding about the specific problem they’re building a solution for. They’re enabled to build a customer obsessed and meaningful product. This understanding comes from the quality and depth of the research conducted.
The collaboration isn’t something unique to the cross-functional disciplines at Amazon, but it also shows up within singular verticals. Sarah (TRX UX designer) ended the conversation by sharing “one thing that I really love about the design community at Amazon is the amount that people are willing to share.” She went on to describe how people are constantly running into problems that others may have already met, and her experiences has been filled with meeting others that will quickly share files, workflows, and research in the hopes that it can be applied to broader problem areas.
Amazon’s TRX designers apply design thinking to the real world and shape emerging businesses. They are truly involved in the shaping of inventions that address and solve unique customer problems.
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