Smart Design

Interaction Design, Digital Strategy, Design Research
Smart Design Internship, 2022

Client ︎︎︎ Secret* 

*Projects are under NDA. Please get in touch to learn more. 🐄

Closely collaborated with various team members and clients to uncover and understand experiences, needs and wants.

Story A: Insights

Understanding Human Behavior

During my experience at Smart Design, I worked as an Interaction Designer and hit the ground running being brought on during phase ︎ of the design research. We were responsible for strategizing and bringing a vision to life by providing key features to an experience to design and develop for our client; the goal was to connect people to their community in an organic way. I immediately jumped in and worked towards finding the best visualization for what story we wanted to tell. 



Through exploring the dataset I helped visualize a strategic framework and illustrated a user journey demonstrating user mindsets, motivations and situations. After identifying the opportunity areas, I was responsible for creating high fidelity prototypes of conceptual designs within the prioritized opportunity areas. In addition to the prototypes, high-level functional specifications were used and interaction flows were created for the concepts.

︎︎︎ Rough sketches for a strategic framework


Success is not just checking off a list of features

Our research insights coupled with our client conversations helped prioritize important features; we were able to illustrate the story in a way that helped ensure that the client understands key observations to implement into a more meaningful digital experience.

Lessons learned
Throughout the project, I struggled with the clients parameters and discovered that it’s okay to ignore those restricitions at the start and it’s better to just get all the ideas out. There were a lot of unknowns faced in the design process and there was constant iterating and learning. This was challenging but it helped me incoporate new technical skills in Figma and understand design systems. 

Story B: Insights

Decoding creativity

After finishing the first project, I had some time before I started the next project with Smart Design; learn more about my individual research project here︎.

This next project introduced me to recruiting, setting up the research and finding that baseline with the team. Our client was interested in how the digital landscape impacts our creativity and how we can use their technology to provide more value. 



By conducting research individually, speaking with friends and family, experts in the field and together as a team we were able to share and align our findings on creativity. Once we identified some of the trends, I created diary studies, participant activities and participated in moderated virtual interviews. This was really exciting and we were able to design a research methodology unique to the question at hand. 

︎︎︎ We asked participants “What does your creative brain look like?” Above is my sketch of what my creative brain looks like.


Gaining perspective

I was knee deep in understanding the creative landscape, at times I was facing roadblocks with the amount of data that was gathered and found it was helpful to get the team together to organize the information. Another challenge was our turn around time to delivering insights but I found it to be so important to have these conversations sooner than later with our client - it helped us all stay aligned and progressed our creativity research.

Research is critical to the design process

These research methodologies really helped me to see how important it is to gain different perspectives which allowed not only value for the client but most importantly, people.

Tricia Gray is a designer & developer based in NYC, previously at Smart Design︎. Read more


*Personal, Web Design & Development, 2022 *Coming soon* 

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