Etsy Internship recapFriday was the last day of my summer internship at Etsy. I met some great people and worked on awesome projects while I was there. My main focus was prototyping, both creating actual prototypes and documenting a process to promote ongoing prototyping there.
The tools I explored were balsamiq mockups, Adobe Dreamweaver (templating and libraries), Ruby on Rails, and scratched the surface on Google and Yahoo APIs. Balsamiq turned out to be an excellent tool for initial communication, discovery, and vetting. Ruby on Rails has a steeper learning curve but turned out to be an outstanding platform for high-fidelity prototyping, flexibility, and quick adjustments.
The exercise was useful and enlightening for both parties. Prototyping is an excellent means of product innovation, discovery, and user testing, and bridges the gap between product and engineering teams much earlier in the feature creation process. The result is clearer requirements and a higher level of consensus on feature details when time comes for development.
Big thanks to Etsy for allowing me a lot of freedom and flexibility, and for being so open and responsive to proposals and suggestions.