TuSimple Design Internship


I do not wish to be contacted about my time at TuSimple in regard to the FBI/SEC/CFIUS investigation.

Due to the fact that I worked with protected proprietary information, there are a lot of things I can’t show here. (eg. photos taken inside the facility, user research sessions, and detailed designs) Please contact me if you’d like to hear more about this project.

Project space

TuSimple︎︎︎ is a multi-billion dollar venture to commercialize autonomous trucking – the first and only one of its kind to go public and to achieve driver-out autonomy. 

The project
My primary internship project, Midgar, is a tool for the fleet operations team that improves scheduling by keeping hardware, firmware, and configuration data up-to-date and centralized in a digital warehouse.

My product made TuSimple’s operation data useful, understandable, and easy to work with. This project spanned 10 weeks over three phases. Other projects include a statistics dashboard as well as a design system for data visualization.

My responsibilities
As the sole product designer on Midgar I worked on the following:
  • Conducted and summarized user research through user interviews, participatory design, and usability testing with prototypes
  • Designed core flows, delivered specs, and shipped projects through multiple phases of conception
  • Worked with developers to make sure implementation was fast and accurate
  • Performed QA review of implementation to ensure alignment with design intent

The team
  • 1 product designer (me)
  • 1 product manager
  • 1 frontend developer
  • 2 backend developers
  • 1 QA testers
  • 4 test users

Midgar started out as a request from the hardware team. As our team deployed the first phase of the product, Midgar grew to be a company priority with many teams becoming involved in the process.


Conducting research in context
I flew out to TuSimple’s testing facilities in Tuscon to get a better understanding of my target users through questionaires, interviews, and contextual inquiry over the span of a week. I also conducted preliminary usability testing for Midgar.

An example of compiled research findings from interviews

Bringing clarity to a complex project
The work I did at TuSimple was unique in that I was designing products for highly complex projects with technical users. Oftentimes, the data that I worked with took a lot of research to make sense out of. Over the course of my internship, I learned how to bring together this data in a meaningful and useful way for my users.

Designing for information architecture
Working with my product manager, I was able to create visually understandable interfaces that allowed my users to easily understand and use this data. When conducting usability testing, users were able to accomplish their tasks quickly. Upon the release of the first version, users were able to rapidly update information and use the product.

Designing for multiple voices in an organization
When designing for users who aren’t consumers, there is no single role. In the process of user research and design, I consolidated the needs of users with different jobs and responsibilities into a single cohesive product. 

Designing for detail
I learned how to collaborate with my product manager and bring a high-level product vision to execution down to the smallest details. For example, on my research trip to Tucson, I noticed that many of the intended users were working on laptops with small screens. However, the developer team developed and tested the product only with large monitors. Consequently, I spent time adjusting the design to make sure that our users could see everything on a small screen. During this, I learned about the value of testing products in the real environment to ensure the most usable experience for the end user.