Welcome to the supplementary portfolio for my CCA MBA Design Strategy application

Ashlimarie Dong, January 2020

Career goals

My goal is to become a design leader focusing on user-centered processes for consumer technology. I believe that a deeper understanding of the intersection between design, business, and technology will help me design innovative products and my user-centered design background gives me the advantage of discovering people’s needs and how to improve the product.


Exerpt from the personal essay

From 2013 to 2015, I worked with several clients, including product teams at Amazon and Microsoft, to create or improve upon product experiences and execute the design process that ultimately proves or disproves the success of an overall design by first understanding their business needs and pre-existing design libraries.


I worked with the Amazon Pay group to build Pay with Amazon design solutions to integrate in 3rd party ecommerce websites. Pay with Amazon (PWA) is a checkout solution reducing the number of painpoints and time online shoppers spend during the checkout process. On an ecommerce website, you can sign in with your Amazon account and, with your Amazon shipping and billing information, within a few clicks you can complete the checkout flow.

My Role

I was a user experience designer working on prototypes for both web and mobile; I shared my prototypes to the PM and discussed the flows with him before handing off to the marketing team. I worked primarily with a PM and an Amazon user experience designer who has a lot of background knowledge of the payments systems.


I worked with the PM and the user experience designer to gather project requirements and to understand the intended behaviors and interactions of the Pay with Amazon experience.

Before building a prototype, I researched the merchant website to understand the overall flow, checkout process, and the color schemes to strategize how and where the PWA experience could be incorporated into their experience. I designed high-fidelity PWA merchant prototypes in Axure for mobile and web experiences to share with my PM and Sales before presenting to the merchant.

I also designed a standardized flow and interaction model in Axure for the design team to leverage so others could quickly and efficiently build other Login with Amazon prototypes.


The Amazon Payments team leveraged my Axure components to help the team build prototypes even quicker and more effectively than before.

Some of the prototypes I built for different businesses were successful and have case studies. A well-known clothing brand I worked on now uses Pay with Amazon; the ecommerce website has seen a 34% increase in checkout conversion and has reduced checkout time by at least 70 seconds.


Exerpt from the personal essay

I later worked full-time at a traffic analytics company, INRIX, where I worked with the chief solutions architect to design B2B solutions. By working directly with the solutions architect, I learned to assess potential business opportunities by having a deeper understanding of our underlying technology and our experience integrated with their own. My design and development skills helped me create robust solutions for presentations with potential company partners.

Background & My Role

INRIX wanted to find ways of incorporating their traffic data into other services.

I worked primarily with internal business teams to understand INRIX’s business goals and other businesses’ needs. I used our app experience as a baseline for my designs, and presented my work frequently to the rest of the design team.


  • Leveraged existing target audience personas to conduct informal internal interviews to understand how users go about their day. Researched traffic/drive features, and integrated that into the designs
  • Facilitated brainstorming session with design team to discover new features for personas
  • Worked with business team to create primary use cases
  • Sketched use cases and presented them to mobile team for feedback
  • Created unbranded designs that can be shared to different clients
  • Created clickthrough prototypes for the business team to share


My designs and prototypes were presented by solutions architects to a number of companies, and was publicly shown during 2016 CES. Since then, these concepts and designs opened discussions externally regarding integrating INRIX with their products.

Toyota Research Institute

Exerpt from the personal essay

I made a transition to research and development at Toyota Research Institute as an interaction designer working on human-machine interactions for autonomous vehicles where I worked for over two and a half years. There, I gained more skills and work experience in early discovery phases to identify problem areas to focus on regarding the user experience. I created numerous interaction diagrams and wireframes conveying the intended flow and looks, which I then communicated to engineers to implement in cars for researchers and myself to test the experience with drivers. The collaboration and transparency between the engineers, researchers, and I were essential to the success of our demonstrations, which were included in expos such as CES and Tokyo Motor Show.


Toyota Research Institute (TRI) has a goal of developing an autonomous vehicle that would be incapable of causing a crash. There are two different products autonomous products TRI is working on: Chauffeur, an SAE L4/L5 system, and Guardian, which is being developed to improve the driver’s experience while they remain in control of the vehicle. One of the latest advancements with the Guardian system is the idea of blended envelope control, where Guardian combines and coordinates the skills and strengths of the human and the machine.

My role

I am the primary interaction designer working on the end-to-end experience for the Guardian product. I work with different feature teams to better understand the goals and needs of the product, which are broken down into different use cases. I work alongside researchers, engineers, and designers to work through my flows and designs, fill in any gaps I might have missed, and ensure we are all aligned with the UX goals of the feature(s) I’m working on. I keep the lead interaction designer on driving updated with what I’m working on to ensure alignment across other TRI products.

Applied skills: Brainstorming, information architecture, user flows, wireframes, interface design, interaction design, specification documents, front-end development


Improving trust in an autonomous system that very few people have experienced is a very big challenge, especially with the Guardian system since we have to establish and maintain mental models around its behaviors. When Guardian shifted to a blended envelope control, this meant that the car can do a small maneuver the driver wouldn’t even notice to something very large that can startle the driver.

One of the biggest questions we are solving for is: How can we ensure the driver is aware of what the car is currently doing, and will do in the near future?

Learning through research first

As a UX team, we decided which features needed to be research, and which ones had enough backing that we didn’t need as much initial investigation. With conveying what the car is currently doing, one of the primary elements we use is a path line and a message.

The problem we wanted to solve was how much information did drivers need? And we also had to keep in mind the other visual elements that might clutter the space and complicate the driving task.

I sketched out different flows and visual concepts, and had conversations with the researchers to understand their needs for testing stimuli. After a few iterations with the broader UX group, I shared the flows and concepts to a visual, audio, and 3d designer to create higher fidelity screens for the researchers to use as testing stimuli.


The Guardian user experience was put into our test vehicles in late 2018, and was shared during 2019 CES. Additional modalities are being explored to quickly inform the driver about what the car is doing, rather than showing it visually since it can take longer for the person to perceive.

Thank you!