What is it like to work at AWS as a UX designer?

Oracle / Other Kjh678
Jul 7, 2018 18 Comments

I am considering a position with AWS and really appreciate any input.

I was worried about the design work would be boring because from my understanding, most of the AWS UI are wizard-like or a page-long form, not much room for creative ideas. Can AWS designers share some thoughts?

Thanks!

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TOP 18 Comments
  • Oscar / Eng
    tc/gtfo

    Oscar Eng

    BIO
    Hi. I am real and I am pretty friendly. Just here for some happiness.
    tc/gtfomore
    AWS UI is fucking awful. What the heck is going on? I feel like those bootraps sites are 10x better. For god sake. Please fire the entire UX organization. Amazon UX in general sucks big time. Shut it down! Take this as a customer.

    By the way, RDS and S3 team. Can you please undo your new design? I have to “search” in the browser to locate the shit I want.
    Jul 7, 2018 5
    • Amazon / Design MiddleWest
      I can relay more details of your problems to some of the people at least sort of responsible. Of course, the bureaucratic nature of the place means that a random team of *other* people will have to opine on it before anything can be done, but hey! Worth a shot!
      Jul 7, 2018
    • Oscar / Eng
      tc/gtfo

      Oscar Eng

      BIO
      Hi. I am real and I am pretty friendly. Just here for some happiness.
      tc/gtfomore
      Yeah I am not saying everyone is responsible and clearly there are UX people there know their shit. The fact the UX organization fails to deliver anything useful is just a big slap in the face of the customers: we are the product you love to use, and so suck it up big fellas.

      🤦‍♀️ The standards just so bluntly ugly. What’s the turnover rate?
      Jul 7, 2018
    • Amazon / Design MiddleWest
      No I’m with you dude, and it’s still UX’s responsibility to figure this the fuck out. The fact that they just want to standardize things instead of understand what customers actually value and how to create things that respond to your inclinations and intentions is weird.

      Would you be game to PM me a detailed list of what’s wrong and problematic?
      Jul 7, 2018
    • Oscar / Eng
      tc/gtfo

      Oscar Eng

      BIO
      Hi. I am real and I am pretty friendly. Just here for some happiness.
      tc/gtfomore
      Yeah. In the morning. I can send you a private Google Doc lol thanks for even listening (and probably 😂 when you read about it).
      Jul 7, 2018
    • Amazon / Design MiddleWest
      Awesome that would be incredibly useful. And probably hilariously depressing 😂 thank you!
      Jul 8, 2018
  • Amazon / Design MiddleWest
    Don’t. It should be among the most exciting areas to work, but it’s soul-crushingly bureaucratic and obscenely dull. There’s a new “design language” that is enforced with almost comical rigor—it features a 2-3 or, depending, 5-step formal process for anything to get approved by a central team. Any new launch is probably subject to the 5-step process (which takes weeks or months). Even new features require 2-3 different checkpoints. And this means you do your work with your PM and SDM and maybe even design manager, then the central team nitpicks it. And frequently, there’s just a random selection of 4-6 designers and researchers who tell you what they think you should do, too. I’ve never seen more micromanaging by so many people.

    And this repeats.

    The whole focus is now on being consistent, above just doing what must be done to make extraordinarily powerful and complex technologies more intuitive and useful. Login to the AWS Console. Look around. Think it could use some work? That it could be better, a little more clear? You’re right. And you’ll have very low odds of actually affecting that. It’s pretty damn frustrating.

    How do you like Oracle?
    Jul 7, 2018 2
    • Oracle / Other Kjh678
      OP
      Oracle has very little design thinking, most of the design work is dull and needs to follow very constrained design patterns. If you want to create a new UI beyond existing component library, the chance is almost zero. But WLB is awesome, people can work from home often.

      One question: how easy is it for an AWS designer to transfer to other Amazon teams? I would like to take this into consideration if I end up joining AWS and don’t like it.
      Jul 7, 2018
    • Amazon / Design MiddleWest
      So Oracle sounds exactly like AWS then. Exactly. Cannot emphasize enough how constrained AWS is.

      Transferring is possible but I’m not sure what the opportunities look like when coming from AWS. You’d probably be able to join any of the more technical teams—like any of the ads services stuff, some of the Alexa teams, etc. There’s lots at Amazon.
      Jul 7, 2018
  • Amazon / Design Hot==dog
    Ha ha ha ha...no. If you want to design at Amazon that’s one thing but intentionally going to AWS at this point is an unhappy proposition. Plenty of talented people and there’s always a need for UX input but you will struggle just to do your job. And the component and pattern library everyone has to use is stupid. Poorly thought-through with crap research to justify it and constant approval-gating. Plus I thought Oracle was making a big turnaround with their design team?
    Jul 8, 2018 3
    • Oracle / Other Kjh678
      OP
      Yes. With the new top management, the design team has gone through some cultural changes but overall I still wanted to get out.
      Sounds like if I join AWS, it would be another hell. :(
      Jul 8, 2018
    • Amazon / Design Hot==dog
      I wouldn’t do it. I’d stick with Oracle and see if the new leadership can open things up. You won’t be happy at AWS and there’s no guarantee that you can transfer to something notably better elsewhere in Amazon.
      Jul 8, 2018
    • Airbnb Gr888
      How’s the new top management at Oracle? I see both Jackson Fish Market founders moved over recently.
      Jul 9, 2018
  • Amazon sweet234
    Very awful
    Jul 7, 2018 2
    • Oracle / Other Kjh678
      OP
      Would you mind elaborating and sharing more detail? Really appreciate it! :)
      Jul 7, 2018
    • Amazon / Design MiddleWest
      I literally just outlined all the major problems.
      Jul 7, 2018
  • Amazon / Design MiddleWest
    Many of the UX designers are aware of the severe challenges with using various services, but they’re not necessarily in a position to make the changes. Especially with the new design language team having total purview over everything, getting shit done is often cumbersome.
    Jul 7, 2018 0
  • New / Other
    arceus2

    New Other

    PRE
    Nintendo
    BIO
    Trying to catch em all.
    arceus2more
    Any new recent news on this?
    May 9 0