Simeon Poulin

Havas XD Internship 2015

Young designers creating innovative products.

I took ownership of our 2015 XD Summer internship program at Havas. The theme of the program this year was product development. The goal was to have the interns work on creating their own products from concept, research, prototyping, into final design and presentation.

The first step was working with recruiting at Havas to find four amazing XD interns to join us for the summer of 2015.  I designed and built a custom WordPress site that we used as our primary recruitment tool. (

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 12.13.02 PM

The site’s URL was sent to universities such as Carnegie Mellon, NYU’s ITP program, Parsons’s Design and Technology track, SCAD, Pratt and SVA.  We received a tremendous amount of candidates through the site.

Once the candidates were narrowed down to the four we selected, I began to refine the curriculum of the program.


The Havas XD Academy seeks to collaborate with up-and-coming user experience professionals who have a passion for emerging technologies and impactful design in order to learn from each other and grow the field together.


  • XD Interns will split up into teams to complete a project from concept through presentation.
  • They will learn how to effectively collaborate with visual designers, developers, digital strategists and stakeholders.
  • Teams will be given a design brief that outlines the project.
  • They will research and select a project that fits the constraints of the brief.
  • They will validate their ideas and incorporate feedback from their peers.
  • Mentors will guide the teams through the design process and give feedback throughout.
  • They will present their project at the end of the internship.

8 week program, from Monday, June 22nd – Friday, August 7th

Part 1: Research and Best Practices tasks

  • Use data to recognize opportunities to build meaningful products.
  • Learn different work methodologies and how to incorporate them into your design practice.
  • Learn how to story-map and lead design workshops.
  • Learn how to research a project to create a product based on market and white space analysis.
  • Pitch a project and incorporating feedback from your peers.
  • Create personas based on user research.
  • Design user-flows through an experience and highlighting potential “pain-points” and opportunities to “surprise and delight” the user.
  • Research design patterns, trends, and best practices.
  • Create a library of design patterns and best practices.
  • Run card sorts to determine ideal content strategy and information architecture
  • Create information architecture diagrams that illustrate the structure of an experience
  • Present diagrams to content strategist and incorporating feedback

Part 2: Design, Testing, and Presentation Tasks

  • Create “enough” of a prototype to test and validate assumptions
  • Incorporate feedback from designer and developer
  • A/B test to determine ideal design
  • Annotate wireframes to indicate functionality
  • Conduct informal user-testing and document user feedback in order to validate design decisions
  • Present prototypes and wireframes to clients or users and incorporating feedback

The full PPT for the program can be downloaded here.

I wrote several creative brief that the interns chose from. The then began developing their products based on the original brief. The briefs were intended to allow the interns some flexibility in order to be able to adjust their products based on their research.



Three of the interns selected the following project to develop products around.

Brief #4: DISH Second screen mobile/tablet experience

Design a second-screen experience to enhance viewing on the DISH Network that capitalizes on the inherent advantages of tablet and mobile devices.

Project Goals
To create an experience that truly adds to the existing DISH experience.

Primary Users
Network viewers


  • Competitive research documentation
  • User research documentation
  • Personas based on user research
  • User Journeys for personas
  • Feature list based on journeys
  • Information Architecture diagram
  • Annotated Wireframe

Here are some samples of the work they presented.


Carol Li Persona and User Journey


Lu Yunhao site user flow



Song Hia wireframes

The second project selected was the following:

Brief #2: Havas HR

Project Summary
Design a holistic on-boarding and benefits management experience for Havas employees. The experience should incorporate data from: Peoplesoft, ADP, SmartBen, BRI, and Aetna and present it in a way that is highly accessible and usable for Havas.

Project Goals
The goal is to streamline and improve the interface between employees and their information and information.

Primary Users
HR, All Havas Employees


  • Competitive research documentation
  • User research documentation
  • Personas based on user research
  • User Journeys for personas
  • Feature list based on journeys
  • Information Architecture diagram
  • Annotated Wireframes
  • Exploration of technical limitations
  • Functional Spec with technical recommendations


Gracie Chien – HR On-boarding tool, Wireframe