Amethyst Saludo – Product Designer, Merchant Team

Amethyst Saludo – Product Designer, Merchant Team


Product Designer, Merchant Team
Palo Alto, CA
Joined: 2014 & 2015

From designing exhibits at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona to designing merchant-facing products at Groupon, Amethyst’s through line has been finding meaningful connections between people and the world around them.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

When I first visited the Groupon Chicago office, I suddenly found myself face to face with a massive cat in a giant spaceship! I will never forget that moment…it is something worth seeing! In addition to the cat, my other favorite Groupon memory is the first Design Union (DU) offsite I attended at the Abby Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Every year the entire design team gets together with designers from all over the world. In previous years, the Design Union held the offsite at a lodge in Seattle where the show Twin Peaks was filmed and another year it was in Santa Cruz. They are always in interesting locations!

The offsites present opportunities for us to connect with one another and build stronger relationships through team building activities and just by hanging out together. They are lots of fun, always filled with outdoor activities, geocaching competitions, and a lot more.

What have been some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?

This year I was happy to make contributions to both the merchant and consumer teams.

On the merchant side, I recently worked on a project that was really fun as well as challenging. The overall goal was to develop a series of new products as part of the future vision for our merchant offerings. I designed several end-to-end product experience prototypes which could lead to a more robust engagement between merchants and consumers. This was a collaborative project in which I worked closely with a product manager, the merchant team, and senior leadership as well.

On the consumer side, I really enjoyed working on specific features on the deal page through the checkout experience. This was an interesting project because it was all about consumer behavior and showed how even the smallest changes in design could affect consumer decision-making and that can have large economic impact. It required me to think deeply about consumer psychology and therefore impacted my design approaches.

What was your first role here and how did you get to where you are today?

I started as an Associate Product/User Experience Design intern. I had a wonderful time working with amazing designers and engineers from the merchant team and shortly after completing my internship I was thrilled to continue my adventure here as a Product Designer.

What’s your favorite conference room?

What was your first impression of Groupon?

The first thing that left an impression on me has to do with the people who work here. I have always felt that people make a place what it is, and that is certainly true in case of Groupon. I feel that no matter what I might be doing, I have felt supported and cared for by everyone. Recently, a team from the DU started a recognition program for designers who have gone above and beyond their normal duties. This year, I felt extremely honored to have won the DU Appreciation award for my work. Thank you DU team! And the best part was that the award came with a super cute unicorn who sits on my desk! We also have a DU Buddy program which was an outcome from this year’s DU offsite. Such a program helps build a personal connection between our distributed teams. Making meaningful connections and having various support systems within the DU has really made it feel like family.

By the way, I’ve named the unicorn Rufus.

Also, I can never forget the first time I saw the names of all our conference rooms. So creative! You should definitely check out the zombie one!

What do your parents think you do?

My parents really don’t know what I do. They think my work involves “lots of drawings on the computer.” 🙂 Now that I think about it, they are not entirely wrong!

Tell us about working with Engineering from a Design perspective at Groupon.

I truly enjoy working with engineers because I learn so much from them! Every engineer I have collaborated with has helped me to understand the meaning of creativity within constraints.

What’s your favorite part of your team’s Software Development process?

I really enjoy the entire process, from identifying requirements through research and data collection, to the iterative process of generating solutions, to seeing its impact on stakeholders, and finally to reflecting about where we could make improvements. I love to find the balance between a great user experience for our users and business impact.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I once joined a Korean martial arts club to learn the art of Hapkido, a form of self-defense. The name translates to:

Hap = Harmony

Ki = Power

Do = Way or Path

“Every engineer I have collaborated with has helped me understand the meaning of creativity within constraints and what it takes to address user needs while continually creating desirable products.”

What’s unique about the Engineering culture here?

The engineers here are awesome! It’s an environment where people are really passionate about what they do. I truly enjoy working with engineers because I learn so much from them! Every engineer I have collaborated with has helped me understand the meaning of creativity within constraints and what it takes to address user needs while continually creating desirable products.

Where were you before joining Groupon and how did you get here?

Ok, in order to answer this question, you will have to bear with me as I tell a bit of a long story. After I finished my undergraduate degree in Visual Communication Design from Arizona State University, I worked as a graphic designer, developing logos, identity systems, infographics, and other materials primarily for the print medium. I then got a job as the lead exhibit designer at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix, Arizona. This is one of the world’s largest museums that houses remarkable musical instruments from all over the world. It even has the piano on which John Lennon composed the masterpiece “Imagine.” At MIM, I worked closely with a team of curators, installers, technology specialists, conservationists, building contractors, and many others in the design and installation of over 300+ exhibitions. After working at MIM, I was at a company called VMI, which modified vans to make them accessible to people in wheelchairs. Here, I worked in the marketing department, designing and developing print materials, advertising assets for the web, an online sales training program that utilized a SaaS learning management system for the global sales force.

During these years, my work started to expand from creating print-based materials to designing comprehensive solutions on digital platforms. I started to get more interested in designing holistic physical+digital solutions to complex problems. I realized that what truly interested me was designing interactions between people and the world around them. Therefore, I applied and was accepted into the Master of Design graduate program in interaction design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, PA. This was an intense, research-based design program that introduced me to the process of designing meaningful interactions between people and things. Between my first and second years at CMU, I was an intern at Groupon, and that cemented my interest in becoming a product designer.

What are you currently working on?

Currently, I’m working on improving the experience for our merchant and sales-facing tools. I truly believe in human-centered research and design, and in my work, I strive to convert research insights into useful, usable and meaningful design solutions for all stakeholders who are impacted by our products.

How does the work you do connect to Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

My design efforts focus on creating meaningful engagement between merchants, the sales team, and consumers. For Groupon to be successful, consumers should be able to quickly find what they are looking for, and at the same time, merchants should be able to offer enticing deals that bring customers through their door. If we can help merchants understand the value that a partnership with Groupon can bring to them, especially as it relates to retention, other merchants would join the Groupon community as well. If we carefully manage these relationships through design and engineering, it can play a critical role in ensuring success for all parties: merchants, consumers, sales, and Groupon itself. My approach to design is to be thoughtful and caring towards all stakeholders and their needs, and if we are able to satisfy those needs, it can take us closer to building the daily habit in local commerce.

Who or what are your biggest Design influences?

My inspirations come from reading, being out in nature, and traveling to new places. In addition, I am also inspired by the talent, creativity, and passion of other designers here at Groupon.

Other influences include:

  • Philip Starck for the playful qualities in his work
  • Frank Lloyd Wright for situating buildings in context
  • Kenya Hara for the purity in his designs and his notion of “empty space”
  • Bruno Latour for opening my eyes to the importance of networks

What’s your favorite language?

Coffeescript! (at least for now!) and English.   🙂

I’ve always been interested in coding and Groupon has been very supportive in helping me develop this interest of mine. In this journey of learning, I first took a Javascript course to help me get started. Then, I started to use Framer in my own work as a prototyping tool which introduced me to Coffeescript.

Coffeescript has been really fun and challenging to learn, but being able to translate something designed in Sketch through code into something real has been truly enlightening. To my own surprise, I actually found it to be somewhat addictive and discovered that I could keep doing it for hours. And when something works the way I’ve imagined it, there is such a sense of celebration! In order to keep gaining new skills, a few of us on the merchant team started a Framer group back in 2016 and since then we’ve had a few people from the consumer team join the group as well!

What’s your favorite local business?

Accent Arts in the Alley. It’s a locally owned art supply store in Palo Alto. I love to go there to discover things I’d like to try as well as to look for drawing and watercolor supplies.

Kenny Schipper – Senior Product Designer, Consumer Design

Kenny Schipper – Senior Product Designer, Consumer Design


Senior Product Designer, Consumer Product Design
Chicago, IL
Joined: 2015

Kenny finds design inspiration in everyday places and occurrences, from seamless restaurant transactions to broken escalators at L stops.

What’s your favorite Groupon memory?

Shortly after I joined Groupon, the Design team held a two-day offsite outside of Seattle. Think Twin Peaks. Each day was spent solving problems collaboratively but more importantly, it was time for our co-located teams to hang out and build relationships.

What was your first impression of Groupon?

Sometime back in 2009 or 2010, I remember signing up for Groupon because I could do fun things for less money. I was in college, we’d go bowling, it was great.

So tell us about what you do every day.

On the consumer product design team, I collaborate with product managers, engineers, and marketers to design the experience and interface our users will interact with on the web and in the app. Currently, I’m working to bring Delivery & Takeout offerings to our users through the Groupon and GrubHub partnership. This project offers a unique perspective on process because we are collaborating with a full team of designers, engineers, and product managers at Grubhub. We’re taking our respective strengths to accomplish a common goal.

…and what do your parents think you do?

I’ve worked mostly on Groupon To Go. So, they think I make mobile phones bring you food. Not inaccurate.

What’s unique about Design at Groupon?

The culture within our team is one of support. Previously I’ve worked where high levels of competition exist and barriers were formed. Our team works to lift each other up whether it be through weekly feedback meetings or through skill-sharing sessions to teach one another.

“The culture within our team is one of support. Previously I’ve worked where high levels of competition exist and barriers were formed. Our team works to lift each other up whether it be through weekly feedback meetings or through skill-sharing sessions to teach one another.”

How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?

Here’s a scenario. Say Jess wants to celebrate meeting a tight deadline with her employees by bringing in donuts and coffee from a specialty shop nearby, Oh Nuts Donuts. She decides to check Groupon to see if a deal is available, unfortunately, one is not, however. Luckily, Jess notices Groupon is offering delivery from Oh Nuts Donuts. Without thinking twice, she places an order for delivery to the office knowing this will shave about 30 minutes off her morning commute. Working with Groupon To Go and now the Grubhub integration is drastically increasing the inventory and therefore restaurant selection we have to offer our customers.

What’s your favorite local business?

Happy Village. A small local bar that has been in business for 50+ years with a great back patio but most of all a place for those of us who enjoy table tennis to play. I also vote there.

Tell us something about you that would surprise us.

I used to work at Fedex. I was a package destroyer.

What are your design influences?

Like most, I follow quite a few design-related blogs but I find inspiration through just about everything I interact with on a daily basis—how I pay with a credit card at a restaurant or how that escalator never really broke, it only became a set of stairs to the L platform.

What’s been most surprising about working here?

I wouldn’t say this is surprising but collaboration is key and everyone’s input is valued.

Lily – Engineering intern

Lily – Engineering intern

Lily FulopHi there! My name is Lily Fulop. I’m a rising junior at Carnegie Mellon University studying Communication Design. This summer, I’m a visual design intern at Groupon in the Chicago headquarters. I currently live in southern Virginia, but I’ve lived in six different states, so anywhere feels like home. I have a lot of family in the Chicago area, so I really love being here for my internship this summer, and might try to stick around once I graduate!

At Carnegie Mellon, my primary focus is design. In my classes I learn about fundamentals like color, typography, grids, and composition, as well as higher-level concepts like information visualization, systems design, human factors, and user-experience. I love illustration, photography and telling stories through the things I create.

I love design for several reasons. First, I can’t stand it when things don’t make sense. I’m the kind of person who needs answers and clarity. Through good design, I can provide those things to others. Design has the amazing capability of conveying complex messages with simplicity. A user should never have to work too hard or be made to feel like they lack common sense due to clumsy communications or designs. They should be able to trust their intuition to navigate information with confidence. Second, I get bored really easily by convention and routine. I love color, pattern, excitement and surprise. I believe in the power of beautiful and clever design to bring joy and meaning to people’s lives. Finally, I’m a perfectionist. I need things to be done right. I appreciate things made with quality, time and those little details that show that someone cares.

This passion for design led me to my internship at Groupon this summer. At Groupon, I work on visual design and branding for the Food & Drink division. Food & Drink has three sections: Deals (everyday discounts), Card-Linked Offers (a cashback program), and Groupon To Go (a food delivery service). I work on email campaigns and marketing for these products which involves designing across platforms (i.e. desktop vs. mobile and internal ads on the Groupon website vs. ads on affiliate websites). This summer, Groupon has been undergoing a complete change in brand– a new aesthetic, a new typeface, a new message. We’re focusing on bold, fun experiences; like our new commercial says, we’re valuing the “have-dones” over the “haves” and encouraging our users to “own the experience”. It’s been really exciting to have a say in how this new brand direction is implemented in our designs. In addition to working on brand consistency across platforms, I’ve also been faced with the challenge of creating brand nuances between products. For example, the Card-Linked Offers service ought to be differentiated from Groupon To Go aesthetically, but similar enough so that both services can be recognized as a part of Groupon as a whole.

From day to day at Groupon, you can catch me refining typography and composition on Illustrator, searching stock image sites for the best pictures of pizza, helping with in-house photoshoots (a.k.a. launching my hand modeling career!), critiquing designs and discussing strategy. I’ve learned so much here already! My eye for detail has developed, my workflow is much faster and I have a deeper understanding of branding. I know so much more about local commerce and how Groupon operates. It’s been great to see how design functions within such a large company and to learn how to communicate across teams here.

Outside of work, I’ve loved exploring Chicago and hanging out with the other interns. As the only non software engineering intern, I’m having a bit of a different experience than the others at work, but we’re having a great time together outside (and inside!) of the office. Groupon has sponsored some really fun events for us, like going on an architectural boat tour of the city and doing a cooking class with our mentors. A bunch of us also walked in the Chicago Pride parade with the Groupon float, which was an incredible experience. We’ve had fun exploring different neighborhoods and trying to taste all of Chicago’s best food (Jeni’s ice cream in Wicker Park is a favorite!)

This summer has been amazing, and I’m sad to see my internship come to an end, but grateful for the people I’ve met and the things I’ve learned!


Lily Fulop_pride paradeLily Fulop_other interns








Lila Talks Groupon Design

Lila Talks Groupon Design

Name: Lila
Title: Junior Visual Designer
Start Date: July 2014
School: Carnegie Mellon University

What do you do?

I primarily work on merchant-facing material: branding for new merchant products, email communication, packaging, etc. I interface with a variety of teams across the business in order to create, execute, and deliver on inspiring, compelling design projects for the company.

Why did you choose Groupon for an internship and what made you want to become a Groupon employee?

The campus recruiters were helpful in connecting me to Visual Designers at Groupon; I spoke to them on the phone. I got to ask them a lot of questions about the culture and how Design functions as a whole. It just seemed like the right fit for me with the playful, quirky brand and I thought it’d be a great summer experience.

(Obviously) my internship was great! I was able to work with so many different people on the Design team, and in turn was exposed to so many different parts of the company. Also, I was creating work that was actually shipping, not just working on internal projects or busy work that internships can often turn into. Most importantly, the people were so amazing to work with. I learned so much from both my teammates and manager, that it made the decision to want to come back full-time pretty easy.

What’s the best advice for the future Design employees of Groupon?

  1. Being able to present your work and being articulate with your ideas is very important. We’re constantly presenting to different teams and stakeholders, and you need to be able to speak to what you’re doing in a strategic way so you can get people on board.
  2. It’s good to have a strong point of view as a designer—letting yourself show through the work. I like work that is conceptually sound, but also feels original in its final outcome. That can be a trap a lot of young designers fall into—copying what else is out there because you know it works. Here, there are always so many new products that have a quick turnaround, so generating ideas quickly and executing is crucial.
  3. You thrive the most at Groupon when you like working with other people, because you are going to work with a lot of people. There’s a difference between being able to work with others and actually growing as a result of collaborating. At Groupon, everyone is elevating each other.

How have your design skills improved since your time as an intern?

I’ve definitely honed my skills more quickly due to the fast-paced environment, which in turn has also improved my workflow. Also, when you see an opportunity to do a project or do something different, you can really jump on it. For example, there was a time when we were doing a lot of email banners. I had talked with my manager about making the banners into animated gifs. I thought that’d be something cool to incorporate into the merchant brand as a whole. I always had an interest in motion graphics and animation, and I’ve really been able to dive into that and almost start an initiative in that way.

Since working here, I’ve developed a deeper understanding of Groupon’s greater missions and values, especially related to merchant relationships. I truly believe in the value of helping local businesses grow, which enables me to design from an empathetic lens and connect more with my audience in any project.