Kenny Schipper – Senior Product Designer, Consumer Design

Kenny Schipper – Senior Product Designer, Consumer Design

KENNY SCHIPPER

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.

Groupon World Headquarters

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.