Beyond the Usual, Passive DEI Efforts in Tech

Blog:End-to-End Digital Experiences that Propel a Vision

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Manny Becerra as a child

October 2014

I enjoy creating user-friendly digital experiences on the Web, especially products that transcend and align with a meaningful purpose in real life with a vision that has the potential to create shifts in culture toward sustainable living for everyone. This is the case for me and my teammates at Tesla where we help build and steward the experiences for a global audience via teslamotors.com, specifically with what we call the Design Studio (aka: Configurator).

The Configurator is our flagship product that I'm fortunate and grateful to play technical lead and user experience engineer on alongside a group of smart, dedicated and thoughtful individuals—they're an awesome bunch! The Configurator is effectively the one way in which the majority of all Tesla cars, like the Model S, begin their lifecycle. So, there are a lot of touchpoints going on here, which leaves little remove for error.

The Configurator has become an incredible end-to-end product among various cross-functional teams that, I believe, propels the company's vision forward.

Tesla Showroom in Amsterdam, Netherlands, European Union. Circa 2014.

Product Lifecycle

Whether it's a show or marketing vehicle, an engineering prototype, or an actual customer vehicle, the car itself was likely configured for build using the Configurator. For example, once the user finalizes their Model S configuration, they are taken through the buy flow, which eventually takes the vehicle configuration down the build pipeline across multiple, critical touch points from sales and financing to vehicle manufacturing, eventually, to vehicle delivery.

The Configurator has become an incredible end-to-end product among various cross-functional teams that, I believe, propels the company's vision forward.

During the localization (i18n) process, we take into account cultural norms and language nuances for any given region in order to be as conscientious and inclusive as possible to our users. We don't always get it 100% correct, but we're continuously focused on improving.

Inclusive Localization

We currently localize the Configurator for 20+ markets around the Globe (and growing). During the localization (i18n) process, we take into account cultural norms and language nuances for any given region in order to be as conscientious and inclusive as possible to our users. We aim to verify our work by coordinating with people from each region to give the language, and usage of it in context, a review and listen to feedback for improvement. We don't always get it 100% correct, but we're continuously focused on improving.

Tesla Showroom @ Santana Row, San Jose, California. Circa 2013.
Tesla Model S Design Studio Kiosk in a showroom. Circa 2014.

One Codebase for Multiple Contexts

The most recent updates we introduced to the Configurator were in support of Elon's announcement for Dual Motor and Autopilot. We've designed a context-aware solution for implementing and rolling out massive, global updates, like Dual Motor and Autopilot. This context-aware approach allows us to create consistent, holistic user experiences under different environments; for instance, there's an experience for our Web users and another for our users visiting one of our worldwide Tesla showrooms using touchscreen kiosks. Both have a common look-and-feel, both contexts can begin-and-continue the users' experience from where a user left off under one of the contexts, both are localized, and both allow the user to successfully place their Tesla order among other things.

This context-aware approach allows us to create consistent, holistic user experiences under different environments.

We have plans to continue to re-architect our Configurator solution to further scale and meet our needs for what's ahead of us.

Wanna Join? We're hiring!

If building a world-changing, digital product, like the Configurator—with an inclusive team—excites you, lemme know - we're hiring!

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Manny Becerra as a child

I operate from a place of compassion, possibility and imagination. My work and efforts share a common goal: create a better, sustainable and equitable world by building inclusive communities, products & experiences.