About this Post

I am passionate about creating user-friendly Web experiences, especially when it comes to products that contribute to sustainable, social change.

Creating simple and easy-to-use digital experiences is one of my passions and jams. When working with others around a meaningful, shared vision, like helping to shift culture toward sustainability sooner-than-later, I feel that this passion really flourishes. Our flagship digital product, the Configurator, is one of several products at Tesla that we showcase our work - our passion - to the world.

Manny has been an excellent engineering partner. His tenacity and constant positivity has had an incredible impact to the product and the team.

Henry Lee, VP of Technology & Guest Experience @ Space Needle | Ex-Tesla
VP of Technology & Guest Experience @ Space Needle | Ex-Tesla

Our online Design Studio (aka: the Configurator) is the only way most Tesla cars, like the Model S, begin their lifecycle. This is intentional on our part as we want to offer people around the world the convenience of being able to design and order their Tesla from home, work or wherever they are. We also want to offer a consistent experience across all of our interactive avenues from showrooms, to retail stores to personal devices. This is why having a single, unifying online experience that is accessible to everyone, regardless of their ability or location, is so important to us.

I'm honored to be the technical lead and user experience engineer on our flagship product. There's an awesome team of smart, dedicated and thoughtful people around me that I get to work with every day, which, together, we create the magic that is the Design Studio.

Manny is one of the most hard-working, dedicated and loyal members of the team who embodies the Tesla spirit more than anyone I know. He has gone above and beyond the call of duty more times than I can count.

Victor Barclay, Sr. Software Engineering Manager @ Tesla
Sr. Software Engineering Manager @ Tesla

So, what does the product lifecycle look like for the Design Studio? Here's a quick overview:

A car built by the Configurator is likely to be either an engineering prototype, a marketing vehicle or a customer vehicle. For customer vehicles, once a person or family chooses their Model S configuration, they proceed through the buy flow, where they choose their payment method (or financing/leasing option). The vehicle configuration ultimately flows through multiple critical touch points from sales to financing to manufacturing and finally customer delivery.

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

Among various cross-functional teams, the Configurator has become an amazing end-to-end product that propels the company's vision.

Meet Dual Motor Model S: 60D, 85D & P85D. And introducing Autopilot. http://t.co/G61LrT9jG4 http://t.co/J9bDVgMDGI

The Configurator is currently localized in 20+ markets (and growing). In order to be as inclusive and conscientious as possible to our global users, we take cultural norms into account when localizing. We coordinate with people from each region to review the language and its usage in context, and get their feedback on how to improve it. It's not always right, but we're constantly working on it.

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

For massive, global updates like Dual Motor and Autopilot, we designed a context-aware solution.

Video from last night’s launch of Dual Motor Model S and Autopilot:

By creating context-aware user experiences in different environments, we can create consistent, holistic user experiences. For example, there are different experiences for Web users and for users visiting our worldwide Tesla showrooms using touchscreen kiosks. In both contexts, a person can continue the user journey from wherever they left off under one of the contexts, both are localized, and both allow the person to successfully place their Tesla order when they're ready.

This cross-platform app has a number of critical touchpoints throughout its flow, leaving almost no room for error and plenty of space for continuous improvement. Because of this, we're currently working on a re-architecture of the Configurator to make it more scalable and maintainable. We continuously work on improving our design of the Configurator to be more inclusive and accessible to everyone as well.

I've had the pleasure to work with Manny on various projects at Tesla, starting when we first met in Amsterdam when he was here to help establish efficient web processes for the team. He's one of the strongest all-round developers and team leads I've worked with.

Nikolajus Krauklis, Software Engineering Manager @ Tesla
Software Engineering Manager @ Tesla

Let me know if you're interested in working on a world-changing, digital product, like the Configurator - I'm building an inclusive team and would love to hear from you!

Links of Interest: