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Interview with Yanwen Hu

Home > Designer Interviews > Yanwen Hu

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Yanwen Hu (YH) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Yanwen Hu by clicking here.

Interview with Yanwen Hu at Monday 24th of April 2017

FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
YH: I studied painting since I was 6 years old and won several China national painting awards when I was little. From that time, I discovered that art and design are my true passions. Unlike my parents who both majored in Science and Engineering, I am always interested in visual languages, and eventually, I decided to be a designer. I studied Visual Communication Design at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Then I got a scholarship to pursue an MFA degree at Pratt Institute in New York, USA.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
YH: I am currently working as a Senior UX/UI Designer at Moda Operandi in New York, which is a global online luxury retailer.

FS: What is "design" for you?
YH: "Design" is to build the bridges between two separated things.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
YH: I am interested in User Experience Design, Data Visualization, Infographic, Book Design and Graphic Design.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
YH: "We Feel Fine" by Jonathan Harris. His work aims at exploring human emotion from weblogs all over the world. It picks up the emotional words in the phrases “I feel” and “I am feeling,” and expresses them in a visually attractive system.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
YH: Glamour Beauty's site lipstick.com's Slideshow template.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
YH: Books and websites.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
YH: Sketching on papers.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
YH: Collecting and sorting information, then narrowing down the design concepts based on the analysis.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
YH: Excited.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
YH: Pleased and satisfied.

FS: What makes a design successful?
YH: Maintaining the voice of design but speaking from your audiences' perspectives.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
YH: Good design should receive positive feedbacks from both designers and its audiences.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
YH: Designers should use their skills to improve people's lives and change the prejudices.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
YH: Design might exist in more media because of technology, but its methodologies are unchanged.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
YH: 2014, "Pending Exhibition," All Things Project Gallery, With 19 other designers, NEW YORK/USA.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
YH: I have my personal digital inspiration "library" collecting the design I found in exhibitions or online.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
YH: Designing a complex structure to make audiences easy to use the products.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
YH: I currently live in New York, the United States, but I am originally from Beijing, China. The cross-culture background definitely influences my thinking and design.

FS: How do you work with companies?
YH: Most of the time I work as an in-house designer collaborating with other teams, like engineering, product, and QA.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
YH: Talking to the designer personally to see whether both of you share the similar understanding on the upcoming project.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
YH: Research, paper sketches, design iterations and testing.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
YH: A vase I got from MoMA, antique lamp, wall bookshelf, hand-made glasses, hand-drew cups.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
YH: On weekends I usually go to the coffee shop downstairs and spend several hours reading books or writing blogs there.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
YH: Learning from your peers; taking challenges as opportunities; being open-minded.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
YH: Positive: being a designer allows you to dream big every day; Negative: being a designer also need to find ways to make dream come true.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
YH: Trust yourself but also being open-minded at the same time.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
YH: Empathy.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
YH: Adobe Creative Cloud, Sketch, and other prototyping tools.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
YH: An organized design process.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
YH: Depends on the scale of the project. It might vary from one day to one year.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
YH: What is User Experience Design?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
YH: When I served as a User Experience Designer at Conde Nast Digital, I worked on multiple global brands' website redesign projects, including Glamour, Conde Nast Traveler, Epicurious, Teen Vogue and Golf Digest. Those projects have been nominated by the Webby Awards in 2015 and 2016.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
YH: Lenovo, Glamour, Conde Nast Traveler, Epicurious, Teen Vogue, Golf Digest, W Magazine, Self, Moda Operandi, etc.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
YH: Infographic and data visualization. I can use design skills to illustrate my point of views.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
YH: Participating multiple international conferences.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
YH: Most of the time I lead the design by myself, but I do collaborate with other designers on some projects.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
YH: A series of infographics illustrating the relationship between design, business, and engineering.

FS: How can people contact you?
YH: yanwenhu76@gmail.com


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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