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Interview with Yen Kai Huang

Home > Designer Interviews > Yen Kai Huang

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

Interview with Yen Kai Huang at Sunday 3rd of May 2020
Yen Kai Huang
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?
YKH: I studied at the National Taiwan University of Education. My major was product design. However, I decided to change my career path at the moment when I saw the iPhone4 came out. So I started learning about the UI/UX. Currently, I'm a senior UI/UX designer at NVIDIA. I have over 5+ years of working experience from start-ups to 500 Fortune companies. I have deep understandings of the Chinese market.

FS: What is "design" for you?
YKH: Design is a methodology for solving a problem through analysis and prototyping. It is a powerful tool that helps you achieve your target. Although different tasks of design require a different skill set, the mindset is the same.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
YKH: I am fond of creating a GUI for sci-fi movies. I am fascinated by the details and complications of the high-tech interface, and it is quite a joy in the process of drawing all the UI elements.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
YKH: My favorite design will be a motion sequence concept for machine learning. Although it was an art composition for motion title, I try to visualize all the actual mechanisms behind machine learning. I spent a lot of time understanding the match and fit all the detail in the design.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
YKH: The first work I did for a company is an app called "Xiabanla". It means "get off work". It was a social app for people in the workplace. When I look back, now, it is pretty clunky, but everyone has a starting point. Isn't it.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
YKH: Mostly, I am more creative in the morning, and I have a better mood when I see sunshine. Honestly, I am not a "night owl". My energy just goes off at midnight. So, I prefer to get up early and get my job done before the sun goes down.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
YKH: While a lot of the designers focus on the aesthetics of their works, I put more attention on the usability and user experience because of my works are digital products.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
YKH: Actually, there is a concept is Psychology called "Flow". In definition, flow is a mental state, also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by the complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting transformation in one's sense of time. So, I will try to get into the flow as fast as possible. It really helps me do my jobs.

FS: What makes a design successful?
YKH: I believe that a design succeeds when it brings users an experience of joy other than just fulfilling the functionality. It could be a beautiful graphics or a convenient product feature that improves people's productivity, depending on what type of media your work is in.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
YKH: the first consideration should always be fulfilling the users'/clients' requirements. As the old cliche "form follows function" goes, I think that we all agree with that.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
YKH: I think one of the responsibilities of a designer is not to create new problems when they are solving old ones. Many people design something for the sake of design. This is just pointless.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
YKH: Design always evolves with technology. The future of design will depend on the media that design is applied. In other words, I think we can definitely see more designs for digital products. It might be VR/AR, but we are still on an early stage of VR/AR.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
YKH: Several design inspiration sites, such as Pinterest, Behance, or Dribbble, help me come with up ideas. Also, I like to go to a bookstore browsing different kinds of books for more creativity.

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?
YKH: I am now living in Beijing. It is a densely populated city where around 20M people live in this city. It is crowded, and everything comes and goes in the speed of light, which makes me gives me another point of view on chaos. While most of the designers incline to order, chaos is a pristine state in nature. Instead of resisting it, we should try to embrace it. You will be surprised by the fact that there is another order within the chaos, which share some similarity to the design we see.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
YKH: At first glance, their works. Find a designer or studio that has the style of work you like. It will very painful if the designer is not good at the style you want. Then, their communication skills. Good designers will try many different ways to understand what you need and elaborate on what they want to do.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
YKH: I like to make a background study before jumping into the brainstorming. Don't rush into the phase of creation. It will constrain your creativity. Do background research really helps you discover more insights and enrich the story in your design.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
YKH: positive: It feels satisfying when you create something. And it feels even better when someone loves your design. negatives: We let our work affect our lifestyle in a negative way. Sometimes, we lose track of time when we put too much attention on details that is not worthy.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
YKH: Less but better.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
YKH: The ability of thinking....well this is for every human beings :)

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
YKH: I like to break things down to small tasks and handle them according to their priority. Priority consists of two elements: importance and urgency. If a task is important and urgent, unsurprisingly, you must do it now; If it is not important and urgent, don't even think about it. The trick is to make sure you do the "important but less urgent" task every day, and try not to turn down the "unimportant but urgent" tasks as much as you can. This will make sure you put you energy on the right things.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
YKH: Can you finish the changes by the end of the day? Seriously, I hate it!

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
YKH: It depends on the scale of a project. If it is on a large scale, I prefer to get some help; If it is a project which has sufficient time to run, I will probably do it on my own.

FS: How can people contact you?
YKH: iamkaikai@livemail.tw


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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