My journey of shifting my career into the business and design.

What I learned and thank you to everyone along the process.

Prior to shifting my career, I started out my career as front-end web developer in 2012, working for fortune 500 corporate company under product development team. Within those two and the half years, regardless of good or bad experience, taught me a lot and makes me who I am today. One of the major influence is the exposure and involvement in the user experience practice. I am very thankful for the opportunity American Express Publishing had given me at the start of my career path.

Over the period of time spent in the corporate world, I started to gain my interested in the startup world, so I established a studio and invited two of my friends to start a side project together in June 2014. Soon I decide to leave the corporate environment at the end of 2014 to focus more on the project and meanwhile pursue MBA in entrepreneurship.

However, the project did not turn out so well after another half year. I realized the business is not gaining any traction. At that moment, I am lost and not really sure what went wrong. As a small bootstrapped team, we were very lean and productive as we designed and developed the product for beta release. As I looked back, the mistakes I made is that I “design” the product from an engineering perspective and overvalued engineering. Set up user testing through recruiting were biased. And then the worst is trying to figure out how to sell it after devoting all the time and effort. I learned this the hard way.

Fortunately, at that time, thanks to my friend Mikey Chen who introduced me to SVA Interaction Design MFA @svaixd. Thank you for exposing me to business strategic design, service design which I found the most useful. Shout out to the faculties that influence me, Roger Mader @rogermader, Criswell Lappin, Marshall Sitten @marshallsitten and Jason Severs @JasonSevers. Throughout these two years, I learned to be humble and open my mind, embrace the process of learning by doing from all perspective. I am very grateful that I was given this opportunity to be exposed to and practice the human-centered approach. Meanwhile, I have to say the minimalism philosophy had completely changed my perspective on everything I do.

Last but not least, as an Alum of SVA IxD, I have to shout out to our Chair, Liz Danzico @bobulate for putting together such a program and want to share some of the valuable words from her. I am not trying to emphasizing on definition interaction design as a discipline, but what resonated with me.

Interaction design creates opportunities for experiences and exchanges not possible before. It makes the intangible tangible.

Where once we were considering interfaces and interactions on screens, we’re now considering how these expressions tie into bigger systems through products and services.