In this series, we’ll be sharing some faces from Qwilr’s product team, and a look into what they do inside and outside of work.
Pairing the visual and functional layers in design is a challenging task, and one that Vivian Li, the newest addition to Qwilr’s product team, balances in her hybrid role as Functional Prototyper — where she’ll be creating functional concepts to validate early product ideas, along with building out Kaleidoscope, Qwilr’s design system.
What were you up to before Qwilr?
I studied biochemistry and computer science at university, thinking I’d use programming as a research scientist. However, after I graduated I joined a startup, Grok Learning, to help further CS education. I was lucky enough to be able to try my hand at everything, which is how I discovered that I really love solving UX design challenges. I took a year off to travel around Brazil and Asia, and when I came back, started looking for a hybrid UX design and front-end dev role, which is how I ended up at Qwilr!
What’s a core value you like to practice in your work?
I like to care about my work and the people I work with, so I can approach work with both heart and mind.
Horcrux’s are a Qwilr team tradition, and live on our desks wherever in the world we are. Each one aims to symbolise a memory, experience, or value we care about. What’s yours, and what does it mean to you?
I struggled to find a Horcrux, because I don’t like to own anything that isn’t useful. This oil diffuser (made from a native Australian banksia cone and loaded with eucalyptus oil) is something I’d use day to day and happily take travelling, because scent is one of those easy ways to claim a strange space to make yourself feel at home. I think the most beautiful things are both aesthetic and functional, so it’s a reflection of my values, how I strive to live my life, and how I want to approach the design system for Qwilr.
What are you most looking forward to working on at Qwilr?
I’m really looking forward to building out and maintaining Kaleidoscope. I think design systems are a super cool idea, challenging in the ways that excite me, and can help make everyone’s lives easier and more pleasurable.
Where are you based?
The HQ in Sydney.
What’s in your personal toolkit?
Pen and paper, to help me think. Roost laptop stand, so I can work in my preferred setup from anywhere.
What do you like to get up to outside of Qwilr?
Yoga, dance, eating tasty things, and currently learning to surf!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to do what you do?
Don’t be afraid to change the plan.