Minjun Chen | Design Impact and Lifelong Learning: Insights from Spotify's Product Designer

May 25, 2023Dianne Eberhardt

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify,  Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.



Minjun: Always be a learning process, and we have to become a sales learner. So always using this kind of platform, like Google, like anything to just find the answers, search online.

Dianne: Hello everyone. Welcome to the next episode of pixelated. Perfect. I am super excited. Today I have Minjun with me. She is a product designer at Spotify currently, and she's worked with really large companies such as Microsoft and Amazon. She is a lifelong learner, so basically she wants to bring that student mindset to every team in every company that she works with. She also recently launched her YouTube video where she wants to share all of her expertise with the world. So super, super excited to have you. And June, thank you so much for being on the podcast.

Minjun: Thank you so much for having me today. I'm super excited to share my journey and the learning and to the, to our audience. And excited to just chat with you and answer any questions. Amazing.

Dianne: Yeah, I think that hearing a little bit more about your experience and what I've learned about you, I'm really excited. I think the audience is gonna have a lot of great takeaways from you. So let's dive in. One of the first questions I really like to ask podcast people on the podcast is, what does design mean to you?

Minjun: Wow, that is a great question. So actually, my understanding of design or how design means to me, this question changing over time? So when I, before becoming a designer, I always think about design as something that makes something really pretty and beautiful. However, like when I start my design journey, I first use the design as a tool or as a median to facilitate some social media, facilitate some social issue discussion. So I feel like design becomes a broader range of tools that can have some sort of social impact. And then going into the UX and product design areas, I think design still be a tool, but it is, it's become a more functional tool, I guess. Like where we can leverage design to increase the workflow for this enterprise user and also solve some practical issues for our customer as well as we can use the design to bring all our team together to improve our daily, like collaboration and communication and also enhance some of the strategy for the company. So I feel like design becomes like a, a more broader like tool that I can not just apply into my daily workflow, but also apply to my life. So I feel like my understanding of the design is just changing over time after I get more exposure to different things like design or design areas in the domain. Yeah.

Dianne: I, yes. Well, so that was really beautiful and I, I like how you started with kind of talking about how at the beginning mm-hmm. of your career, maybe just how people think of design before getting into design. It's beautiful, right? And it is beautiful and that is a big goal. Like design is everywhere around us, right? We notice design or we notice when there's bad design. I guess we can say it like that. And how that also was like a social impact and then how getting into UX and design, it was really like functional, which is, is so true. It's like, and I also liked how you said how it brings teams together and it's like collaborative. And so I feel like you touched on a lot of really important themes that makeup design, that people outside of design don't realize are also design. Okay. So I wanna ask you maybe some personal questions like what inspired you to become a designer? What was it that triggered you to maybe not just become a designer, but move to product design?

Minjun: So when I was on trial, I always loved drawing, like drawing anything on paper and filling it with different colors because I enjoy this kind of creation-like process. I feel like I was the only person playing in the clouds and there's no one else that can disturb my creative flow. So I really enjoy this kind of process of creating something and visualizing my idea into some stuff on paper. But I think one thing that really had an impact on me in becoming the UX and product designer was when I was in my high school, I got my first Apple product, which is the apple apple touch. So the one very similar to the iPhone, because the iPhone was very expensive, Andry going back to that time in China. So not a lot of people could afford an iPhone at that time.

Minjun: But I'm lucky to get an Apple Touch, which is a triple version. You can't call Apple Touch. But the overall design packaging is exactly the same as the iPhone. So I was super impressed by their interface design. I remember there's a white apple just coming out when you first open up the apple touch. So I think that kind of animation was something unforgettable for me. So I was wondering about like how I could designing the product like the Apple touch or like how could, how could this designer draw this kind of 3D app icon on the Apple touch and everything, like every internal like app phone, apple it was nicely designed at that time to every detail was just way more better, way more better than other other existing product on the market. So I was just like, maybe I can be counted as a designer designing this type of product, but I actually didn't know how to start.

Minjun: And I think within that year or a year or two years later, one of my friends studied abroad in the state and came back to China during the summertime. So she told me that there was a major called human Computer Intelligence design, which is actually UX design and product design. So a lot of international students who study on that program successfully learn their job in this larger company like Google, Microsoft, or Apple. So I feel like maybe LA is a career path I need to pursue. So with that kind of goal in mind, I think I will try a lot of things. Like I learn, I start my solar journey in graphic design by learning this kind of Adobe tool like Photoshop in Design administrator and then like starting apply to these master programs in the state focusing on the UX and product design, which is, which was the S D I programs I hear when I was at high school.

Minjun: And I successfully got the offer from University of Washington, Seattle the Human Community Engagement design program. So I, so I built up my foundation knowledge in UX and the product design as UDub. So after graduation from the school, I will start my full-time job as a product designer in 2018. So yeah, so I just keep working until now. Yeah. Yeah. So I think that is my journey into product design, but there's a lot of obstacles and challenges throughout the entire journey. But I don't know, I feel like I always have a mindset that I can become a designer, so I just keep going until now. Yeah.

Dianne: I, okay. , there are a couple things I wanna go back to cuz I think it was, it was super interesting. I love that you talk about that experience you had with the apple eye touch. Was it eye touch or just apple touch?

Minjun: I pulled the touch I think. Okay. Yeah. Apple

Dianne: Touch. That's really interesting. And it's, it's like, I think it goes back to the question of like, what is design and design is everywhere, right? So not only was it the experience you had like with the physical product, but it was like unveiling it and how it all feels so cohesive. And while you were saying that, I was thinking back to like, I wonder if I had that like aha moment of like, oh, design is my future. Mm-Hmm. And I can't think of something specific, but I really loved how that was like such an ingrained moment for you. Mm-Hmm. That's really powerful.

Minjun: And that's always felt like the moment when I first opened up my apple touch was always like a lie in my mind. Yeah, yeah. But, actually after that I got a lot of new Apple products, iPhone and MacPro. I never have the last kind of moment again even though I was still very impressed by Apple design, but I feel like the first Apple touch really had some traumatic inference on my career. Yeah.

Dianne: Yeah. I I think that's amazing. And then I like how you kind of said that your friend came back and was like, oh, like you can actually do this. Like this is a thing. And I think all of us designers I'm sure everyone listening to have had that moment of like, oh, I'm creative, like I like Apple products. Like what can I do with this? How can I make this a living? And like recognizing and finding things like ui ux design, product design, whatever you wanna call it, or graphic design, it's like, oh I can make a living doing this is really powerful. Especially from creative people who are told like, oh you can't be an artist, you're not gonna ever make money or anything like that. And it's like this is a career mm-hmm. that you can be passionate about, be creative about and also sustain yourself, which is important.

Dianne: . Super interesting. And then, okay, so I have some questions you talk about, we kind of talked about, I wanna get into the master's program cuz I think that's really interesting and I wanna hear some of that. I have some questions about that. But you mentioned that this was like you're, how you became a product designer and you're like there were some challenges along the way, right? Which we all experienced. Is there a challenge in particular that sticks out to you that was something that was really hard when you were kind of getting started in product design? Yeah,

Minjun: I think there are definitely a few. One is applying for the a c I school is very challenge for international student because we have to go through a lot of like English exam and guess and also get some certain like score in order to apply for the school because they have very streets like standard on okay or international student who like English is not our le mother of native language. And the second I think because of these English barriers or the difference in the language also bring a lot of challenges into the process of starting abroad in a CI school, in a UX design program, as well as looking for a job in the state. Because you didn't know what is going to happen during this process, what is, what was the interview process look like? As well as I never present to people or talk to people for more than like 30 minutes before I speak in English, before I start looking for a job.

Minjun: So how could I present my portfolio in front of a group of her manager and designer, like it was such an intense hour long setting. I feel like all kinds of challenges coming from the various languages are very, very hard. Yeah. And the second one is about the information gap because you didn't know about everything. Like you didn't know about the UX program in the state, like which kind of school I need to go for. And there's not a lot of international students there. Like I can reach out at that time for help or for some advice. And the second one is if I search for like Google or Google, there's also less information about like, like the program programs in the states going back to like 2007, 16 and 2017. So I think, and you have to just find as much information as you can and use, using your personal gut feeling to guess that this might be the right program for me.

Minjun: So I feel like sometimes I was very stressed out by making this kind of decision because I feel like that was an important decision for me to make in order to study abroad. So I was very anxious about how to make such decisions at that time. And the other challenge is also coming from living alone in a foreign country and everything is very new to me. Like you have to open up the ss n first and go to the bank to open up your first student chasing student account to everything. Like not just about the study but also the life itself is very challenging. I didn't know about like what is a grocery store like in the state. Like there is a trader, there's a whole food, everything is just great. So news to me. Yeah. Yeah.

Dianne: Oh my gosh. Okay. I have so many other questions about this. I think this is great for listeners that are maybe not from the US I'm looking to, to come to the us. So I have specific questions about this program and getting to the program, but also, yeah, I love how you talked about some of those differences like culturally, like that's extremely hard. Like you're coming over here. Like how, okay, well actually let me start from the beginning. So the, the the applying to school the English exam, like what tips or tricks do you have for people that have to figure out how to pass this exam and learn English and get up to speed quickly?

Minjun: I think especially for international student speaking is one thing I feel pretty challenged because we do have some English exam in China, but mainly focusing on reading and writing. So if I go to like the G I E or tofu exam, I feel like especially the, the speaking part was very challenged because you have to speak in front of the computer and they will record your answers within like a minute long. So they ask couple questions and you give you one hour give you one minute to answer every questions, which I feel very challenged because the question they ask is something I never encountered before. Yeah,

Dianne: Interesting. Interesting. Okay. So I think that's really great advice because I think that well so personally I'm trying to learn Italian cuz my husband's Italian so I can somewhat relate to you, but I've never been put in that position and I feel like one thing I was doing and I like do dual lingo and all those apps, it's like, it is, it's like writing and reading but speaking and like being able to understand is a huge thing that I think a lot of people don't think about when trying to learn a language. So I think that's like amazing advice is like speak or like take a course or talk to people, find somewhere that you can actually have a conversation cuz that's gonna really elevate

Minjun: Yeah. How you're exactly.

Dianne: Speak a different language. Yeah, that's really great advice.

Minjun: And especially if you are going to study or looking for a job in the state or in the foreign country, you have to speak to these people. Yeah,

Dianne: Right. It's like speaking is obviously the number one thing, not reading and writing. Like, okay, sure that's important, but in your day today you need to be able to go to a cafe and order a coffee. Right. Or something like that. Those are like way more important than like being able to write, I want a coffee . So

Minjun: Yeah. And, and the other thing about this kind of English exam is they're, they're slow for booking. The exams are always fully books, so you have to book all these kind of exam like a couple months earliers. But I'm not sure about how this kind of availability works right now. But going back to my time, it was very hard to book the slow. So make sure as you plan it in advance, because if you have the, if you get the result but you don't, you are not satisfied with this exam you can just take another one. So sometimes just do twice like in like two months. So to make sure that I can get the results I expected. Okay.

Dianne: Ama Yeah, book book it extra just in case you need to do it again. That's really good advice. Okay, so I have a question about you choosing which program to take. So what was that process like? I know you talked a lot about like at the end it was like a gut decision or you talked about how you could make those decisions, but I'm sure that was really, that was a lot like you're going to a foreign country, you're going to a master's program. Like how were you able to make those decisions and figure out what schools had the programs you were looking for?

Minjun: Yeah, so I actually got two master degree in this state. The first one is, is not UX design is learning science and technology from, from UPenn. So, but I I u I leveraged that opportunity to take a lot of fine arts and traditional like graphic design class at UPenn because we didn't have UX design at the up upen Ask art school. So, so I know about myself, like if I go into my second master degree, I want to going for something really UX design focus. So because my purpose is more around like how I can get a job or then my job after getting my second master's degree in UX design. Yeah. So I have a very specific purpose in my mind. So I applied for a few like S C I school, like however, like one of my dream school was is actually Carnegie Melon University, but I got the rejection from all of their S C I programs.

Minjun: So which was very upset at that time, like yeah cause you can't, you, you all, you get a few rejection from CM U for different like s c I related program you have applied for. And, and then I got the rest of the offer, which including like UDaB S D I programs which is I think at that time is my second top choice among with other options. And I also get some offer from like Indiana University you Mitch as well some very artistic school like Parsons School of Design and Rhode Island School of Design. But because I want to study very UX design, product design focus master program, so I'm not leaning to what, to go to this art school because I was afraid of taking the same class as I did at UPenn and just, and building up a portfolio that is too artistic for job hunting purpose.

Minjun: And also like I also think about the locations and the overall Illumina resource at that time. Because before the pandemic, every company is not remote, so we have to go to the own site. And because UDub have their unique location, which is in Seattle, there are so many company like Microsoft, Amazon and looking there, looking at UDub, Illumina profile, you can see a lot of designer graduate from that program then the job in this bigger company. So I feel like among ways all these choice UDaB S C F program is definitely the one I I have to go. And I also also love to, and I never went to the west coast before I joined I before I moved to Seattle. So I always want to live in the west coast as well. That's

Dianne: Fascinating. So you, you had a plan, like you knew what you wanted and you were making Yeah. And you made sure that like this decision of which school to go to was really aligned with your goal which is amazing and I love that you like had this whole process and thought it out and you're like, okay, if I go here then I, I know that these jobs that I wanna get are in these the city and it's just gonna be easier and that they have an alumni and like, you did your research. So I, I think that's really great feedback for people. It's like, hey, make sure you find a program that aligns with like where you see yourself going and like you mentioned like, oh art school, it could be fun, but is it gonna help me be hireable? And to you the answer was no, that's not gonna be the best decision. So I think that's really great advice for people looking to make that to, to decide. And I I have another question for you. Is like going to school and you being you not being a US citizen, so does that mean that like when you graduate, is there a certain amount of time that you have to find a job?

Minjun: Exactly. So we have like two months the time to lend a job. And also during the job we also have some certain type of unemployment. So if you get layoff from this job, you have to find a job as soon as possible to keep you like work visa. And there's another reason I choose like UAB program, then the, then this kind of design program at our school because usually like for our school, they only offer student within waste one year's O P T. So O PT is no time for the international student to legally work in the state and find and using that time to finding their job. However, if you graduate from UNDERSTAND program, which is the program I attend at UDaB, they have three years O P T. So Okay. I was thinking last even I'm, I, I don't want to stay here for a longer time, but three year was kind of the enough time for me to hone my skill and get more professional opportunity in the state. Ah, yeah.

Dianne: Yeah. And yeah, that's a huge factor. That's, that makes a lot of sense. I have a question for you about your, your, you're setting up your plan and your future and you wanna work for larger companies. Where did that stem from? What was like that thought process that got you to like, oh, I wanna work for the Apples, the Amazons, the Microsofts of the world?

Minjun: I think there's couple thing is in, in terms of like the design culture, I think larger company definitely have more resource. Like usually like if you join a tier or internal junior designer, we always pair with a senior designer who could be the mentor to guide you through the process. And you also have a design manager. I think design manager is very critical on our career growth because they can find opportunity and help you grow your opportunity areas in, in your job. So I think like if you are looking, if you are working at larger company, you definitely have this kind of resource to grow your career, which especially for this kind of mentorship is very crucial for intern and junior designer to become more like more seniors in their career path. And the second one is about the, the, the projects and the impact usually, like if you are working in this larger company no matter how big or smaller the project you are working on, the impact will be huge.

Minjun: So even you just working on like a, a couple screens or just designing a small simple workflow, it will have a very important impact on like millions obedience of user. So I feel like as a designer, I always empowered by the impacts of the works I'm, I will be working on. And the other thing is around like for example, if you want to just stay in the company, stay in this company, but you don't want to looking for no new job, but you kind of tired of your current team. So it's easier for, for us to like find a job internally and transfer to alerting without going to the full cycle of the job hunting process. And the dusting is around for international student, I think usually, like we are looking for the company who can sponsor our visa. So usually large company have this kind of resource and like the money to sponsor this international student who works. So it's more like the job, the visa will be not a huge issue for land to sponsor and feel like my job will become more stable, but yeah. Yeah,

Dianne: Those are great points. Yeah. And I, I think that's, would you say like a lot of other international designers that, you know, are those like similar thoughts that they have too, is like, oh, I wanna work in big companies, the stability, but also the mentorship and overall like Yeah. The stability. Is that, is that kind of like a common Yeah, common

Minjun: And literal especially, I feel like at least for like the Chinese family, we, like, our parents always expect us to go to like the best school and get a, and working in this kind of famous company. So if I talk to my mom that I got a job in one of this bigger company, they, they definitely know about like what this company it is. Yeah. And they feel so proud of like what I have been doing. But, but my, my parents, they don't have any like, limitation on like what company I'm going to do. But I think in terms of my current like career going, working and growing my career in this larger company is like suitable like way for me. Because everyone have their different exploitation for their career. And the other thing is around, like, it's more about like if you are working on this larger company in your early career you have this kind of bigger name on your resume, it's easier for you to, maybe in the future you want to stay away and finding a job in a smaller company, all these kind of recruiter are going to find you because you have been working at this larger company.

Minjun: Yeah. So I think in early on, I want to learn and grow in more like a mature design environment and culture. Going to the big company is definitely the, the top option for me. Totally.

Dianne: I think that's super relevant. I think all of those are great points. I think it's like a cultural thing for a lot of international students. Right. and then also, yeah, like that name is going to, is gonna take you far. Like no matter what you do in the future, having these big names is, is going to be important to get you to wherever you wanna go. So yes, a thousand percent agree. Okay, so I have some questions about like, the personal experience you had. You're like, living alone was really hard. You were in a completely new place. Like how to open a bank account, all these things, it's like, oh my gosh, how do I do those things? So what advice would you have for maybe an international student that is coming here for the first time? Like maybe what were some like really important things that you wish someone would've told you when you came?

Minjun: Yeah, that's a great question. I think the first thing is right now we have so many networking resource, like linking. So if you get the offer from this school, make sure that you leverage the linking and reach out to the Illumina or the current student layer and talk about like, Hey, I'm Ji and I got the offer from this school. I'm not curious about your advice on blah, blah, blah. And, and I think they always willing to at least like talk to you, like have a coffee chat with you virtually. I think that is my top tea. I think talking to this like real person to get information is more than helpful than any like platform or just search on Google alone. And the second thing is around, oh, there's not, the second thing is around, there's so many YouTubers start there, like starting there like blog or starting abroad or studying in the, like in Seattle or studying in the state.

Minjun: So I feel like I love watching like how people like just doing in their study life or their work lives through their blog. So if you are curious about like, what is the real lives in this country, maybe you can just search on YouTube and just watch these YouTubers going on. And the the third one is I think leveraging the resource from the school itself, for example, there always be like is kind of the, the, the, the, the staff from certain programs, she or her is always help willing to answer any question. So you can just using the email to send out a few questions ask for some advice. And even if you are very scary of like working with Nuk, maybe you can ask this like school staff to for help. Like, could you recommend someone from the cinema background with the cinema background, like to chat with me for some advice for studying abroad or studying in this school?

Minjun: I think they always willing to help. And lastly is like I mentioned earlier, like it's always become, it's always be a learning process and we have to become a sales learner. So always using this kind of platform, like Google, like adding thing to just find the answer search online. Like I think that is my, also my approach right now. Every time if I have question, like I first just open up Google and search for some information, just grab the information quickly. And I feel like, okay, there's nothing there that's super helpful for me. I might think about who is the right person I can reach out to for the next step. I think just always just using yourself like, and just go for it and search for the information on your own first. Yeah. And last, last thing is it's more about the mental mindset is because you already make a decision on by starting abroad, which is a huge step in your life. So think about like the reason why you want to just go here and live away from your family. Think about the original goal or reason for you to come here and take this kind of courage throughout the entire process, no matter what kind of obstacle you are going to face.

Dianne: Yes. . I think that's amazing advice for anyone that's coming over here. I mean, especially that last thing you said is like, I think it could feel really overwhelming when you're doing something new, but it's like, don't forget the reason why you're doing it. Don't let these opportunities pass you by, like make the most of your time even. I mean, it's way easier said than done, right. But I think that's a good like thing to remind yourself of maybe when you're going through a difficult time or you're feeling lonely in a new place, everything like that. You also kind of touched on, it was something that I kind of brought up when I introduced you was this like lifelong learning approach that you have. And like I, I guess my question to you is, I think we talked about how you approach that personally. Like when you're in a new country, but in work, in your career, how do you approach that lifelong learning mm-hmm. piece about you? Yeah,

Minjun: There's a couple things. First, like in terms of working as a product designer, we always have some sort of opportunity areas to grow. So identify new opportunity areas and weakness and looking for the opportunity or learning resource to help you grow that opportunity areas. This is very like crucial park for career growth, especially like if you want to become more senior designer, you have to be like comfortable with everything. Like, like, such as visual design, intelligence design, like communication, collaboration. You have to be good at all this kind of thing and become very great at one or two things. So you have to just keep learning. And you know, like technology is always changing over time. So you have to just keep learning and try new tool and learning new tool. And the second thing is in terms of like working on the project, on working on a new projects and designing for the user, you haven't designing for, for example, I have been working on a few enterprise tool and the user I'm designing for is very specific for a certain industries.

Minjun: So I have to bring this kind of student or begin beginner mindset to dig into their w their workflow, understanding like what is their, their daily job look like daily workflow look like, and what kind of tool they're using in their daily job. And is there any opportunity or friction point doing this, doing their workflow? I can use the design to optimize. So there's also a lot of question I also need to ask to my stakeholder, to my user in order to really understand like what is going on, what is their pinpoint so I can think about and explore different design solution for it. So before I dig into any actual design, well, I have a lot of question and I have to do a lot of research on like the user itself and the product domain itself as well.

Minjun: And the third one is about like after you working on the, in the industry for a couple years, you realize that the design is not just design and pushing pixel. As a designer, like especially I want to become more senior designer, I need to think about like, like what kind of areas I need to grow in order to become more seniors. So there's obviously something I can still learn in such as product strategy, like business strategy or some designer, they might be interested in some technical style. I feel like no matter what kind of areas beyond the design, you find your passion, just go for it. And finding this kind of resource, or there is another easy way is just grab your coworker who the product manager or engineer and ask them advice for how to get started to learn more about like product strategy this kind of thing. So I feel like just always like, just learning and looking for the opportunity and the leverage different external in internal resource to help you grow in a career.

Dianne: I think those are all really great tips. I feel like there's, like, I think that being a product designer, it's like we naturally have to be curious and we naturally have to know that there's so many unknowns, right? Like, it's like being, I don't think anyone's like an expert or like I say, I've said this many times on the podcast, so sorry for everyone that's heard this before, but like, the more I grow in my career and the further I get along in the design space leadership space, the less I know, the more questions I have, the more I feel like I know nothing. And I think that's a really powerful mindset, and I love that you're kind of, you bring that into everything you do, whether it's like design or personal. You're like, Hey, think of it as a beginner. What can I do?

Dianne: What can I leverage? What resources do I have right now that I can use to get better? And I think that's, that's great advice for especially junior designers out there. It's like, embrace the unknown, embrace that and like use it and use your resources and grow. Don't like, feel stuck or feel like you don't have what it takes or you feel like you don't have that mentor, that resource. Like find that person, ask those questions, like continue. Always, always do that. And so I think that's amazing advice that you have. And I, yeah, like I'm excited for you to continue this journey of growing your design set by like having that, that, yeah, learning, always wanting to learn. So that, that was wonderful. I, I wanna kind of a couple more questions for you. One of the biggest questions I have, as you mentioned when we were talking about how to get, go into a new culture without knowing anything, you mentioned YouTube, right? So YouTube is a great way to see how other people live to gain that knowledge, but you also started a YouTube channel. So I wanna hear more about like the reasons why your motivations, why, like why are you tackling this new challenge and what, what has it given back to you so far?

Minjun: Okay. That's a great question. I am very passionate about to share. I think I really want to become a YouTuber there that share something around my learnings through my design journeys. But I always like find some, I, I always say like, okay, right now I don't have time. I need to focus on this thing. And right now I'm going to move into a new country or new city. I don't have time and I don't, I feel so busy with my life and works, so I always like just find something else and didn't want to start because I was actually afraid of starting the YouTube because looking at the camera and talking to like the camera and just posing new content all night was such a scary thing. But after like, I think a year or two years projects about just going to this kind of conference, like meet up also like talking to the podcast platform, I feel like I become more confident at least, like share something, share my piece of learning to like different folks.

Minjun: So I feel like I have these kind of at least like mental minds mental mindset to get started into the YouTube field and starting start my own channel. And the the second thing is, the second thing is around like I think like even we already have a lot of u ux or product design, YouTube, YouTuber there, but there still be a lot of contents like they, they, they haven't covered. And I want to cover more especially I think after I'm thinking around like after I bring my audience into the certain level, I want to do something around very likely about the fundamental of the design, ux design education part. Like how can we leverage the basics graphic design foundation into the UX design, and how could we just, just learn, you just create a platform or channel for people who not just want to become a UX designer, but also want to learn UX design.

Minjun: So I want to design in this kind of content that is easy to, easy to understand and digest and apply to their daily works. Because when I was in school, I feel like even I go to very UX design focused school, but I still find some gap between the school and the industries. Especially in the school, you have to read a lot of academic paper, which it, which is not really applied to what you are going to work in the school. So I'm trying to find like close this kind of information gap to starting this kind of YouTube channel. But because I just started and more people they are interested in, like the job hunting, like product is an interview piece. So in my like first couple video, I might be focusing on this kind of portfolio, portfolio presentation, portfolio resume, like equity or things around the product design interview. But after I growing up my channel a little bit more, I want to just expand my content a little bit on something I'm really passionate about is the design education pieces.

Dianne: Yeah. And again, like I, I know about you from this podcast is you have a plan, you know where you wanna go, which is amazing. And yeah, I think that's super interesting. And I, one of my questions I had, which you kind of answered was like, how are you gonna differentiate yourself from all the other design YouTube channels out there? Right? And I think, like, I think what I like, I guess the question I have for you that you kind of mentioned was in school, in like a formal education, there's like specific things you learn like reading mm-hmm. , like formal papers that's not that actionable and it's not that user friendly mm-hmm. or it's not usable in your career. Right. And I think a lot of people that are like taking boot camps, coming outta boot camps, like they have this knowledge of what they're supposed to do. They know all the steps, but they don't have that real world experience. And so I think that's really interesting that it's like, how can you teach people in a way that is actually, they can apply it to like the real world, right? Yeah. Yeah,

Minjun: Exactly. Which

Dianne: Education misses, yeah,

Minjun: Sometimes. And the other thing is around, like I mentioned, I love learning and if I have this kind of channel, it's kind of become motivation for me to like research on some certain topic and dig into this materials and looking for the way I can explain it in a easy and digestible content. And also through this process, I also need to learn and become better on like vi like how to talk to cameras and how to add it to my video. All these things around like the learning a certain like skill and growing new certain skillset. So I'm pretty enjoying this kind of learning some things and just distill the information and make it digest for, for a broader audience.

Dianne: Yeah. And in line with learning how to like look at the camera and where to look. Are you also editing your videos? Yeah.

Minjun: Yeah. That's

Dianne: A lot. That's, I also

Minjun: To create my own like branding to, for my videos. And I'm also working on some, this whole like illustration, the branding element for my video. So, which is always is kind of, you become one person, become a team to create, like from the content, the video editing, branding, all these things and marketing for you Yeah. Channel. So, which is a very, very unique challenge and the new opportunity for me.

Dianne: Yeah, no, totally. And I, I think like you going on podcasts and talking about your YouTube channel, like obviously we will link to your YouTube channel, but it sounds like you already, you know what you're doing, you have a whole process of how you're gonna market, get the word out, get get subscribers. So I think that's great. I guess kind of ending this podcast, and maybe the last question I have for you is like, where do you see yourself in the next like year or five years? Like, where do you wanna go in your, your career and or personal, like with the YouTube channel? What are your expectations?

Minjun: I think I still want to stay in my like IC career path and become a more like senior designer. And there's also a couple thing I need to working on as a designer, like how to better facilitate the workshop how to be better at communicating with different stakeholder. So all this kind of soft skill is something I definitely need to working on and grow. And also I want to learn more about and become better at strategy and learn using this kind of resource to learn the business and product strategy pieces. So I think that is something I, I like, I I, I see myself in the next couple years as a designer and as a content creator like I mentioned earlier, I want to put more energy and efforts on my own YouTube channel and creating like this kind of content around product design, product design, educations.

Minjun: And I think during this project, I definitely want to just spend some time on just learning some of the foundation of UX design, graphic design information in information visualization against on my own and trying to, looking for a way made it practical and digestible for our like audience. I think that is pretty much my, my, my plan and also like, just have a healthy lifestyle. Like, like always looking for, always finding the time to just work out a little bit throughout the weekday and weekend and just enjoying the life with my friends and family.

Dianne: I love that you added that on the end, because I think it's like we were talking about career and like obviously you're super motivated and you have all of these goals, but you also need to think about yourself and your health and your happiness and fighting that balance is, is important too. But yeah, I'm, I'm excited to follow along on your YouTube journey. I feel like you kind of talked about this at the beginning of when you talked about your YouTube journey was like getting started was the hardest part. Like you had been wanting to do this for a while and finally like here. So I feel like you've gotten over that hurdle and you're, you've started it and I'm looking forward to kind of watching how, how it progresses. So thank you so, so much for being on the podcast, talking about your experience in working in large companies, your experience getting a, a job as an international or as an international student coming here for school and getting a job here. So thank you so much for taking that time. And I'm excited to follow along with you in the future.

Minjun: Thank you so much. I really enjoying our conversation and I also gain a lot of inspiration for maybe my future YouTube video as well.

Dianne: Yes, I hope so. I have like, I feel like you can take some of this really interesting content. For sure, for sure. No, that's great. Awesome. Well, we will, we will continue to follow you and we will be in touch in the future to catch up.

Dianne Eberhardt

Dianne Eberhardt

    Let’s build something awesome together!

    Get Started!