Hi! I’m Xinmei. I’m a Visual Designer with a few years of experience in the nonprofit sector. I come from a fine arts background as I studied oil painting at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, Maryland. That’s also where I discovered my passion for problem solving when I took a few graphic design courses. Since then I’ve worked as a designer on a marketing team and a web design & development team.
Currently I’m making a transition from Visual Design to UX and studying Interaction Design at Harbour Space in Barcelona. Ask me questions about design and studying abroad.
McKenna here on the Community team I work alongside @vee.vopham !
I always love hearing how people naturally progress into other spaces/roles. I am curious – what differences did you come across working as a designer supporting the marketing function VS working as a designer supporting the dev team?
On a more personal side, I am also a world traveler What made you choose Barcelona? And where else have you traveled to?
Hi @xinmei.design! So happy to have you here for WebOps Wednesday. Thanks so much for your time!
I’d love to hear more about your grad school experience (and I’m sure others would as well!). What’s been your favorite class so far? Is there an area of UX/UI that you’re most interested about? What projects are you currently working on in school/that you’re particularly excited about?
Yes I’m in Barcelona right now. The masters program is only 1 year long and it’s about 4 months in, but I’m already falling in love with the city and hoping to stay longer haha.
Wow — I’ve never tried glassblowing myself and have always been curious. It’s not one of these disciplines that all art students get a taste of. Do you still practice?
And thanks for your kind words on oil painting. Oil can definitely be a tricky medium to work with given the slow drying nature. But that’s also the reasons why I loved working with oil — the slow drying time gives a lot more flexibility and forgiveness compare to other quick drying mediums like acrylic and watercolor for example. And oil paints have this unique richness that other paints seem to lack for me.
Mmm…When I worked on the marketing team I was more focused on creating designs for campaigns and branding materials. It was heavier on the visual and creativity side of things. When I moved to the web design and dev team I worked on more UI & front end dev projects. I also collaborated more with developers and product owners. Both were great learning experiences for me, especially when it comes to collaboration and explaining my design decisions to professionals from different disciplines outside of design.
Very cool! I can’t claim to be a world traveler myself. So far I’ve traveled to a just few places: China, Taiwan, UK, Italy, Romania, Morocco, and Mexico. I’m hoping to explore Europe more once I finish the program though.
I chose Barcelona for a few reasons. One reason is I traveled to Spain a few years back (Madrid, Seville, and Granada) and loved the experience. A second reason is I wanted a study abroad experience, specifically in a Spanish speaking world because I want to learn the language. My third reason is that higher education is a lot more affordable here compared to in the States.
And of course most importantly I was impressed by Harbour Space University and the Interaction Design program. I love how innovative and unconventional the university is. The programs are set up in a way that’s intensive, focused, and super hands on. The visiting professors are working professionals from the industry all over the world. We have people from all kinds of backgrounds and disciplines collaborating so it’s a very creative and stimulating environment!
Hi @vee.vopham! I’m happy to be here. Thanks for the opportunity to have this discussion
Grad school has been amazing. I’ve made friends from different parts of the world and have been learning from leading experts in the industry. It’s also been intense and challenging — which is exactly what I need to get to the next level of my design career
Right now I’m taking Consumer Behavior with Gary van Broekhoven. I’m learning a lot about consumer psychology and behavior, and human nature in general. All of this is helpful for UX & product design. Gary is super knowledgable and experienced in this area and also a fun & engaging lecturer. I’m working on a language exchange service/platform for this course. The goal of this product is to help people become fluent at speaking a foreign language with time & location flexibility, and without breaking their bank. I’m excited to apply my new knowledge on user goals, motivation, persuasion, etc on this project.
Such a neat and valuable perspective! Thanks for sharing how your role differed respectively for each dept. So interesting!
I would say you are well on your way to becoming a world traveler! I have been dying to see Romania! Any suggestions!? Also, you have to share some photos from your Spain trip! Dreaming of those views, as I sit stateside because of Covid. GRRR!
That is soo interesting! What did you learn so far that surprised you!?
Also, thanks again for sharing! It’s been great to learn about your experience