Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Yen Kai Huang ("YKH") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

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.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

YKH : When I was a student, I was obsessed with the beauty of art and industrial design, such as automobiles, furniture, products, paintings, sculpture. It inspired me to go for a degree in design.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

YKH : I design mostly for mobile apps and websites. But, I also design graphics and printings for personal projects.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

YKH : They shouldn't. In fact, I think everyone should have their own path in their design career. Learn from the best people and then have your own opinion.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

YKH : A good designer achieves the target their clients give them. They get the job done, which is a good thing. But, their works lack a personal opinion. A great designer put their philosophy and ideology into their works. It is very hard to do that. As a result, tackling the difficulty of finding a balance between clients and your design ideas makes one a great designer.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

YKH : A good design should always be fulfilling the users'/clients' requirements. As the old cliche "form follows function" goes, I think that we all agree with that.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

YKH : Good design provides a better solution or result for your client. It has several benefits: it amplifies clients' branding, it reduces the cost of production with a better solution, it makes a product more sustainable. The benefits are countless but you get the idea.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

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.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

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.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

YKH : That will definitely be G-munk. check their works if you have time: https://gmunk.com/

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

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.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

YKH : Practice makes you perfect. Start practicing!

DL: How do you define design, 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.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

YKH : I'm working on a project that involves machine learning in the process of design. You can see lots of people start using AI to create art and design with hyper-realistic results nowadays. So I'm studying the topics of AI and design.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

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. So the basic thing we can do is to not create more pollution on the earth.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

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.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

YKH : Less but better.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

YKH : I think they are not mutually exclusive. When enough people design the same kind of style, they shape a trend. When a trend rises, people lean to it subconsciously.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

YKH : Technology helps us reduce the cost of prototyping and accelerate our speed of design iteration. We should keep an open mind and keep learning in the era of the internet.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

YKH : 《The Design of Everyday Things》by Donald A. Norman. It is a classic of design publication. The principles mentioned in the book are very helpful when you design.



Uzidata dashboard

Uzidata dashboard by Yen Kai Huang

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