Quezon City, Philippines 🇵🇭

Nikki Cheng

Memorisely Bootcamp Student

Oh hello! I'm Nikki, a designer from the Philippines 🇵🇭 I'm also a Memorisely Bootcamp student, a self-proclaimed "Serial Playlist Maker", and a forever violin student 🎻
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Where are you from? Where are you based as a UX/UI Designer?

I’m based in Quezon City from the Philippines.

I haven't been out-out in a while so this is the view from where I am now. In the backyard taking this photo.

What led you into UX/UI design?

My previous job in advertising. I was initially hired as a designer but later turned art director. Aside from doing marketing and social campaigns, I was also able tackle projects with design deliverables —from logos to designing and redesigning both websites and apps; to figuring out user journeys, etc. It was during those design projects that I felt more creative, energetic, and empowered. So I decided that it was time to go for it.

What inspired you to pursue UX/UI and become a Designer?

I've been trying to find the right way to incorporate more of what I studied into what I do in the creative field, and my previous job wasn't feeling... right.

I took up Psychology in university and I'm still keen to develop more understanding of emotions, well-being, and human behavior. I have also been told that I have a "systematic way of thinking". So I thought, maybe I could couple that thinking with my degree while still being in the creative field. Aaand design really feels like it is where I can be.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Right now, my days start in the afternoon. And the day begins when I’ve had my coffee and random messages from friends. For my coffee, I'm still doing instant at times because I haven’t mastered the craft of Aeropress (or any brewing method) yet. So if anyone has some ☕️  tips or recommendations, feel free to send them my way 😅

Then I try to digest more about design by doing the prep tasks and reading the assigned books for the Design Systems Bootcamp (this October). I'm also trying to incorporate reading into my daily ritual (shoutout to Memorisely’s 🧠  Mindfulness challenge, and 📚 Book Club for that).

I'm such a slow reader I think I'm just in page 15...🐌  But I gotta say, I have caught up to the book club's current read: Show Your Work by Austin Kleon

Today is bath day for this handsome cloud, so we're lucky to be seeing him on here 🐶  Isn't he such a beautiful boy?? 🙂  Come say, "Hi!" This photo was right before bathtime. 😂

Okay so now that's done. And after putting some food in my stomach (I ate it too fast before I could take a photo but there were french fries🍟), it's time to sit down and practice. Practice for me depends on what I want to push myself for that day. Design (Figma), art (Procreate), or music (Violin —which I practice in the bathroom because, acoustics😉).

This was my latest piece challenging myself into doing and finishing a 2-page spread which you can find here.

Most of my days end with practice because I sometimes lose track of time and don’t notice that it's already late at night or if it's 4 in the morning. Ah, timejumps. But on occasion I also get to squeeze in some time to chat or video call with friends depending on if we have the energy. Since you know, we’re still in a pandemic and some of them live in different time zones. So that’s a good use for my reserved social battery 😅  And for anyone who knows me, they know that social battery is 🔑

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What is your current desk setup?

I recently set up and organised my work table. Still has a bit to go but pretty stoked about how it currently looks. Might get a monitor riser, what do you think? I have some great artworks from friends and I have them up on the wall. So you know, it's not all white walls staring back at me.

And your work station setup across devices?

Same active apps across devices but with the addition of ⚡️ Procreate⚡️ on my iPad. It is almost always open on there for quick sketches.

What challenges do you face as a UX/UI Designer?

A someone transitioning to design, its keeping up with the tools because new stuff comes out lightning fast. And also, trying not to get too intimidated with my current lack of knowledge in the industry. I guess, we learn and grow everyday. It's a thing that people say right? Yep, alright!

What's the most exciting part of being a UX/UI Designer?

The most?? There's so many exciting things about it. 😆  Like finding ways on how we can help improve our everyday things and life. Figuring out the simplest possible solution to a problem. But if I have to choose, I think it's learning to build products and services that are accessible to everyone and doing our best to make sure that we don't alienate anyone with what we put out.

What work or project are you most proud of?

Currently, my Memorisely 30-Day Design Sketch Challenge. It was my first month in the community, the first challenge I participated in, and actually finished. It was great fun.

I shared it here; or, you can also find it on the Design Challenge channel on Slack.

What (digital or physical) product recently blew your socks off?

I recently learned about Hand Mirror. It can be downloaded from the Apple App Store. You install it on your computer so you can do a quick check via the toolbar without opening the photobooth app, or zoom, or whatever you use. This is helpful for those last-minute video meetings or presentations --cause you know those things sometimes happen 👀

👀 Sneaking in another powerhouse of a product, Figma. ⚡️

What tunes do you listen to while designing/working?

Like I wrote in my intro, I'm a self-proclaimed "Serial Playlist Maker" 😂. I just keep building playlists that I get to choose from whenever I work. BUT right now, I'm listening to this playlist I made last year just to keep things slow and steady.

Share three suggestions for budding designers?

  1. Join communities that align to your wants and needs. A community should make you feel safe and that you belong there. It's built to help you, guide you and make you feel right at home. Not only can you meet people from all kinds of backgrounds, but you also learn from them —whether you ask questions (which you should too) or if you're also a bit shy, you can learn first from observing... they'll be there for you when you're ready to start asking questions.
  2. Follow individuals who inspire the people who inspire you. I hope this makes sense. But don't just stop with following individuals that inspire you. Look at their network or "following", see who inspires them and their work even if its in a different industry or medium. Go and follow them too if they're aligned with who you are and what you want. This can be a great ice breaker in conversations, it will also help grow your network and broaden your knowledge about things.
  3. Stay curious, keep on learning. No explanation needed. 😅

Thanks for reading my story!

Quezon City, Philippines 🇵🇭

Nikki Cheng

Memorisely Bootcamp Student

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