I enrolled in both the Bootcamps (Design system and UI/UX Design) offered by Memorisely. First of all, I wanted to gain more knowledge in Design systems, as it is becoming increasingly imperative in the workforce. Finally, I wanted to improve in UI/UX Design.
I had explored other Bootcamps before but, Memorisely caught my attention. I love the fact that we are using the best and the most updated technology. I had a one-on-one coffee chat with Zander. His passion and energy are contagious. I like the fact that he gets to know the students personally and encourages us to meet up with other designers. I had never encountered anything like that before in schools and universities.
Another difference that I notice, which sets Memorisely apart from other Bootcamps, is the presence of fun prep tasks. The prep tasks, which are the tasks that we do before the Bootcamp starts, prepare students ahead of the classes beginning.
I made the right decision of joining Memorisely, and feel in good hands.
Where are you based as a UX/UI designer and/or student?
I hail from Singapore 🇸🇬
What led you into pursuing UX/UI design?
As a kid, I had attended an art school for a few years. After some reflection, I think that has given me a slight advantage in the aesthetics arena.
While I pursued Computer Engineering at my University, I was always intrigued more by software than hardware. The first time I came across the word "UX" was in 2014 when I was a participant in a usability test. The test was fascinating as the host was observing how I was using the site and asked me questions about the friction areas. It felt so good to be able to make a difference in someone's project.
After University, I worked as a Software Engineer for 3 years. During this time, I discovered that my forte and passion were more on the front-end side of coding as I could directly see how the product is shaping up and how users will interact with it. I enjoyed collaborating with UX Designers and understanding their design decisions. Though I was a passive observer of design, their work gave me an insight into a high-level picture of UX/UI. After some reflection, I decided that it was time for me to concentrate more as a Front-end Developer.
I joined another company as a Front-end Developer. Apart from my development responsibilities, I contributed to prototyping as well. In this company, I played a more active role in UX Design. My mentor sparked that interest in me further, and this was when I thought that UX was for me.
After 6 months as a Front-end Developer, by a stroke of luck, the management team changed. That was when I grabbed the opportunity to express my interest in UX to our new manager. Voila! They granted my wish. Hence from March 2020, I started working as a UX Designer and Front-end Developer.
What have you found most exciting about UX/UI Design?
In my opinion, the most exciting thing about UI/UX Design is the ability to make a positive difference in a user's life.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I look forward to every day. Every day is an adventure and an opportunity to learn something new.
My breakfast typically consists of 2 slices of bread, milk, nuts, and honey. I love applying honey to my bread, dipping it in milk, and then eating it. It gives me this sugar rush and fuels my energy for the day. Despite being very health conscious, I admit that I have a sweet tooth. Hence honey is essential for me to start my day.
My work consists of collaborating with people from other disciplines, coding, maintaining the design system, understanding the requirements, and proposing wireframe or prototype versions.
After work, I go to the gym for Yoga or Bodypump. Recently, I have started to learn ballet on my own.
Sometimes I watch some cool shows via Netflix. Some of my favorite shows include: Snowpiercer, The Serpent, Ozark, Money Heist, Narcos, Never Have I Ever, Dark, and The Call.
Occasionally, I catch up with my buddies and have a good laugh.
On an atypical day, I break my rules to cook one of my all-time favorite dishes, Biriyani, and enjoy the foodgasmic moment where I reward myself with a plate of happiness — Chicken Biriyani.
My story ain't complete without me doing the splits 🤣
What is your current desk setup?
For my desk, I keep only the essentials: laptop, phone, mouse, notepad, and a pen.
And your Workstation setup across devices?
Why did you choose to take a Memorisely Bootcamp?
I was referred by my mentor and friend, Natalia Vargas, from ADPList. Based on her recommendation, I checked out Memorisely. Initially, I thought that I would check this Bootcamp, and that was about it. However, Memorisely was the first Design Bootcamp that caught my attention due to:
Usage of the best and the updated technology.
One-on-one chat with Zander before the commencement of the Bootcamp.
Presence of a vibrant design community where we get the opportunity to connect with other designers.
Existence of other cool activities, like Yoga, since I am a Yoga freak.
Micro-class setup, which enables one to concentrate and collaborate efficiently.
Students can prepare for the Bootcamps by doing the prep tasks.
Be an eternal part of the Memorisely community even after one completes the courses.
My suggestion is to take up all of Memorisely's Bootcamps if you are new to UI/UX.
How would you describe your experience as a student in Memorisely's Bootcamp Classes?
I would describe this as a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience because this Bootcamp is unique in every way. I had heard about other Design Bootcamps before, but, Memorisely aroused the interest in me. I must say that I am addicted to all of its classes. It just makes my day after learning from inspirational folks. Memorisely teaches us UX, and it has mastered the art of providing an excellent experience to students.
What has been your favorite thing about your Bootcamp so far?
My favorite thing about Bootcamp is learning how to use Figma correctly. Before joining Memorisely, I was not using Figma effectively. After attending Memorisely's classes, I have learned the tricks, and I have been applying them. The teachings have saved a lot of effort and time. I have also explored other cool tools like Loom, Notion, FigJam, etc. Moreover, I introduced Loom at work, and my colleagues are pleased with it. I feel very valued at work, and I extend my gratitude to Memorisely for it.
Name one learning that took you by surprise while taking the Bootcamp?
I learned about ColorBox from the Design System Bootcamp. Before joining the Bootcamp, I struggled with choosing the range of colors for my color palette. I was awed when I came across how Lyft built a tool called the ColorBox. It is impressive that Lyft has figured out the art and science of an algorithm for generating the colors.
What challenges do you face as a student?
When I produce my design work, I tend to get attached to it emotionally. If that happens, then there is a risk of getting defensive during the critique session, which leads to not coming out of the comfort zone. I am working on this challenge by dissociating myself from my design work. I am training my mind that the feedback has nothing to do with me. We are all on the same team and have the ultimate goal of creating what's best for the product. It is crucial to ask for elaboration of the feedback, and it will guide to create a better version.
What tunes do you listen to whilst designing?
I listen to music throughout the day as it assists me in concentrating. Generally, I enjoy listening to various genres like Rock, Pop, Electronic, Indie, Techno, Chillwave, and K-pop.
My favorite songs keep changing from time to time. As of now, some of my favorite music includes songs from AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Tycho 🎵
Three suggestions for fellow students or soon-to-be students?
Keep learning. Learning is a lifelong journey and does not stop after University. We learn every day. I believe that knowledge is the biggest asset for making yourself marketable.
Be curious, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Never accept something without having a proper understanding. It is imperative to question conventions as well.
Do something that you love. If your heart is in a particular arena, then pursue it. Do not let the definition of other people's success define yours. Reflect on what you want to do and go for it!
Unmute is our community blog that dives into the no fluff realities of being a remote or partially remote UX/UI Designer. We're super grateful to all our of writers and if you fancy learning with us, then hop into our Bootcamps!