I am based in Dublin, Ireland. Originally, I'm from Japan, but moved here after I graduated from the university in Japan. I have been in Dublin ever since.
I live in a quiet suburb of Dublin city.
I enrolled in Design System Bootcamp. There are two main reasons why I decided to join the Bootcamp. Firstly, I need to create a design system for a product my husband and I are building together. I never really had to build a design system in my professional career before, as my design background is centred around UX and user research. Now, I felt a real need to learn how to build a foundation and establish a design system in a scalable manner for the dream product. Secondly, I wanted to polish my UI skills while developing a design system to improve my design skills further. I was simply looking for an opportunity to learn and, most importantly, practice creating UI components through the real product which I'm really passionate about.
I started my design career about 15 years ago. I never imagined I would become a designer until I was offered an opportunity to join a digital transformation project in one of the airlines. The aim of the project was to rebuild their website to transform their business distribution model from offline ticket agencies to the online booking engine. In this project, I played a hybrid role of a business analyst and a UI designer. It was a great opportunity for me to learn how to gather business requirements, translate them into design solutions and write UI specifications for development. More importantly, the project gave me opportunities to improve the designs based on customer metrics & digital performance continuously, and I was truly fascinated by the fact that designs could make positive impacts on businesses and people around them. I truly loved the product and enjoyed making improvements which I was able to see through data such as look-to-book ratios, and so on. This project also gave me an opportunity to open my eyes to a data-driven design approach.
I have a strong belief in user metrics, and I believe user experience needs to be quantified to inform design decisions alongside qualitative user feedback. I feel very excited when I can connect dots in findings from qualitative user research and quantitative data to get a full picture of user problems and find solutions that could help improve their experience. A backbone of my design approach is to build hypotheses from the data and then experiment to see how much better or worse the proposed solutions would give us before jumping to a conclusion. I know it is not always possible to apply this design approach on a day-to-day basis, but I always try to look for an opportunity that I can incorporate a data-driven design approach in any project I work on.
I'm an early bird, and I have more energy in the morning than in the afternoon. My day usually starts with a phone call to my mum over in Japan. We chat over the phone almost every day. I'm a coffee lover, and my boom right now is Brazilian coffee with a hint of dark caramel and coconut. A cup of coffee is a must-have before starting my work.
Once I settle in at my desk with a cup of coffee, I review my schedule for the week and plan out priorities of design deliverables and other project commitments. I usually spend about 4 -4.5 hours producing design deliverables and try to limit meetings to a maximum of 2 hours per day.
As a principal designer, It is important for me to 1) improve workflows and 2) promote a collaborative design culture. I believe cross-functional collaboration makes a product even better than just collaborating within the design team, and always try to show the values of collaboration through my actions. I'm always looking for opportunities to improve workflows; e.g. what we can do to help ourselves to deliver the same highest quality of design deliverables but in a more efficient manner, and what we can do differently to bring additional values to the clients. I usually try to keep at least half an hour for those aspects.
I like having the dock & menu bar on the left on my Mac.
The must-have apps on my mobile are Audible and Babbel. The book I'm listening to right now is "The Caller" by Chris Carter. In my free time, I'm learning Russian very slowly. I wonder if I would ever be able to speak it or not, but I suppose it's probably better trying than not trying.
I came to know the Memorisely community through one of my colleagues, and I started to participate in design challenges. I was looking for an online course for design systems for a while, and I thought the Memorisely Bootcamp would be the one that would help me advance my design skills as well as learning the foundation of design systems. There were two particular criteria I was looking for; i.e. whether it would help me keep motivated, and whether it would allow me to build a solid foundation of the design system to the point that I could extend to meet the needs of my own product. I felt that the Memorisely Bootcamp could give me both.
I'm so glad that I chose Memorisely's Bootcamp. I found that the live classes were well-organised and engaging. I absolutely enjoyed every aspect of the Bootcamp. I felt so much energy from the classes, which kept me motivated to the extent that I couldn't close my Figma file. More importantly, I felt true excitement about simply doing 'designs' like the way I felt in my early design career, and I feel grateful to the Memorisely team.
I enjoyed the office hours very much, not only because I was able to ask specific questions, but also it was a good opportunity for me to listen to what the other students were doing and any specific questions they had. In fact, I had a couple of aha moments during office hours.
It was the 4-point rule (not the 8-point rule anymore). The 4-point rule actually solved a lot of problems I was facing when designing with the 8-point rule in my product. The 4-point rule works very nicely and neat, and I find it easier to design with the 4-point rule especially when I need to scale up and down components based on viewports.
The main challenge for me was how I'd allocate time to each of my commitments. I'm a full-time designer, and I also have the product launching with my husband. On top of those, I wanted to commit time for the Bootcamp over the 5-weeks. I don't know how I managed them, but I think I got the most out of the 5-weeks.
I'm a fan of Chillhop Music, so I usually go on to the live stream or playlists on their youtube channel. I love the Chillhop Racoon and their logo.
My favourite playlist right now is Endless Sunday.