This month’s ChaiOne Employee Spotlight is on Joie Chung, a Lead Interaction Designer at ChaiOne. As a lead interaction designer, Joie is responsible for mentoring young designers and managing the design of two ChaiOne products, ContextHub and Game Plan.
Here are some of Joie’s thoughts on being a ChaiOne designer:
I usually work from home in the mornings to wait out traffic. This is when I set up for the day by checking emails, HipChat, and Pivotal Tracker for updates from team members. I like to check in on what they are doing and make note of things that they might need. Afterwards, I put together my list of things I want to accomplish that day.
When I get to the office, I attend various standups, check in on the junior designers, and work on accomplishing my list. Each day varies, but I spend most of the time designing new features for our ChaiOne products. I also spend a lot of time performing design audits and consulting with engineers to ensure that apps are being coded to my design specs. I work with engineers that are involved with all areas of Game Plan, including client implementations, the web admin portal, and the core app templates. We are also currently designing a new analytics platform which is very exciting.
I’d never been an art person until high school when my counselor signed me up to take art against my will. My teacher was so engaging that it actually made me more interested in art and design. I started getting more involved by taking advanced courses like animation and graphic design, and joined the National Art Honor Society. At that time, I was also working at an internet arcade. I don’t think those exist anymore, but it was a good place to play multiplayer computer games with a group of friends. I taught myself to code websites for the arcade and then expanded into making sites for the games we played. Long story short, I ended up teaching myself a lot and landed a job creating websites for clients. I knew I had a good eye for design, but my own design was not refined and it was frustrating. I realized then that I wanted to go to college to study design.
I transferred my Associate’s degree to the University of Houston after hearing about their great graphic design program. I worked my butt off and made it through a very competitive portfolio review into Block, a rigorous two-year design program, and then graduated with my BFA in Graphic Communications.
I was still working as a web designer/developer during school. When I graduated, I knew I wanted to transition to interaction design. We once had a guest speaker talk about his life as an interaction designer and it sparked my interest. Apple’s introduction of “apps” on the iPhone created an emerging need in the design industry for people who knew how to design software for users. It was increasingly important for applications to be both beautiful and easy-to-use. The idea of being part of it all was so exciting.
I download new apps all the time—I like to check out how they work and how they are visually designed. I also like to know what’s going on in the industry, so I follow many great designers on Twitter and Instagram, as well as online magazines such as HOW and Computer Arts. Keeping up with what’s new keeps my mind fresh. I also like to look at Dribbble to get inspiration for a specific project.
We are a fun, talkative, creative, and lighthearted bunch with a real passion for design.
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