February 3, 2020No Comments

Team

There's one song called "Team" by Iggy Azalea which I really like. The main lyrics go like this,

"Baby I got me, baby I got me, and that's all I need. Playing on my team, is someone like me."

A few years ago I really identified with these lyrics, thinking that no one can get those designs delivered like me. Even when I was working with a team of amazing designers, I always thought that I could do it all by myself.

Then I moved to Taiwan and started working on my own business ideas by myself. I thought I could do it all alone.

And you guessed it, I couldn't. I knew too little. And I had only 16 waking hours to work.

That was when I started to appreciate people who can write great copy, people who can write a detailed requirement doc, people who can cold email, knock on doors and pitch a new partnership opportunity.

I also started to truly appreciate other designers. I stop thinking about other designers as "better or worse", but "different" designers. They have different perspectives and experiences than me, and what they design would be different from mine.

And that's a great thing to see, think about and learn from.

I'm so grateful to have the chance to work with some fantastic teams with my clients now. I'm also thankful to have the support from my amazing business partner Rei, who is an unstoppable force that is making our dream real every day.

And when I think back, I've had such luck to work with some of the brightest and kindest people in the design field. They've shaped me to be the designer that I am today as well as helped me grow as a person.

So if I were to rewrite the lyrics to this song, it would be something like,

"Baby I got you, baby you got me, and that's all we need. Playing on our team, is someone like you and me."

That's a little longer than the original lyrics, so you'd have to rap a little faster. Now that wouldn't be a problem if we have Busta Rhymes on our team, would it?

Let me call him up now!

Photo credit: Randy Fath on Unsplash

February 2, 2020No Comments

Music to design to

I don't always design while listening to music. But on the days I do remember to pick up my 7-years-old Audio Technica headphones that has its outter skin flaking all over my hair, I usually start by playing Mozart's Piano Sonata K.302.

Listen to it. This is just the perfect "it's time to work!" music.

It starts off with a bang, like, "HELLO! Wake up!" And then, it goes into these tiny rolling notes as if a thousand bees are swarming out of their nest ready to collect the best nectar of their lives today.

That's right. This music makes me feel like I'm going to design the best input fields in all of internet today!

I used to listen to all sorts of music when I was designing. Kpop's BTS, Lord of the Rings soundtrack, Bollywood music, even Lil Wayne could be on my playlist. But in recent years, my playlists have been occupied by long-dead artists such as Bach, Mozart and Handel.

My guess is that, after my kickboxing accident late 2018 in which I got a mild concussion and subsequent anxiety attacks, my brain had chosen classical music to be her best companion while focusing.

Not only am I able to relax and focus to classical music, my brain also became more sensitive to detailed notes, progression and emotions. What can I say, kids, don't mess with your heads!

Don't get me wrong, I still very much enjoy a good Iggy Azalea and dancing to "I'm so fancy, you already know!" but I only get teared up with Rachmaninov's piano concerto No. 3 these days, you know!?

What's your go-to music while designing or focusing? It's totally okay if your brain feeds on Justin Bieber, I won't judge! I'm a Belieber myself. Do share!

July 2, 2019No Comments

Coming Soon: Shopping Experience Design Podcast!

I've been on a podcast kick lately and found so many wonderful and informing shows on fashion, retail and designs out there.

I especially enjoy interviews featuring designers who talk about their work and their design philosophy. Like Design Details. And as a solo designer now, I secretly imagine them as my coworkers haha!

And bam! Idea: Shopping Experience Design Podcast

And then this idea hit me. Why don't I start a podcast that focuses on two of my favorite topics: user experience design and ecommerce?

I'll have the perfect excuse to talk and learn from all these designers and product managers and technologists, and will be able to share their insights with other designers.

Perfect!

Topics we'll explore in this podcast series

  • How are the designers/PMs/Engineers responding to current online shopping trends
  • What they love about working on design and technology in ecommerce
  • What are some challenges they see in design and technology in the retail industry
  • How do they work with the rest of the teams to deliver outstanding shopping experience for customers
  • How do they manage the ever-changing landscape of design and technology in ecommerce

And so many more!

I think the pilot episode should be released by the end of July. (just giving myself some time to learn how to even produce a podcast =)) So stay tuned and be excited!

July 1, 2019No Comments

My workspace setup

This is my current setup for design work. Not the fanciest through my stints at different startups in the Bay Area, but this is what I've put together for myself at the coworking space now and it's been working pretty well!

Computer and accessories

  • 13" MacBook Pro 2016
  • Philips E-Line 24" LCD monitor
  • Logitech keyboard

I like the left and right setup in which I can do the majority of the work on the large monitor, and use the small laptop screen to check for smaller screen size renditions.

Furniture

  • Ikea bar table and bar stool
ikea bar table and stools
ikea bar table and stools

This is the standing desk option that the coworking space provides. It actually works surprisingly well! I would stand for about 25 minutes, take a short walk and fill my water bottle, then sit for about 25 minutes.

I find that this posture rotation has been really helpful for my back!

Productivity tools

Be Focused timer

I use Be Focused as a pomodoro type timer so I focus for 25 minutes and rest for 5 minutes. I usually do about 10 pomodoros per day, which amounts to 5 hours of focus time.

Toggl

I use Toggl for project time tracking throughout the day.

There, now you know how the sausage design is made!

Dreaming of a new space

I AM dreaming of a little studio space which I can customize and design the interior for maximum creativity, and hopefully there will be other designers who would join me in this awesome space that will be home to many ideas we'll come up with together! Just putting it out there for the universe!

June 20, 2019No Comments

Hello new site!

Whoa, after 14 years of the old blog, I present to you the new portfolio and blog of Yachin You!

There are lots of new things coming that I want to share here with you all. There will be posts on design ideas, life as a UX designer and occasionally probably thoughts on movement and sports, my other favorite thing to do when I'm not designing!

Stay tuned and I'm glad you're here =)