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Interview with Facebook Product Designer: How did I make the transition from scratch?

via:博客园     time:2019/3/13 18:34:48     readed:215


Q: Hello, Geunbae Lee. Please introduce yourself.

A: My name is Geunbae Lee, but for your convenience, I basically use the abbreviation GB (changed my name for user experience). I come from Korea, but I grew up in Canada. My undergraduate course is psychology at the University of Michigan. After I finished my undergraduate course, I studied for a master's degree in human-computer interaction at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. In 2017, I joined Facebook as an intern product designer. Last June, I officially became a full-time product designer for Facebook.

After graduation, I did not directly enter the field of product design. In fact, my knowledge of this field is very limited, and I never thought I would enter the technology industry. At that time, I returned to Korea to prepare for the law school exam. It was during that time that a professor who had taught me at the University of Michigan just came to Korea to attend an academic forum, so he could just chat with him about the past. Then the professor suggested that I understand the fields of human-computer interaction (HCI) and user experience (UX).

When I began to study this aspect, I immediately felt that this was what I wanted to do, and I would like to start working on it immediately.

In short, since then I have taught myself design and programming, and gradually learned about the relevant developments in the field of design and technology. A few months later, I tried to submit my Master of Human Interaction application. Fortunately, I got the acceptance notice smoothly. Self-study sounds simple, but before I get the admission notice, I almost lose sleep every day, because on the one hand, I have no relevant background, on the other hand, I want to take root to understand and study this major.

This experience, in retrospect, is actually a few steps forward. But at every step, I need to overcome obstacles.


GB Design Works

Q: How would you describe your work to others?

A: When I first told my parents that I was going back to the United States to study for a master's degree, they asked me what human-computer interaction and user experience are. I told them that most of the graduates of this major later became user experience designers or researchers. Their main job is to understand the various behaviors of users when using digital products. Through their discoveries, they will constantly update and improve the product, thus giving users a more user-friendly experience.

If I were to answer this question now, I would make some additions. I think it's also important to try to understand what users want and what aspects of experience are still not friendly enough to make the product more useful.

Finally, I would like to emphasize that design never ends, you need to think constantly, and you need to work with the engineers, designers, researchers, product managers and other members of the team to make the product better.

Q: Do you have any other interests besides digital design?

Answer: In addition to the design, I will reduce the pressure in various ways. Every day I go to the gym to work out. While working out, I listen to music or watch funny videos. As soon as I get to the gym, I feel a lot less stressed. I'll take a hot bath after I finish my exercise. Then do something else energetically.


Articles published by GB

Besides, I also like writing. I basically write in English and my native Korean. I write about what I learned and experienced in my daily work and life that is worth sharing and useful to others. Since the year before last, I've been publishing on the reading and writing platform Medium in the field of design.Experience and Experience。 Through my articles, more and more people have been inspired. In addition, these articles can also help students like me, help them out of trouble.

Before the first semester of Graduate School started, I could only be regarded as a foot in the design industry. At that time, I began to prepare my personal portfolio, and hoped to get internship opportunities in large companies. In this process, I encountered various situations and hoped to solve them by asking others for help. However, many people ignored my request for help. To be honest, I understand the result very well. After all, everyone is very busy. Maybe the other party has received hundreds of similar requests for help. So when some of them gave me feedback and offered me relevant suggestions and professional opinions, my heart was filled with endless gratitude. I often remind myself that we must be generous and approachable.

Through my own experience, I hope to help other designers and students as much as possible. Fortunately, many people came to me for help. I will try to spend half an hour or even an hour helping each other by phone, e-mail or video. Of course, sometimes I encounter problems that I can't solve. This will further inspire me to continue learning and strive to become an excellent product designer.

Q: What do you probably do in a day? What's the first thing to wake up in the morning?

A: In May the year before last, after my son was born, my daily life changed completely. Five days before my son Grayson was born, I started my internship on Facebook. Since my son was born, I have always felt that time is not enough, so I will cherish every minute more. Most of the time is spent with family members, of course, will arrange the time rationally, do some work projects, and keep learning new things.


GB family photo

Usually, I get up at 7 o'clock. When my wife is preparing food for my son, I wipe his face, put him in the baby and feed him. Then my wife and I will have breakfast together. I also help my wife do some housework. When I don't have classes, the extra time is basically spent on classroom assignments, project research and helping others.

Of course, different things happen every day. So, I try to do small things like homework first, then I can concentrate on my own projects (such as design for everyone).Free Sketch Template) Sitting at my desk, I will immerse myself in my own design world. Sometimes, in order to find design inspiration, I also scribble for inspiration, make some notes or brainstorm. Most of the time, Sketch and prototype tools are on my computer at the same time.


User Experience Map Template Designed by GB

If I have spare time, I will also browse technology-related articles on Muzli or TechCrunch platforms to understand the dynamic updates of the industry. In addition, I will read articles on the Medium platform, or communicate with Facebook groups and other social platforms and people with common interests.

I just hope there are more than 24 hours a day.

Question: Which of the previous or current projects are you most proud of?

A: During the two years of studying for a master's degree, I have completed many projects. Among them, there are good projects and bad ones. In the first semester, the one that I spent most time on was calledGrocery HelpARProject. The main purpose of this project is to enhance the shopping experience of international students who have just arrived in the United States in grocery stores. At that time, we used this project to sign up for a competition in our school and eventually won the second prize. It is precisely because of the outstanding performance in this project that I got several internship opportunities in the future.


Grocery HelpAR, second prize winner in the competition

In addition, I design some simple and easy-to-use Sketch templates everyday, and share them with other designers for free through the design platform, which is also a project that I am proud of. For many designers, they suffer from time constraints, design from scratch, and the lack of suitable templates. In addition, even if free Sketch templates can be found, most of them are related to App and web design. So I think we can design some Sketch templates about user experience maps and user portraits, and hope to help others. You can also go throughSketch App SourcesOr mine.DribbbleDesign platform homepage to learn about my design works.


GB's Personal Home Page on Dribbble Design Platform

Question: You may notice that when you look for inspiration, you will find a lot of information, tools, resources and community on the Internet. How would you choose these items?

A: To be honest, when I first entered the industry, I met many people, and the people I talked to were people I had never heard of. Because I had no background and I was busy learning programming and design, I didn't care who I was concerned about or who I was inspired by. At that time, as long as the design is good-looking, I think it can let me find inspiration for the design. I don't care whose design it is.

With continuous growth and progress, I have gradually begun to focus on designers who can really inspire me. For me, paying attention to designers is actually reading their articles, understanding their views, listening to their TED speeches, exploring their personal portfolios, and learning their growth stories.

To find information about design, or to solve a problem, I usually go to Facebook.andHH DesignThese two groups. There are many designers, some of them are experienced students, and some of them are professionals from all walks of life. By reading what they publish, there will be great gains.

When it comes to design inspiration, I usually go to platforms like Dribbble, Behance or Pinterest. On these platforms, you can find a lot of interesting and beautiful designs. And I can also find the color, font, typesetting and other content materials that I may need in my own projects from these platforms. In addition, browsing other designer's personal portfolio website is also one of the ways I look for design inspiration.


GB Design Works

Question: Can you give some career advice to young people who are new to the industry or are ready to enter the industry?

A: The world is too big and there are too many talents. Sometimes, we always feel that we are not doing well enough, that there is a gap with others; we always think that we still have a lot of things to do, a lot of things to learn. If you have such a view, take the initiative instead of complaining in your mouth and heart. Once you really start doing it, you're halfway there. All you need is extra encouragement to make you do better.

I don't think life is perfect. If I found a career I liked in high school or even when I started college, I could make better use of my time. Maybe I could find more internships in this field.

However, time is gone forever. What I can do now is to make good use of the time and make myself better. Every day, I set a small goal for myself. In the early stage, I will not set too high a goal for myself, but deep down, I still have ambitions. What is happening to me now is what I think is the most important thing. By doing this, I can take a step forward and move further away from my career goals.

Question: What are the design, development and project management tools you commonly use in your work?

Answer: I usually use Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft Word to process files. I will sort out and classify all kinds of documents myself, and put them into the corresponding folders, so it is very convenient to find them. As far as creativity is concerned, I personally prefer to use notebooks and pens because they can scribble with inspiration and quickly record my creative ideas. If I want to sketch the wireframe quickly, I will choose Balsamiq Mockups software or sketch directly by hand according to the specific situation, but I don't think the effect of my own freehand sketch is very good.


GB Manuscript Works

Speaking of design, I really like Sketch software, which is more convenient than Photoshop. To be honest, I can't remember when I last used Photoshop. In the early days of my Facebook internship, I found that almost all my colleagues were using Sketch. In addition, if it's prototype design, I like three software: Framer. js, Principle and Invision. I will choose to use different software according to the specific situation and the requirements of prototype design.

Q: Where did you first learn about Sketch? What do you like most or dislike most about this software?

A: Many years ago, the first design software I came into contact with was Photoshop. Later, in the process of communicating with professionals, I gradually learned about Sketch. After first downloading the trial version and experiencing it, I found the software very useful. It's very simple to use, unlike Photoshop, which has many features that are not commonly used. Sketch just deletes all the unnecessary content and functions, so it's very convenient to use.

When it comes to dislike Sketch, I can't remember it for a moment. And now more and more people are using Sketch. From this point of view, this software is also very popular, right? Nowadays, there are new software like Invision Studio to improve the efficiency of Designers'workflow and better link up the work of designers and developers. I'm not sure whether Sketch will be a popular product in the future, but I recommend it to students who study design. It's worth it!

Q: Do you have any suggestions for new entrants to the product industry?

Answer: I am also a new entrant in this industry, so I am more cautious in giving advice. However, I think I can give some guidance and personal advice to the students. These suggestions are based on my own personal experience, and you can also publish them through Medium.ArticleLearn more details.


GB Design Works

First of all, it is very important to have everything ready so that you can seize opportunities quickly when you have internships or job opportunities. To apply for these jobs, you first need to create your own personal portfolio website, of course, resume is also very important. To make a difference, I'll also attach my Medium platform and Dribbble home page to it. In my opinion, through frequent updates of ideas and mini-project sharing, recruiters or interviewers can see my personal interests and practical achievements in visual interaction design.

Secondly, I would recommend reading a lot of news and articles about the technology industry and product design industry. In addition, it is suggested that we should pay more attention to design trends, industry design bulls, find inspiration from their works, and start to make our own designs by imitating their works. With a lot of input as a prerequisite, you will have output, so that you can learn and grow quickly in the process of continuous practice.

For example, if you want to improve your visual design ability, you can learn and try to design other Designers'designs directly through the Dribbble or Behance platform. For me, when I first started learning design, I mainly did these things.

When I first learned Sketch, I also referred to other designs, and then I designed it myself from scratch. It was in this process that I gradually learned the skills of shadows, colors, fonts and typesetting. After continuous practice, besides being more proficient in using software, I will also be more confident to tell others that I can finally design beautiful works.

Finally, I have another suggestion about working attitude. We must maintain a humble attitude towards learning and treat each other with sincerity. If you don't know, don't pretend to know. You should show your willingness to learn.


GB Design Works

The field of design and technology is so extensive that it is impossible for us to understand all aspects of the industry. So, when you first enter the industry, you might as well concentrate on some aspects, learn more responsive design (mobile client and website, etc.) skills, instead of eating a big fat man, but also want to learn AR, VR or Internet of Things at the same time, and finally hit the wall everywhere. One step at a time, accumulated soil into mountains, the wind and rain are thriving.

In addition, not knowing doesn't mean anything. We can learn by getting relevant information. We can seek professional help and learning. It's just that you need to keep investing in time and energy and stick to it.

Q: Are there any happy things in life worth sharing?

Answer: Before getting married, the happiest thing is to enjoy the delicious food you like and watch the movies you like. I also play hero League Day and night. Besides, on weekends, I play football with my friends, drink with them or travel with them.

I didn't really think about getting married and having children so early. When my wife was pregnant, I was still studying for a master's degree, and I was trying to get into the product industry. These pressures at that time also prompted me to further study and practice, and to find ways to support my family. Finally, I did. This journey has just begun, and I am looking forward to the growth and transformation in this industry.


GB Design Works

Q: Can you share some of your experiences and experiences during your internship on Facebook? What's the experience of working on a Facebook design team?

But it wasn't long before the excitement began to panic, because I found that I needed to learn too much, far from the people around me. However, being able to work as an intern on Facebook has been a motivating factor for me to keep learning and improving.

During my internship, I met many excellent colleagues who would try their best to help me in various ways. But the internship period is limited. In the last three months, I need to recognize my situation, better understand the team members, and do my best to do a good job of the product. Time really goes by so fast that I have to organize and plan my work and rank it by importance in weeks. All in all, I need to be efficient and energetic, and more importantly, I need to be enthusiastic about my work.

For me, I can learn something new every day.

First, I learned how to present my work in front of others to get more valuable feedback. Getting feedback as soon as possible can help me improve the project content. After participating in various exhibitions, conferences and design workshops, I gradually began to enjoy the process of getting feedback and improve my design through feedback.


GB and team members. Photo Source: netimpact.org

In addition, it is also very important to maintain a good team relationship. When I encounter problems that I can't solve myself, I need to know who to turn to for help. When I ask someone for help, the first thing I think about is whether they have time to help me. And once I get help from others, I have to thank each other heartily for taking the time to help me. Of course, I also know my role and responsibilities in the team. At the beginning, in order to clarify these problems, I consulted the team members in the first week or two of my internship to exchange and learn from them one by one.

Looking back on my internship on Facebook, I would also like to thank the head of my department, who also helped me grow up.Kevin Charboneau(My internship line manager) andMatt TurpinDuring my internship, I gave me unreserved guidance, and I was willing to share with me the problems encountered in my work. The valuable lesson I learned from them is how I can demonstrate my performance efficiently.

In addition, I learned how to remain enthusiastic in solving problems. It's my honor to meet such a professional and concerned manager. Without their help, I would not have gained much during my internship.

To this day, I remember the moment when the team members warmly welcomed me on the first day of my internship. Last June, I joined Facebook as a full-time product designer. This journey is just beginning, and I can't wait to explore and discover what will happen in the next journey.

If you like the story of GB and want to contact him, you can visit him.Personal websiteThat is to say,HomepageThat is to say,Dribbble Homepage。 You can alsoSketch App SourcesFind free Sketch templates designed by GB.

Compiler group products. Editor: Hao Pengcheng

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