Talk with Tony Hogan

I am more than surprised and excited, finding my English teacher Tony Hogan an experienced designer, a Googler, and someone sharing similar career transferring experience with me.

Tony was a design director in London before moving to Spain. He is now teaching himself coding and database and running a tech-based project.

What Tony inspired me on UX and career today is far more valuable than the scheduled English topic “perfume”. In the rest of this post, I’m be summarizing my takeaways from our talk today.

1. Find common language

The course started like an ordinary one until Tony heard from my saying “I’m a user experience designer.” Then he asked me two straightforward questions:

1) What do you do on a daily basis?
2) What software do you use?

It’s often diverse when it comes to the answers to question: what is user experience design? – Not only designing websites! As reminded by Don Norman. So beginning with picturing daily routines and tools applied is a good idea.

2. On design

1) Graphic design is: you have a concept, I can quickly put it on the paper;
2) Go for good, clean, and easy-to-use design;
3) As a user, I have these (microphone, timer, buttons) and don’t want anything else; anything else is distracting;
4) Remember: less is more, and; function over decoration.

3. Advises for junior designer

1) Unless it’s really difficult, stay with it;
2) You look young enough to adapt new;
3) People criticize, they look areas to criticize;
4) Bigger knowledge is always helpful.

Fun part:
Tony asked whether I’ve studied somewhere outside of China. “Amsterdam, I did my first year of Ph.D. there.”

Aha, I knew that. You have a Dutch accent!