Q&A with Henry Chu

We had a chance to speak to Henry Chu, UX Designer @ BigPark Microsoft Game Studio and DD alumnus, about his design process and his advice on graduate projects at VFS.

What is your approach to solving a design problem?
My approach varies depending on what the problem is, who it’s for and why is it a problem in the first place.  In general, I’d usually gather research, do interviews and ask questions to validate the problem we’re solving.  Once we have data that backs up the problem statement, then the creative process happens in ideating a solution, but that’s another long answer for another question.

How do you define success for a project and how do you measure it?
I believe a success of a project is defined by its impact on the users, user’s delightfulness using the product and how easy it was for them to use your features as designed.  Of course, there’s many more KPI’s that’ll determine a product’s success.

Did you, at any point while working on a project, feet lost and unsure on how to proceed? If so, what helped you get back on track?
While working on my graduate project at VFS, I was once doubtful if my design was the right solution for the problem.  However, with the process of quick prototyping and user testing, I was able to dismiss that concern.

Where do you find inspiration for your creative design process?
Inspiration comes from many different things for me.  I like to keep myself informed on many different industries that are semi-related to mine.  For example, I’d follow publications and posts about the latest tech and art trend, startup ideas and business strategies.  I look to other disciplinary work, such as industrial, architecture and motion design to fuel my inspiration and I have this weird habit of eyeing out bad (digital and analog) experience design in the world and thinking how to solve them.

What are some of the tools you used? Are there any tools you would recommend?
Mostly the usual Adobe creative suite programs.  Currently I’m learning Unity for mixed reality purposes and it’s a great tool for designing multi-reality experiences.

Do you have any advice for current students when it comes to choosing a topic for their grad project?
Be true to yourself and work on a project idea that inspires you.  Nothing sucks more than working on a project you don’t truly believe in yourself.  However, remember your graduate project is THE project to showcase all the skills you’ve learned during that one year in school.  So just make sure the topic you’ve chosen has a breadth of unexplored creative space for you to innovate and solve for.

Thanks, Henry!

2015 Vancouver User Experience Awards

Congratulations to DD alumnus Henry Chu for winning at the Vancouver User Experience Awards. Henry’s graduate project, Kinforman Android mobile and smart watch application that enables geographically separated families to share and to track their health information, won in the UX by Students category. Finalists also included DD alumni Juhi JaferiiKelsey Hemphill, and Jordan Barber. The awards gala was held this past Wednesday, and entries for the UX Awards were judged based on five criteria that included joy, elegance, simplicity, innovation and impact.

 

recap of Digital Design Talks: Scary Pixels

DD Talks

On June 5th, we hosted our Digital Design Talks event with the theme of Scary Pixels. Egbert Reichel from Digital Domain started the event by discussing his career path, the stages of production on a feature film, and his role as a compositor. He provided examples of his work on the recently released Maleficent. Egbert was kind enough to share his knowledge by answering the many questions the students raised during the Q&A portion of his presentation.

Marisa Brignole next presented Polly, her title sequence project. She spoke about her inspiration of the 1960s, her process, and the post-production techniques she used to create the look and feel of that era.

Henry Chu closed out the event by speaking about a collaborative project that grew from an in-class assignment. Students from Class 29 designed whimsical monsters and composited them into live action footage that they had shot. This group of students also went beyond the brief and created a poster to showcase their monster character designs.

Thanks to all of the speakers for making this a great event.
Read More