My Lunch with Peter Jin Hong by Matt Dale

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to meet Peter Jin Hong, UX master. Now I had heard of this legendary man even before I attended VFS Digital Design, and I was eager to meet him, as I am pursuing a career in User Experience.

I went to lunch ready with questions about his career as a UX designer, but as he started sharing personal insights of his experiences outside of the office, my brain switched gears from “let’s find out about Peter’s job” to “let’s find out about Peter”.

The stories that Peter shared with my fellow classmates and me were riveting and inspiring; if a movie was made about this man, I would actually buy the DVD. From his para-sailing adventures, to his epic quest of finding the perfect bowl of noodle soup, to his amazing work at WellDone,org, just hearing about his life insights was a rewarding experience, and it made me think about User Experience, as well as life a little differently.

I was also lucky enough (as were my classmates) to get a portfolio review with Peter. I had thought my portfolio was pretty decent beforehand, so I wasn’t really nervous or anything. The feedback he gave me was somewhat surprising. After the review, we had discovered that maybe I could streamline things’¦ “Whaaaat? Don’t I need to show my process?” True, it’s great to show process, but I had literally every single step along the way (because I thought that’s what people wanted to see). But Peter helped me realize a few things; I had to give people the benefit of the doubt when it came to showing my process, because the creative people who will look at my portfolio are smart enough to put the pieces together, and the insights I gained during a project, were just as valuable (if not more) than showing my third-draft iteration of wireframes’¦

I believe, after seeing Peter, I have a better portfolio (hellomattdale.com *wink wink*), I have a better appreciation of life, and a better understanding of how to draw inspiration from everything outside of work to help create a positive experience for people. Not to mention, Peter has to be one of the coolest, and genuine people you will ever meet. It was a real breath of fresh air meeting him. Thank you Peter, and thanks Digital Design for the opportunity!

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