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!

Respect The Process

“Respecting the Process” was an on-going motto I’d lived with all throughout my time at VFS Digital Design.  I knew, even before arriving at VFS, that process was something I needed to refine and work on; it was a part of my production that I was not very good at and I noticed my work was not living up to its potential because of this. Anyway, throughout my time at VFS Digital Design, it was process that got me through all the long, arduous late nights and the days when I thought I was going crazy. When things go insane or insanely horrible, I would repeat the words “Respect the Process” and I would get through my work just fine.

‘Process’ has pulled through for me yet again. These last few weeks have been very exciting for me. I moved away from Vancouver to head back home to Toronto where I was beginning my job hunt, which was stressful and intimidating at times. I arrived on Monday, January 30th and landed two interviews with motion graphics studios that week — CTV on Wednesday and Crush Inc. (my dream studio) on Thursday.

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