Hyoju Jeong

Silicon Valley Designer Interviews

In 2015, right after I graduated the university, I couldn’t figure out what I really wanted to do as a career. I felt in my gut that I needed to do something that can inspire and motivate me before I jumped into the process of job searching. I spent most of my time thinking about what I am truly passionate about, and three words came up in my mind: design, content, and entrepreneurship.

Name

Silicon Valley Interviews

Dates

2015

Category

Graphic Design

1. Taking User Research

The first thing I did was refining the idea by taking user research and tying it into a specific goal. I made a survey questionnaire, asking about the types of design industries students were hoping to work after college. The survey results said that most of them want to begin their career as a UI/UX Designer. They hope to work for tech companies and startups due to the interesting company cultures, and the learning opportunities. However, since OCAD university didn’t have any courses or programs specialized in UI/UX Design at the time, many students didn’t have clear ideas of what to do in order to start building their career as a UI/UX Designer. Based on these survey results, I decided that the content focused would be based on designers in Silicon Valley where leading tech companies are. Then I began to plan out the details with a goal: “Narrowing the gap between college and career with advice from industry professionals”

2. Developing Content Strategy

As this project aimed to deliver information, I set a direction to create a series of articles featuring interviews with professionals in the design industry. Since the series was targeting design students at OCAD, I decided to share it on Link Magazine for seven months from October to March to make it more helpful for the students preparing for their upcoming summer internships. The interview questions were mainly focused on a professional’s career path from preparing a portfolio to the daily life as UI/UX designer. In order to proceed with this project more strategically, I reached out to my friend, Heejae a fellow co-founder of Link Magazine, asking to join this exciting project, and she said yes.

3. Reaching Out to Designers

With a list of companies that I created based on the survey results, I found approximately 30 designers who worked for these companies and sent cold emails to them, briefly introducing the project, and asking if they would like to participate in an interview. A week later, 7 designers who worked for Airbnb, Pixar, Linkedin, Google, eBay, Facebook, and GoPro replied and confirmed to participate.

4. Creating Collaterals

In order to reinforce awareness and understanding of our project, I created a simple brochure, explaining who we are, and our motivations behind this project. My main focus was on visualizing our project by crafting the idea and mission in creative storytelling. The brochure served as a great introduction to the series, for both the design students at OCAD, and the design professionals I was reaching out to.

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