Hey Isaac, care to share a little bit about yourself?
Hi, I'm Isaac. I'm a California native and UCLA Grad who was med school bound before falling in love with User Experience Design. I enjoy jamming out on the drums, snowboarding, and playing golf on my free time.
What made you switch career paths and get interested in your field?
I've always been curious/passionate about design and the moment I learned about user experience, it immediately piqued my interest. I believe that UX is truly the perfect marriage of problem solving and creativity. I have a friend who was a Product Designer at the time and hearing about how fulfilled he was with the work he was doing, I knew I needed to learn more. It didn't take me long before I fell in love with the field and decided that it was time for me to take the leap into a new industry.
Can you tell us what you do as a Senior Product designer?
My day to day consists of wireframing, prototyping, usability testing, and research. You can often catch me collaborating with product managers and developers, in addition to sketching strategies and user flows on a whiteboard. I'm also involved in leading client presentations and working sessions with our design team.
What would you tell your younger self?
There is no better tool for early thoughts and process than the pen and paper! Remember to sketch because it will save you tons of time. Lastly, fail fast. Failure is what allows us to continue to learn and grow from our mistakes. We are always iterating and improving and failure is just a part of the process.
Most difficult thing about your job?
Working at an agency, you get to meet and interact with many different clients with different personalities. There are moments when the client does not have a clear direction, making it difficult to reach the solution that will hit the mark. The way I overcame this was by taking a more collaborative approach, dedicating more time for frequent check-ins promoting stronger client relationships and trust.
3 Character traits that would make someone excel in your field
The 3 character traits that would make someone excel in this field would be humility, communication skills, and public speaking.
Any advice on getting hired/noticed?
Apply, apply, apply. If you're coming straight out of school, the goal is to get your foot in the door and gain experience. Mentorship is key, and if a company is able to offer you mentorship, it is much more valuable than salary. Don't get discouraged, and with dedication, you'll be matched with the right company. Remember, don't be afraid to ask for feedback regarding your portfolio and case studies. It is really important to reach out to experienced designers so they can critique your work and help you improve the way it is shown publicly.
Any last shoutouts, thoughts, advice, or recommendations for someone who wants to learn about Product Design?
First off, I want to give a shoutout to my amazing sister Grace Park for having me on this platform. Here are a few more recommendations for people starting out.
Book: Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman
Podcast: Design Better Podcast
Tools: Figma, Sketch, and Invision (Important reminder: It doesn't matter what tool you use, it's what you are able to create with the tool!)
Watch: Abstract: The Art of Design