Interview with Mingyue Qu of Ezze Live | United States

Étage | MUSE Creative Awards
Interview with Étage | United States
July 4, 2024
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Interview with Xianghan Wang from the United States
July 4, 2024

Mingyue Qu

Mingyue Qu is a Lead Product Designer for Ezze Live, who is dedicated to bridging the junction between human behaviors, business goals, and elegant designs. Notably, her previous accomplishments include instrumental contributions to the revitalization of apps for renowned names like Netflix, Amazon, Byte Dance, and Scanwell Health.

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your creative background.

As an artist and designer, I am driven by a passion to bridge the gap between technology and daily human interactions through design that is both innovative and responsive. My goal is to create environments where technology enhances the user experience in intuitive and meaningful ways.

Each of my projects, from wearable devices to large-scale interactive installations, is designed with the user in mind, focusing on creating accessible and engaging platforms. I strive to push the boundaries of what technology can do for us, making it a more inclusive and integral part of our lives while ensuring that my designs promote sustainability and practicality.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a creative?
My journey to becoming creative was driven by a lifelong passion for art and a deep curiosity about how the world works. From a young age, I was captivated by the process of creating art and design which started my pathway to the creative industry now.
3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

I am currently the Lead Product Designer at Ezze Live, a company transforming the online shopping experience for vintage and sneaker enthusiasts. Ezze Live aims to create a dynamic, interactive platform where users can engage with products and each other in meaningful ways.

In my role, I oversee the design and development of our digital products, ensuring they are user-friendly and innovative. I lead the design team through the entire design and development process.

4What does “creativity” mean to you?
To me, creativity is the ability to see the world in new ways and to translate those visions into innovative ideas and solutions.
5Tell us about your creative and/or design process.
My creative and design process is iterative and user-centered, focusing on solving real-world problems while ensuring the final product is innovative and engaging.
6What's your favorite part of the creative process and why?

My favorite part of the creative process is the prototyping stage. This phase is incredibly dynamic and allows for hands-on experimentation, which I find both exciting and rewarding.

During prototyping, ideas start to take tangible form. Seeing concepts come to life through sketches, mockups, and interactive models is exhilarating. This stage allows for creative exploration and testing out different approaches in a relatively low-risk manner.

7Describe your creative style and its main characteristics.

My creative style is distinctly characterized by its innovative integration of technology with human-centric design principles, emphasizing both functionality and aesthetic appeal. Central to my approach is the innovative use of technology, where I often incorporate advanced tech into traditional design spaces to create interactive, responsive experiences. This not only engages users on multiple sensory levels but also enhances the overall usability and enjoyment.

A cornerstone of my work is a strong focus on user-centric design. Each project is meticulously crafted with the end-user in mind, prioritizing accessibility and intuitive interfaces. This approach ensures that all designs are practical and easy to use, accommodating a diverse range of users and their needs.

Multisensory experiences also play a pivotal role in my creative output. By combining visual, tactile, and auditory elements, I enrich user interactions, making them more engaging and memorable. This multisensory approach helps to forge a deeper connection between the user and the design.

Sustainability is another key characteristic of my style. I am committed to eco-friendly and socially responsible design practices, choosing materials and processes that minimize environmental impact while promoting longevity and durability.

Finally, my designs often feature visual simplicity that masks underlying complexity. This minimalist aesthetic conceals intricate functionalities and layers of interaction that users discover through engagement, adding depth and intrigue to straightforward designs.

These elements coalesce to create a modern, forward-thinking style that is respectful of both user experience and environmental impact, defining my unique creative signature.

8Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your creativity process?

Yes, the cultural heritage of my country profoundly influences my creative process, enriching it with a unique blend of tradition and modernity. The rich tapestry of history, traditions, and cultural practices provides a deep well of inspiration that informs my design philosophy in several impactful ways.

Firstly, cultural motifs and aesthetics are integral to my designs. Elements from traditional arts and crafts often find expression in my work, whether through patterns, color schemes, or the overall aesthetic. These elements not only provide a sense of continuity and connection to my cultural roots but also offer a unique visual language that distinguishes my work from others.

Additionally, the philosophical and ethical teachings prevalent in my culture impact my approach, particularly in sustainability and community-oriented practices. This perspective often translates into designs that are not only environmentally friendly but also socially inclusive, promoting a broader, more considerate view of design's role in society.

Problem-solving strategies also draw heavily from cultural heritage. Traditional methods of construction or craft can inspire innovative solutions to modern design challenges. This fusion of old and new ensures that my work is both fresh and grounded in historical wisdom, offering solutions that are both innovative and time-tested.

Finally, storytelling, a powerful aspect of many cultures, plays a crucial role in my design process. By weaving narratives into my projects, I create more engaging and emotionally resonant experiences for users, enhancing the depth and engagement of my designs.

9Congratulations! As the winner of the 2024 MUSE Creative Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

Winning the 2024 MUSE Creative Awards is an incredibly meaningful recognition for me. It reaffirms my dedication to blending technology with design to create innovative, user-focused solutions. This award highlights the impact of my work and the vision I strive to advance in the design community.

10Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2024 MUSE Creative Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

Each of the projects I entered into the 2024 MUSE Creative Awards embodies my commitment to innovative design and technology. Let me break down the individual works and the motivations behind entering them:

Third Eyes (Video - Experimental category):

"Third Eyes" is a wearable navigation device designed for the visually impaired. It uses infrared sensors to detect obstacles, providing auditory alerts to the wearer. This project integrates technology directly into daily life, enhancing safety and independence for its users. I chose to enter "Third Eyes" in the Experimental category to highlight its innovative use of technology in creating new accessibility solutions. This project exemplifies how design can significantly improve quality of life, and I wanted it recognized for its experimental approach to solving real-world problems.

Steady Slippers (Video - Consumer Product / Services category):

"Steady Slippers" are designed to help elderly users maintain balance and mobility. Equipped with sensors that monitor stability and gait, these slippers can alert users to potential falls, promoting safer movement. This project was entered into the Consumer Product / Services category to showcase its direct application in everyday life and its potential to service a broad consumer base. The design addresses a common, critical need to help elderly users procure safe and balanced footwear.

11What was the biggest challenge with this project?

The biggest challenge with the "Awesome Interactive Board" project was seamlessly integrating technology with user-friendly design to create an engaging and intuitive interactive experience. The project required a sophisticated balance between advanced technology and accessible design, ensuring that users of all ages and abilities could interact effortlessly and gain value from the installation.

One of the primary technical challenges was the development of a responsive system that could adapt in real-time to individual interactions. This meant creating complex software algorithms capable of interpreting various inputs and responding in a way that felt immediate and natural to users. Additionally, the hardware had to be robust yet discreet, capable of withstanding continuous interaction in a public space without compromising the aesthetic quality of the installation.

12How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

Winning an award at the 2024 MUSE Creative Awards has significantly advanced my practice and career in multiple meaningful ways:

Enhanced Credibility and Visibility: The recognition has substantially boosted my professional standing, adding a layer of credibility and enhancing visibility for my work. This acknowledgment has not only solidified my reputation as a leader in interactive design but also expanded the audience and platform for my projects, leading to greater exhibition and collaboration opportunities./p>

Motivation and Validation: The awards have provided a robust validation of my design philosophy and innovative approaches, reinforcing the value of taking risks and pushing creative boundaries in my projects. This recognition serves as a motivating force, inspiring my team and me to pursue excellence and innovation relentlessly in our future endeavors.

Reflective Practice and Continuous Improvement: Winning these awards encourages reflective practice, prompting me to analyze successful elements of my projects and how these can be replicated or enhanced in future work. This ongoing reflection fosters a culture of continuous improvement within my studio.

13What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?

My country stands out in the creative industry for several unique reasons:

Rich Cultural Heritage: The deep and varied cultural history of my country provides a vast source of inspiration for creative professionals. This heritage allows for a unique fusion of traditional techniques with modern design, enriching the global appeal and distinctiveness of our creative outputs.

Technological Advancement: As a leader in technology, my country equips artists and designers with the latest tools and innovations. This access enables the creative industry to explore and integrate advanced technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence, pushing the boundaries of what creative work can achieve.

Diverse and Inclusive Community: The diversity of our population fosters a dynamic creative industry. With a multitude of perspectives and ideas, our creative sector thrives on inclusivity and collaboration, encouraging experimental and cross-disciplinary projects that drive innovation.

14Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?

Over the next 5-10 years, the evolution of the creative industry is likely to be shaped by several key trends and technological advancements, leading to profound changes in how we create, consume, and interact with content. Here are a few directions I foresee:

Increased Integration of AI and Machine Learning: Artificial intelligence will continue to revolutionize the creative industry, not just in automating tasks but also in enhancing creative processes. AI tools will assist in everything from generating ideas and designing layouts to personalizing user experiences and analyzing user engagement. This will enable creatives to focus more on strategy and innovation while relying on AI for execution and iteration.

Augmented and Virtual Reality Becoming Mainstream: AR and VR will move beyond niche applications to become integral parts of the creative toolbox. These technologies will transform the ways we experience environments, stories, and artworks, creating immersive experiences that are more interactive and engaging. For instance, virtual reality could become a standard medium for museums and galleries, allowing people to experience art and culture from anywhere in the world.

Sustainability and Ethical Design: As global awareness of environmental issues grows, sustainability will become even more critical in the creative industry. This will involve more than just using eco-friendly materials; it will mean designing products and experiences that encourage sustainable behaviors. Ethical considerations, particularly in terms of data privacy and inclusivity, will also drive design decisions, making sure that products are safe and accessible for all users.

Remote Collaboration and Globalization: The trend towards remote work, accelerated by the pandemic, will continue to influence creative practices. This will foster a more globalized workforce, where teams spread across different countries collaborate seamlessly using digital tools. This will not only diversify creative outputs but also challenge designers to create cross-cultural products that resonate on a global scale.

Interactive and Generative Art: As technology becomes more accessible, we will see a rise in interactive and generative art, where the audience plays a role in the creation process. This shift will redefine the boundaries between creator and consumer, offering more personalized and dynamic artistic experiences. These evolving trends suggest a future where technology, ethics, and global connectivity will play pivotal roles in shaping the creative industry, leading to more innovative, inclusive, and impactful creative solutions.
15What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?

To enhance skills in the creative industry, I recommend exploring a variety of resources:

Online Learning Platforms: Platforms like Skillshare, Udemy, Coursera, and edX offer a wide range of courses covering everything from graphic design to photography. These courses cater to different skill levels and specialties, providing a flexible way to learn new techniques or deepen your understanding of specific areas.

Books and Industry Publications: Invest in key books relevant to your field, such as "Don't Make Me Think" by Steve Krug for UX design or "Logo Design Love" by David Airey for branding. Regularly reading industry publications like Communication Arts or AIGA Eye on Design can also keep you updated on the latest trends and best practices.

Professional Networks and Workshops: Join professional associations such as the AIGA or UXPA to access networking opportunities, workshops, and conferences. These groups offer valuable connections and learning opportunities through community engagement.

Software Skills: Enhance your technical skills by mastering industry-standard tools like the Adobe Creative Suite through online tutorials from sources like Adobe or Staying proficient with these tools is crucial for producing high-quality work.

Feedback and Exhibitions: Participate in portfolio reviews and critique sessions to receive feedback on your work. Additionally, attending exhibitions and art shows can provide inspiration and insight into current artistic trends and methodologies.

Utilizing these resources and actively seeking feedback will significantly aid in developing your skills and keeping you competitive in the creative industry.

16Who has inspired you in your life and why?

Vincent van Gogh has been a significant inspiration in my life, mainly due to his profound dedication to his craft and his ability to convey deep emotional and spiritual experiences through his art. His bold use of color and dramatic, expressive brushwork has always resonated with me, pushing me to explore more personal and impactful ways to express my own creative visions.

17What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

My key to success in the creative industry lies in three main principles: passion, perseverance, and adaptability.

Passion is the driving force that keeps me motivated and enthusiastic about my work, even through challenges. It's crucial to love what you do because that passion is reflected in your work and is what sets it apart from others.

Perseverance is essential, especially in a field as competitive and subjective as the creative arts. Success rarely comes overnight, and there are often many setbacks along the way. The ability to keep pushing forward, refining your skills, and not being discouraged by rejection or criticism is vital.

Adaptability is about staying relevant in a rapidly evolving industry. The willingness to learn new tools, embrace new technologies, and adapt to changing trends ensures that your work remains fresh and relevant. Being open to feedback and willing to change direction when necessary can also lead to unexpected opportunities.

As for words of wisdom, always remember that your unique perspective is your greatest asset. Trust in your own voice and vision, and don't give up.

Winning Entry

Third Eyes | MUSE Creative Awards

The Third Eyes is a wearable device meticulously crafted for navigation, harnessing the power of infrared waves to detect nearby obstacles. Equipped... (read more here.)

Mingyue Qu

Mingyue Qu is a Lead Product Designer for Ezze Live, who is dedicated to bridging the junction between human behaviors, business goals, and elegant designs. Notably, her previous accomplishments include instrumental contributions to the revitalization of apps for renowned names like Netflix, Amazon, Byte Dance, and Scanwell Health.

Read more about the interview with Zhang Baiyu from China here.