Interview with Qingyang Xu from United States

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Qingyang Xu

Qingyang Xu, also known as Kacey, is a New York-based designer specializing in interactive graphic design and UI/UX. With a BFA in Design from the School of Visual Arts, her professional background includes roles at BBDO Beijing, Aproject Factory, and UXpie Design.

Interview with the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards Winner -
Qingyang Xu

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

Hello, I'm Qingyang Xu but I also go by Kacey and I am based in New York. I specialize in interactive graphic design and UI/UX design. I hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design from School of Visual Arts. My previous professional background includes working at BBDO Beijing, a renowned 4A advertising firm, as well as at Aproject Factory and UXpie Design, both prominent design agencies.

I have a deep passion for creating designs that are not only visually appealing but also logically sound. My goal is to inspire greater participation in the product design process, and I'm always proactive in seeking and creating opportunities to achieve this.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a creative?

My aspiration is to create innovative projects that can enhance people's quality of life. As a UX designer, I craft solutions tailored to the unique needs of individuals. This involves extensive research into people's pain points and challenges. Witnessing individuals discover and benefit from the creative ideas or products I've developed to address their issues is incredibly rewarding.

Furthermore, I eagerly embrace the opportunity to continually expand my knowledge and skill set in order to bring new creative products to life. I thrive on the challenge of mastering new equipment and techniques, constantly pushing my boundaries to create meaningful and impactful designs.

3What does “creativity” mean to you?

Creativity is an integral part of human existence. Throughout history, it has been the driving force behind significant advancements such as harnessing fire and developing currency systems.

Creativity is a symbol of human progress, and it plays a pivotal role in solving the challenges people face. Exceptional designers harness their creativity to craft products and solutions that contribute to the betterment of society. They use their inventive abilities to address real-world issues and make a positive impact on people's lives.

4Tell us about your creative and/or design process.

As a UX designer, the process of designing creative projects involves several key steps. First and foremost, it's crucial to conduct thorough research to identify the pain points and needs of the target users. Understanding their challenges is the foundation for creating effective solutions.

Next, is an iterative process of user testing which is highly essential. Designers should engage with users multiple times to gather feedback and refine the creative solutions they've designed. This iterative approach allows for continuous improvement and ensures that the final product addresses users' problems effectively.

Ultimately, the goal is to create designs that are not only innovative but also user-friendly and intuitive. The most compelling and successful designs are often those that seamlessly blend creativity with usability, making it easy and enjoyable for users to interact with the product while solving their problems.

5What's your favorite part of the creative process and why?

I find great value in conducting interviews with a diverse range of users. These interactions often reveal that the solutions I initially conceived may not always be the best fit for their needs. These interviews provide me with the opportunity to gain insights from various user perspectives, expanding my understanding beyond my own viewpoint.

Listening to user suggestions and feedback during these interviews is invaluable. It allows me to refine and enhance my work, ensuring that it aligns more closely with the preferences and requirements of the users. In essence, these interactions serve as a collaborative process, helping me create better, more user-centric designs.

6Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your creativity process?

UX design primarily centers on addressing contemporary social issues globally without being constrained by cultural boundaries. While minor adjustments may be necessary in UX design to accommodate cultural differences when products are adapted for different regions, the overarching goal remains universal.

Up until now, I haven't ventured into creating UX designs inspired by cultural heritage. However, I recognize the significance of cultural heritage in shaping art and design. In the future, I intend to explore and incorporate elements of China's rich cultural heritage into my creative work, recognizing its importance in crafting meaningful and impactful art.

7Congratulations! As the winner of the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
This is my first time submitting an entry to the MUSE Creative Awards. Fortunately, I accomplished something quite significant. I applied for two UX personal projects that I completed in 2022-2023 and I received three golds. It is a significant accomplishment and confirmation of my career. In the future, I will be able to produce better innovative design work.
8Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

Project 1: Amor

Amor is a social and dating app designed to introduce an engaging matching system for young individuals. Research indicates that 56% of people have reservations about the reliability of social apps.

To address this concern, Amor introduces the concept of M-Band, a securely managed dating meetup feature. M-Band ensures the safety of users when they decide to meet in person. The primary goal of this app is to make online dating safer for a wider audience and help individuals navigate the security aspect of meeting potential partners.

Project 2: Neckstal Adventure

Neckstal Adventure is an app with a unique purpose, it encourages users to take breaks and unwind by engaging in a virtual reality (VR) game that focuses on neck health. During gameplay, participants are prompted to move their heads in various directions to find crystals scattered throughout the virtual environment. By concentrating on these crystals, users can alleviate tension in their neck muscles.

This app also offers additional health-related features. Users can monitor and maintain their overall neck health through both their mobile devices and the VR game. It collects personal health data and employs medical techniques to assess neck health. The app compiles data on the total time spent playing VR games and game-level statistics for those who use the app regularly.

Additionally, it provides easy-to-follow instructional videos to guide users toward maintaining good neck health. The ultimate aim of Neckstal Adventure is to offer users an enjoyable and health-promoting experience simultaneously, ensuring that people can have fun while taking steps to improve their well-being.

9What was the biggest challenge with this project?

Project 1: Amor's Challenge

The primary challenge encountered while developing Amor revolved around generating fresh and engaging ideas, particularly in the realm of user testing. To capture the interest of users with various matchmaking preferences, I had to devise a plethora of dating app play styles. Balancing both convenience and safety was crucial in creating a user-friendly yet secure platform.

Additionally, conducting extensive interviews and tests with a diverse group of individuals to gauge their preferences for these innovative features posed a long-term testing challenge in the pursuit of a polished final product.

Project 2: Neckstal Adventure's Challenge

The development of Neckstal Adventure presented a distinctive set of challenges. It marked my first foray into using Unity to craft 3D models and design a VR scene with logical and captivating elements to bring my vision to life.

Moreover, I had to delve into the realm of animation to create the entry animation from scratch. This project required me to acquire new skills and knowledge, and I emerged from it with a valuable set of capabilities that I can apply to future endeavors.

10What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?

As someone originally from China with experience studying in the United States, I've had the opportunity to witness the remarkable growth and transformation of China's creative industry. The creative landscape in China has evolved into a dynamic and diverse environment, offering a wealth of opportunities for individuals interested in various creative disciplines, including design, film, art, fashion, and more.

This transformation reflects China's increasing influence and participation on the global creative stage, and it is an exciting time for those looking to be a part of this vibrant creative community.

11Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?

Indeed, the emergence of new AI technology is revolutionizing various industries, and the creative sector is no exception. In the future, we can expect to see increased collaboration between the creative industry and AI technology. Designers and artists will have the opportunity to explore new horizons and unlock additional creative possibilities by harnessing the power of AI.

AI can assist in generating ideas, automating repetitive tasks, and even enhancing the creative process by offering new tools and techniques. For example, AI-powered tools can help designers create intricate patterns, generate music compositions, or even suggest color palettes. Additionally, AI can analyze large datasets to gain insights into consumer preferences, aiding in the development of more targeted and effective creative campaigns.

This synergy between the creative industry and AI technology has the potential to not only streamline workflows but also spark innovation and push the boundaries of what is possible in art, design, and other creative disciplines. As AI technology continues to advance, it will likely become an indispensable tool for creative professionals, enabling them to take their work to new heights.

12Who has inspired you in your life and why?

My father has been an incredible source of inspiration in my life. He embodies the spirit of continuous learning and achievement. He possesses a remarkable ability to acquire knowledge and accomplish a wide range of goals. His insatiable curiosity and determination are truly admirable.

One of the things that sets my father apart is his diverse set of hobbies, such as playing traditional musical instruments and gardening. These pursuits reflect his passion for exploring various facets of life and culture. Even as he approaches his 60s, he remains undeterred in his pursuit of knowledge and self-improvement. His decision to embark on the journey of learning a new language every day is a testament to his unwavering dedication to personal growth.

From my father, I've learned the invaluable lessons of embracing possibilities, practicing patience, and fearlessly confronting new challenges. His life serves as a shining example of the boundless potential that can be realized through lifelong learning and an indomitable spirit.

13What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

Success is a highly individualized concept, and it means different things to different people. One universal aspect of success, however, is the importance of staying true to one's beliefs and principles while respecting the perspectives and boundaries of others. Achieving success should not come at the expense of others or involve actions that offend or harm them.

Success, in its most meaningful form, often encompasses personal growth, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose. It involves pursuing your goals and dreams with integrity and authenticity while also fostering positive and respectful relationships with those around you. Striking a balance between your own aspirations and the well-being of others can be a powerful and rewarding definition of success that leads to a fulfilling life.

Winning Entries

Amor | 2023

Amor | Qingyang Xu
This is a Social & Dating app that can play with any interesting matching system for young people. People can ...
(Read more at MUSE Creative Awards)

Neckstal Adventure | 2023

Neckstal Adventure | Qingyang Xu
Neckstal Adventure App that can Remind people to Stretch and Relax their necks with the VR Game. During games ...
(Read more at MUSE Creative Awards)

Qingyang Xu

Qingyang Xu, also known as Kacey, is a New York-based designer specializing in interactive graphic design and UI/UX. With a BFA in Design from the School of Visual Arts, her professional background includes roles at BBDO Beijing, Aproject Factory, and UXpie Design.

Read more about this interview with Misty Muscatel Davis from the United States, the Gold Winner of the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards.