Interview with Shuchen Wang from United States

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Shuchen Wang

Shuchen Wang has always had a fondness for creating things since childhood. Growing up, she has always had an appreciation for various art forms, including novels, paintings, poetry, and films. She has a fiery passion for exploring the human experience and the world around her.

Interview with the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards Winner -
Shuchen Wang

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

Having spent two years working as a Product/UX designer in the finance industry, I can't help but reflect on the roots of my career. My journey began in my childhood, where I enthusiastically built small houses from twigs, leaves, and discarded mineral water bottles, and even experimented with designing clothes using leftover fabric scraps. This lifelong passion for creation has been a guiding force in shaping my career.

As I grew older, my design journey evolved from industrial design to interaction design. I like exploring various fields and industries through a designer's lens, enjoying the opportunity to explore the unknown and find solutions to address real pain points for users.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a creative?
I have always enjoyed creating stuff when I was a child. As I grew up, I developed a deep appreciation for various forms of art, such as novels, paintings, poetry, and films. I have always cherished the beauty within these works and have a passion for delving into the human experience and the world around us.
3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

I work as a UX designer at one of the world's largest finance companies. I collaborate on projects that involve business stakeholders, product managers, development teams, and other designers to address business requirements and address user pain points.

My objective is to conduct user research, identify potential opportunities, create high-fidelity designs, and refine them through user testing.

4What does “creativity” mean to you?
Creativity, to me, is the ability to turn imagination into reality. It's the process of thinking beyond established boundaries, connecting seemingly unrelated concepts, and expressing oneself in unique ways to inspire, resonate, and break through the limits of conventional thinking.
5To you, what makes a “creative” idea and/or design?
A creative idea can be quite simple, it establishes a new approach by altering the structure of things. It might overturn the underlying logic of things, pose new questions, and evoke thinking. To me, a creative idea is always refreshing, as it encourages continuous reflection on the rationale behind traditional methods.
6Tell us about your creative and/or design process.

When I design a solution, I start by conducting user research, interviewing, and observing how users interact with a product to understand their current pain points. Sometimes, I need to take a step back and look at the problem from another perspective and alter the structure to find a solution rather than diving into the details at the very beginning.

Once I have produced multiple solutions, I conduct user testing to discover the optimal one, and then I get hands-on to make it a reality.

7What's your favorite part of the creative process and why?
I love the part when I attempt to zoom out and examine the current problems. It provides me with valuable insights into why and how things are the way they are today, helping me reflect on the process. This is where creativity flourishes!
8Describe your creative style and its main characteristics.
I enjoy designing solutions for practical problems. Being a creative designer should result in easy-to-understand solutions. If users frequently encounter issues with a product, it's often a design problem. My primary goals include creating user-friendly and intuitive designs.
9Congratulations! 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?
I'm honored to receive the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards! It encourages me to keep working on what I love to do!
10Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

During the pandemic, we’ve witnessed a shift of many community activities to online platforms and virtual gatherings. However, creating engaging virtual experiences comparable to offline ones has proven challenging for facilitators. Additionally, the concept of Community as a Service (CaaS) emphasizes the value of information sharing and networking. Yet, there's a noticeable absence of tools to aid facilitators in boosting member retention and engagement.

Introducing hiTRIBE, a browser extension designed to empower online community organizers. It streamlines the event sign-up process, facilitates participation, simplifies follow-ups, and enhances collaboration with moderators, all aimed at fostering increased engagement. I chose to embark on this project because of the positive feedback it has received from users, and I'm eager to share it with a wider audience to gather valuable insights and feedback for further improvement.

11What was the biggest challenge with this project?

This project took place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, my intention was to conduct on-site research by observing community events. However, due to the pandemic and its associated restrictions, I was unable to execute this plan as it had become impractical.

To address this challenge, I devised alternative methods, which included conducting interviews with diverse community members and organizers. These interviews allowed me to gather valuable insights and piece together the puzzle from their experiences.

12How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
It motivates me to pursue more creative design opportunities in the future!
13What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
My favorite aspects of our industry include collaborating with talented individuals from diverse backgrounds, tackling real-world problems, and pushing the boundaries of innovation.
14Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?
In the next 5-10 years, the creative industry will undergo significant change due to rapid advancements in AI. This will require designers to engage in critical thinking, question existing norms, and strive for greater innovation.
15If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Creative Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?
Nurture your creativity! And love what you do.
16What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?
I would recommend taking the time to explore exhibitions and observe various forms of art. Even the smallest details can provide inspiration and opportunities for reflection.
17Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
I used to dream of becoming a fashion designer.
18Who has inspired you in your life and why?

My friends come from diverse backgrounds, and our interactions have consistently provided me with new insights and perspectives. Engaging with them has taught me to approach life with an open mind, fostering a broader and more comprehensive understanding of the world.

Their experiences and viewpoints have encouraged me to learn and grow constantly, making me a more adaptable and empathetic individual in both my personal and professional life.

19What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Embrace challenges and always be willing to try.

Winning Entry

hiTRIBE | 2023

Since covid, we have seen a bunch of community activities transferred to online hangouts and virtual meet-ups. But ...
(Read more at MUSE Creative Awards)

Shuchen Wang

Shuchen Wang has always had a fondness for creating things since childhood. Growing up, she has always had an appreciation for various art forms, including novels, paintings, poetry, and films. She has a fiery passion for exploring the human experience and the world around her.

Read more about this interview with Hanyu Mu from the United States, the Platinum Winner of the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards.