Interview with Shuchen Wang of Focus

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Shuchen Wang

Shuchen Wang is a UX/Product Designer with an industrial design background, and has strong interests in user-centric design, user research, and the creation of meaningful user experiences.

Interview with the 2023 Vega Digital Awards Winner - Shuchen Wang

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

My name is Shuchen Wang, and I am a UX/Product Designer with a foundational background in industrial design. This early stage of my career introduced me to the user-centered design philosophy, a concept that has profoundly shaped my approach to design.

Over the years, I've enjoyed in diving deep into user research, closely observing user behaviors, and meticulously crafting solutions that genuinely connect with and improve the lives of users. This enthusiasm for creating meaningful user experiences ultimately propelled me into the dynamic world of user experience design.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a digital designer/artist?

My journey into digital design and art began in childhood, with a deep-seated passion for painting and observing the world around me. I was fascinated by how designers could transform everyday objects and spaces into something extraordinary. This blend of problem-solving and creativity drew me in, making the choice to pursue a career in design feel like second nature. Discovering digital art was like finding my true medium, allowing me to express my creativity in new and exciting ways.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

I am part of a corporate team where I play a crucial role in tackling the daily challenges encountered by our internal users. My mission is to simplify their workflow and enhance their day-to-day experience. To achieve this, I balance the needs of the business, the users, and the technical realities we face, ensuring a practical and effective solution.

4What’s your favorite kind of digital design and why?

My favorite kind of digital design is one that embodies creativity while simultaneously addressing real-world problems. I appreciate when design goes beyond aesthetics, integrating innovative thinking, problem-solving capabilities, empathy, and a keen sense of beauty.

This creates a holistic experience, fostering meaningful connections between users, products, technology, and the environments they inhabit. In essence, it’s the concept of artistic expression and practical utility that truly captivates me.

5To you, what makes a “good” design?

A "good" design to me is like having a smooth, intuitive conversation—it just flows naturally without any pauses or misunderstandings. A classic example that illustrates this is the design of a door handle.

If a user stands in front of a door and feels uncertain about whether to push or pull, then the design has missed its mark. A good design should guide the user naturally through their interaction, requiring minimal additional explanation.

6Describe your design style and its main characteristics.

I’m still exploring my design style, I prioritize blending creativity with practicality, ensuring my designs stand out while genuinely meeting user needs. My process is anchored in comprehensive research, from understanding target user habits and pain points to analyzing competing products.

This groundwork informs my creative with user-centric designs, which are continually refined through user testing, resulting in a style marked by its dedication to genuine user needs and ongoing refinement.

7Tell us about your design process.

My design approach is basically crafted around a comprehensive research methodology. Initially, I pinpoint the target audience, delving into their behaviors and pain points, and subsequently analyze competing products to uncover potential solutions or to discern the missteps in unsuccessful product designs.

Under this framework, I dive into the design phase, ensuring that the product undergoes constant refinement based on iterative user testing, ultimately leading to a user-centered and thoroughly tested final design.

8Where do you draw inspiration from?

I find inspiration through observation, immersing myself in the simplicity and complexity of our daily lives. My creative sparks often ignite from our daily life moments—a designed product, a feature in an app, or even the subtle ways people interact with utensils during lunch.

I am captivated by the natural ebb and flow of human behavior, and I strive to understand the intricate dance between us and the products we use. This observation not only fuels my creativity but also deepens my understanding of the user-product relationship, guiding me in crafting designs that resonate and connect.

9What current trends in digital design (or really anything digital related) are you most excited about?

I am thrilled about the rapid advancements in AI and its profound impact on the digital design landscape. The integration of technologies like AR, VR, and XR with digital design is opening up new possibilities and dimensions for designers to explore and innovate.

This synergy is not just enhancing the way we interact with digital content, but also redefining the user experience, making it more immersive, interactive, and engaging. The blend of AI and these emerging technologies in digital design promises a future full of potential and innovation, and I am excited to be a part of this transformative journey.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2023 Vega Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

I am profoundly honored to be the recipient of the 2023 VEGA Award. It not only fuels my passion but also serves as a testament to the relentless hard work and creativity of my incredible team.

Together, we’ve turned challenges into opportunities and ideas into reality. I am deeply grateful for their support and collaboration, and this award encourages us all to continue pushing boundaries and exploring new horizons in our creative journey.

11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 Vega Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

Project Focus, our submission to the 2023 Vega Awards, represents a groundbreaking leap in intelligent driving, seamlessly incorporating an Augmented Reality Heads-Up Display (AR HUD) to enhance the driving experience with intuitive guidance and timely hazard alerts. Distinct from current market offerings that tend to overwhelm drivers with unnecessary information, our user-centric research informed a restructured information architecture, categorizing data into 'Constant' and 'Situational' Information.

This approach significantly reduces cognitive load, ensuring that drivers receive only essential details, complemented by a synchronized auditory alert system that adjusts alert levels based on potential hazard severity. In summary, we proudly showcased Project Focus as a testament to our commitment to driver safety and pleasure, striking the perfect balance between informative support and minimal distraction.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

One of the most significant challenges we faced in this project was, the technology we were working with is relatively new and there were scarce resources available for reference. To navigate through this, we heavily relied on conducting user interviews to gain a deeper understanding of the pain points and user needs.

Additionally, we integrated AR technology as a creative feature within the project, which, while innovative, presented its own set of challenges in terms of implementation and ensuring a seamless user experience.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
Winning this award has been incredibly motivating, sparking a renewed passion for creative design within me. This recognition has not only affirmed my capabilities but also fueled my passion for pushing the boundaries of design, motivating me to continue honing my skills and exploring innovative avenues in my professional journey.
14What are your top three (3) favorite things about the digital 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.

15What makes your country specifically, unique in the digital industry?
China's digital industry stands out due to its rapid technological advancements and the burgeoning number of companies creating digital products, resulting in fierce competition. This fast-paced environment, propelled by continual updates in information technology, ensures that products are always evolving, keeping us on our toes and ready to embrace the next wave of innovation. It’s a vibrant, dynamic space that keeps pulsing with energy and potential.
16Where do you see the evolution of digital industry going over the next 5-10 years?
In the coming 5-10 years, the creative industry is poised for significant change as rapid advancements in AI continue to emerge. This will compel designers to consistently engage in critical thinking, questioning, and striving for greater innovation.
17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring Vega Award submitter, what advice would you give them?

Cherish your creative spark and let your passion for design shine in your work, as these are your greatest assets in navigating the dynamic digital industry and making a lasting impression in competitions like the Vega Awards.

18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the digital industry?

Checking exhibitions to see how different forms of art solve or express problems. Observing things around you, small things sometimes can offer a lot of inspiration and reflection.

19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
I used to dream of becoming a fashion designer.
20Who has inspired you in your life and why?
My friends. They come from diverse backgrounds, and through our interactions, I've consistently gained new insights and perspectives. Engaging with them has taught me to approach various aspects of life with an open mind, fostering a broader and more comprehensive understanding of the world. Their experiences and viewpoints have encouraged me to constantly learn and grow, making me a more adaptable and empathetic individual in both my personal and professional life.
21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Embrace challenges and always be willing to try.
22Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?
Thanks for awarding our project!

Winning Entries

Focus | 2023

Project Focus represents an innovative leap in the realm of intelligent driving, underpinned by the integration of an Augmented ...
(read more at Vega Digital Awards)

hiTRIBE | 2023

Since covid, we have seen a bunch of community activities transferred to online hangouts and virtual meet-ups ...
(read more at Vega Digital Awards)

Shuchen Wang

Shuchen Wang is a UX/Product Designer with an industrial design background, and has strong interests in user-centric design, user research, and the creation of meaningful user experiences.

Read more about Yuko Hwang's interview for the 2023 Vega Digital Awards!