I am a multi-disciplined designer with a passion for the captivating realms of data and spatial design. Guiding people through the intricate dimensions of data and physical space is my calling. I proudly hold a master's degree in Integrated Design and Media from New York University which has provided me with a strong foundation in this ever-evolving field.
As a product designer, my focus is on creating user-centric solutions that harness the power of data and technology. My goal is to design products that empower users to effortlessly explore, analyse, and communicate data effectively and intuitively. With expertise in data product design, spatial design, and mobile design, I bring a diverse set of skills set to the table.
Currently, I am fortunate to be part of the innovative team at Sigma Computing, a cloud-native analytics and business intelligence platform. Here, I have the opportunity to further refine my skills and contribute to the development of cutting-edge solutions. By combining my interdisciplinary design background, passion for assisting others, and expertise in data and spatial design, I am committed to creating impactful experiences that bridge the gap between different dimensions.
At my current position, I hold the role of Senior Designer on the core visualisation team at sigma computing. As part of this role, I have been involved in designing and shipping various key components, including the dashboard builder, data interaction system, and a range of analysis features.
One of the primary aspects of my job is tackling highly ambiguous problems and finding creative solutions. This involves conducting extensive user research to gain a deep understanding of user needs, pain points, and behaviours. By delving into user insights, I can design intuitive and user-friendly experiences that effectively address their requirements.
In addition to user research, I also take the lead in conducting design reviews with cross-functional teams and C-level stakeholders. Collaboration is a crucial element of my work, as I work closely with product managers, researchers, engineers, customer support, product architects, and other designers. By collaborating with diverse teams, I can gather different perspectives, leverage collective expertise, and ensure that our projects are aligned and successful.
My job profile encompasses a range of responsibilities, from initial ideation and wireframing to prototyping and visual design. I strive to create cohesive and visually compelling experiences that not only meet user needs but also align with the overall product vision and brand identity.
I think a good design is one that blends into the user's experience without attracting attention to itself. When users find each step to be intuitive and natural, it indicates that the design has been carefully designed to meet their wants and expectations. The beauty of such design is its ability to blend into the background, allowing users to concentrate on their work or goals without being distracted by extraneous complications.
Finally, a good design should feel so natural that people barely notice it while still improving their entire experience meaningfully.
My award-winning design was inspired by a personal experience that many people can relate to: sharing expenses among friends after a birthday party. Following a recent celebration I planned for a close friend, we faced the difficulty of dealing with bills and currency fluctuations, frequently resulting in awkward conversations and refund delays.
I decided to design an app that would streamline and simplify money transactions between friends, making the process smoother and less awkward. Armed with these insights, I devised a mobile app as a digital wallet and cost tracker tailored to social groupings. The software included an easy-to-use UI that allowed users to create shared spending groups and ask friends to join easily. It enabled users to submit expenses in their various currencies and computed the amounts owed by each individual based on real-time exchange rates.
My observations of ordinary life were the primary source of inspiration for this design. I get ideas by closely monitoring how I and my friends engage with various products and services, as well as finding common pain areas that ordinary people face.
My experiences with finance apps, in particular, inspire me. Many existing apps, in my opinion, lack a focus on addressing unique real-life use cases that individuals confront. This observation has inspired me to create with the goal of actually assisting people in their daily lives.
Balance Seriousness and Engagement: Finance apps frequently deal with sensitive and serious issues. It can be difficult to strike the appropriate mix between giving important information and engaging users. To give a sense of excitement and engagement, I employed vivid images, animations, and micro-interactions.
1. Design is always at the forefront of technology.
2. Good design never gets old.
3. Designers are ever-willing to share knowledge.
I think it's highly likely that the design industry will witness a significant shift towards designs related to spatial experiences in the coming years. With advancements in technology such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and spatial computing, designers will have new opportunities to create immersive and interactive experiences in physical spaces.
As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see an increased focus on creating immersive and personalised spatial experiences. This may involve designing virtual environments that simulate real-world scenarios, incorporating Augmented Reality to enhance physical spaces, or using MR to blend digital and physical elements seamlessly.
Explore design articles on Medium. Follow design-focused publications and individual designers who share their insights, tips, and case studies. Medium offers a wealth of knowledge and perspectives that can help broaden your understanding of design principles and industry trends.
Dedicate time each day to practice your design skills. This could involve sketching, wireframing, creating mock-ups, or engaging in design exercises. By consistently practicing, you can refine your techniques, experiment with different styles, and build a strong foundation in design.
Introducing Bubble, the revolutionary friends-based personal financing app designed to effortlessly streamline your financial …
(Read more at London Design Awards)
Simin Gu is a versatile designer who possesses a deep enthusiasm for the fascinating domains of data and spatial design. Her true calling lies in leading individuals through the intricate dimensions of both data and the physical environment.
Read more about this interview with Anita (Ningjing Sun) from the United States, the Silver Winner of the 2023 London Design Awards.