Hello, I'm Xingcheng Zhu! With over four years of experience in UX/UI design and a background in education from Loughborough University, I've had the privilege of working with esteemed organisations like PwC and Uber China.
During my career, I've had the opportunity to design a diverse range of products, from B2B platforms and content management systems (CMS) to official websites and everyday consumer products.
As I have a deep passion for design, it fills me with enthusiasm and excitement whenever I embark on the journey of crafting something new! I have enjoyed drawing and depicting beautiful things early on in my childhood. When I attended university, I was originally set on a path to become something in the science and engineering field but I had a yearning to combine it with design so I opt for architecture as my major.
However, architecture did not turn out to be as interesting and fulfilling as I had imagined even though I appreciated the aesthetics of architecture. This prompted me to pivot toward the fields of user experience and product design.
A "good" design is one that seamlessly blends functionality and aesthetics, delivering a positive user experience. It caters to the needs and preferences of its users while remaining simple and intuitive to use. Accessibility is a key aspect, ensuring it's friendly to people of all ages and abilities.
Additionally, a good design embraces innovation and sustainability, making it adaptable to changing trends and environmentally conscious. Ultimately, a "good" design forms an emotional connection with users, evoking positive feelings and loyalty.
Because I found everyday objects in my surroundings uninteresting, my aim was to craft items that seamlessly blended aesthetics with functionality. Additionally, I wanted to use my work as a platform to address environmental concerns.
In today's world, the environmental crisis is a pressing issue that countries are actively addressing, and individuals must also shoulder their responsibility in this regard.
During the design process, I encountered several challenges. The primary ones were balancing aesthetics with functionality, ensuring a seamless user experience, and addressing diverse user needs.
To overcome these obstacles, I conducted thorough research and user testing, gathering valuable feedback to refine the design. Collaborating with a multidisciplinary team helped incorporate innovative ideas and find practical solutions. Iterative design processes allowed me to continually refine the product. By staying receptive to feedback, remaining open-minded, and embracing creative problem-solving, I successfully navigated these challenges and delivered a well-rounded design that met both user expectations and project goals.
Winning this award would have a profound impact on my future as a designer. It will serve as a validation of my skills and creative approach, boosting my confidence and motivation. The recognition that comes with being a winner will open doors to new opportunities, enabling me to work on more prestigious projects and collaborate with industry leaders!
Additionally, it will expand my professional network and elevate my visibility in the design community. With this achievement, I can attract potential clients and employers, leading to greater career advancements and increased credibility as a designer. Ultimately, winning this award will propel my journey as a designer to new heights, shaping a promising and fulfilling future.
My top three favourite things about the design industry would be the endless opportunities for creativity and innovation, the ability to positively impact people's lives through user-centric solutions, and the dynamic and ever-evolving nature of the field. Design allows me to explore my imagination, create meaningful experiences, and continuously learn and grow as a designer.
It's incredibly fulfilling to witness how my work can enhance the way people interact with products and services, making their lives more enjoyable and efficient. Embracing the constant advancements in technology and design trends keeps me inspired and excited about the endless possibilities in the industry.
My design sets itself apart by focusing on the perfect fusion of innovation, user-centricity, and aesthetics. I prioritise understanding the unique needs and preferences of users, ensuring that my designs deliver exceptional experiences. By incorporating cutting-edge technologies and creative solutions, I create products that stand out in the market.
The result is a harmonious blend of functionality, visual appeal, and usability that sets my work apart, leaving a lasting impression on users and elevating the overall design standard in the category.
Over the next 5-10 years, the design industry is likely to experience significant advancements driven by technology and changing user expectations. We can expect continued growth in user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design, with a strong focus on seamless interactions and personalised experiences.
The integration of artificial intelligence and augmented reality will revolutionise product design and create new possibilities. Sustainability and inclusive design will become even more prominent, addressing global challenges. Additionally, the rise of working remotely and digital collaboration tools will reshape design processes, enabling more diverse and globally connected design teams.
As an aspiring designer seeking to create award-winning designs, my advice would be to focus on three key elements: innovation, user-centricity, and perseverance. Embrace innovation by constantly exploring new ideas and pushing creative boundaries. Prioritise user needs, ensuring that designs deliver exceptional experiences. Embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and grow, persistently refining and iterating designs. Stay inspired, seek feedback, and collaborate with others to gain diverse perspectives.
Remember, award-winning designs arise from passion, dedication, and a commitment to continuous improvement. Keep honing skills, embracing challenges, and staying true to your design vision. Success will follow through relentless pursuit of excellence.
I would recommend the following resources to improve your skills in the design industry:
Nature: Nature is a good resource to explore.
Books on Design: Reading design books by renowned designers can provide valuable insights and inspiration.
Design Blogs and Magazines: Follow reputable design blogs and magazines to stay updated on the latest trends and techniques.
Online Design Communities: Join design communities like Dribbble and Behance to connect with other designers and showcase your work.
Attend Design Events and Workshops: Participating in design events and workshops allows you to learn from experts and network with peers.
Remember, continuous learning and practice are essential for growth in the design industry.
My key to success is unwavering passion and continuous learning. Embrace your passions and stay committed to your goals. Seek opportunities for growth and self-improvement, and be open to new experiences. Stay resilient in the face of challenges, for they are opportunities to learn and grow.
Surround yourself with supportive individuals and collaborate with diverse perspectives. Remember that success is a journey, not a destination. Cherish every step of the way, and keep striving for greatness. Always believe in yourself and stay true to your values. Your determination and authenticity will pave the way to a fulfilling and successful life.
Xingcheng Zhu is a UX/UI designer with more than four years of experience. He studied at Loughborough University and have worked with prestigious organisations such as PwC and Uber China. His portfolio showcases a wide variety of projects, including B2B platforms, CMS, official websites, and everyday consumer products.
Read more about this interview with Shahen Markarian from the United States, the Platinum Winner of the 2023 London Design Awards.