Anna Zhang is a graduate of the Obsidian Cohort. Anna worked in digital marketing before coming to DESIGNATION to pursue a career in UX and UI Design.
Where do you work, and what’s your job title?
I work at Hive as Product Designer.
Tell us briefly about your company. What do they specialize in? What does your team look like?
Hive is a team productivity tool—you can message teammates, manage tasks and projects, and view your files all in one interface. We help teams get organized and be more productive. We’re an early-stage startup and I work closely with a great engineering and marketing team.
Tell us briefly about your job.
My role ranges from ideation to high-fidelity mockups. I’m currently focusing on redesigning our onboarding process by conducting usability tests to identify our users’ first impressions of our product.
What did you do professionally before you started at DESIGNATION? And where did you live?
Prior to DESIGNATION, I worked at 360i’s New York office as Media Manager. I worked with clients like Saks Fifth Avenue and Verizon to analyze and manage their digital media campaigns.
How did you hear about DESIGNATION? And why did you decide to attend?
I researched design bootcamps. There are a lot of similar programs in New York, but none of them had the full-stack curriculum that DESIGNATION offers. I also spoke with a lot of alums from various bootcamps and DESIGNATION alums were by far the coolest and most welcoming!
What was your favorite part of the DESIGNATION experience?
Definitely all the people in my cohort! There were some nights that we worked on projects until one or two in the morning and I can’t imagine that without my awesome classmates to always keep me laughing and moving forward. Before DESIGNATION, I took a few online courses and worked on side design projects, but it’s nowhere near the experience you get from working alongside a group of people that have similar goals and ambitions.
What did you find was the most useful skill, tool, or experience from your time in the program?
During the client phase at DESIGNATION, we frequently presented our research and designs to clients. This was extremely useful come interview time, as I had prior experience communicating my thought process and speaking through my work.
How did DESIGNATION help prepare you for your job?
As an early stage start-up, we must be fast and nimble. DESIGNATION taught me how to work fast and iterate continuously.
What’s your favorite thing about being a professional designer now?
There’s always something new to learn and improve on! I love that I’m learning new things everyday and improving my existing skills.
“During client phase, we frequently presented our research and designs to clients. This was extremely useful come interview time, as I had experience communicating my thought process and speaking through my work.”
What advice can you give to someone trying to start in the design industry?
Just do it. It can seem overwhelming at first when you’re trying something new. But DESIGNATION has taught me that you can learn anything if you set your mind to it.