Interview with Jeremy Lu, designer at Moment

Designation Team Jul 3 Interviews, Designers

Jeremy Lu was an architect in DC before coming to Designation as part of the Basil Cohort in 2017. Today, he’s a designer at Moment/Verizon in New York.

Tell us briefly about your job today.

I’m currently a designer at Moment / Verizon in NYC and joined Moment during their acquisition by Verizon. I’m part of a multi-disciplinary team tasked with tackling a piece of the Verizon customer’s omnichannel experience that spans both the digital and physical space.

What did you do professionally before you started at Designation? 

I was a Junior Architectural Designer in DC and developed healthcare and higher education spaces. I made the decision to dive into experience design because of my desire to problem-solve, iterate, and create at a fast pace not found in architecture.

How did you hear about Designation, and why did you decide to attend? 

I discovered Designation through months of research and even took some intro courses at different programs to really test the waters before making a decision. Ultimately, the genuinely immersive program length and Designation’s unique Client Phase were key deciding factors that prompted me to take the leap and move across the country—no other program pushed designers to work with real clients. I also needed a program with a true studio culture and the energy and melting pot of knowledge that comes with it. I believed that Designation was one of the few programs where I could find this, and needless to say, I was not disappointed!

“LocalGuide was an academic project focused on holistic product design within an agile framework. We were challenged to create an end to end mobile experience around travel recommendations. We were prompted to utilize research and synthesis to discover a scope not addressed by current products, and followed the project through from initial conception through UI development and delivery.”

Looking back at your Designation experience, how do you describe its impact?

Designation was a crash-course deep dive into the world of experience design and set me up with a robust process, toolkit, and knowledge base to make a strong transition. Not only did I learn hard skills, but I gained essential soft skills such as active listening and team empathy.

What were your favorite parts of life at Designation? 

The time spent with my cohort! Nothing builds lasting friendships more than countless hours spent working towards a common goal and dream. We all still keep in touch and meet up regularly.

Nothing builds lasting friendships more than countless hours spent working towards a common goal and dream.

What’s the staff like at Designation? 

The staff at Designation is unbeatable. Passionate, caring, unimaginably talented, and hard-working—the leadership consistently worked to build the next generation of great designers. Throughout the entire program, there was a keen sense of care for each cohort member. Each creative director pushed us as individuals and a team to be better than the day before.

What advice or recommendations do you have for people considering applying to Designation, or for those already in the program?

Give it everything you’ve got. The rewards found at Designation are boundless and life-changing but are only obtainable if you put in 110%. Ask a million questions, be curious, work hard every day, and look to your cohort for support!

Give it everything you’ve got. The rewards found at Designation are boundless and life-changing but are only obtainable if you put in 110%.

What advice do you have for people looking to get their start in the design field?

Start following some leaders in the design industry and find a role model—one who shares your values, passions, and voice. I personally look up to Brian Chesky, co-founder of Airbnb, for his incredible energy, courage, and perseverance; everyone around him marked Airbnb as a failure during its first few years.

What’s a piece of knowledge, skill, tool, or something cool you learned at work recently?

There’s never a right way to solve anything, even in the professional world of experience design. So try a million ways, flip it upside down and try it again!

“Our clients believed a group/community feature would solve their primary challenges and asked us to focus on building out a group feature over the next three weeks. But without prior validation of a group feature, we stepped back and dove into research to validate their beliefs, discover the underlying cause behind CharacTour’s slow growth and retention, as well as familiarize ourselves with the domain.”

What was your job interview process like?

I often receive great feedback on my portfolio and case studies. Designation was a vital driving force behind the quality of my portfolio, and the positive comments are a testament to just how effectively Designation prepared me to not only practice design but communicate it as well.

What are some of your favorite resources—blogs, publications, podcasts, speakers, tools, etc.—that help make you a stronger designer?

I’m a huge proponent of podcasts! Not just UX-focused podcasts but ones about design and problem-solving in general. Some of my favorites are 99% Invisible, How I Built This (check out the Airbnb episode!), and Design Matters by Debbie Millman.

While the hard skills help me during my more technical responsibilities, the client engagements set me up in ways no other program could.

What were the most useful skills, tools, or experiences at Designation that have been the most useful for you in your job?

While the hard skills help me during my more technical responsibilities, the client engagements set me up in ways no other program could. From being able to navigate client meets to presenting design work in an understandable way to stakeholders, Client Phase was an experience that set me up for success in my current position.

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