Philippe Hong is a product designer who co-founded Vyte and UI garage. With just 4 years of experience in design, Philippe won awards like CSSDesignawrds, CSSawards. Having experience in working with huge brands like Loreal, Hana, Celio, Intel, and many more Philippe has been featured on Tech Crunch, Product hunt, and material up.
zipBoard had a lot of questions in mind and Philippe helped us to answer those questions. After Nikkel, Arlo and Matej we had a very informative session with Philippe. Our conversation was on the topics like Focus of a designer, collaboration, rapid prototyping, and much more.
Wow! You have a huge list of awards with just 4 years of experience. How challenging it was for you to attain these awards?
Philippe: “Thanks. I always thought that awards are something that will push me to work harder and harder. Because to keep being on top, you can’t stay on your achievements. I did a lot of hackathons back when I was in France. Building a product in 2 days with a team that you don’t know, was quite challenging. But that’s the point to do this. Even it’s a small amount of time, you learn so much more.
I also received some awards for my portfolio, and it’s quite rewarding when people are actually liking your work. I have always tried to design and code my website by myself because I want to own it, it’s my work and I want to be proud of it from A to Z.”
What do you think you do as a designer that others don’t. Do you have any advice for them?
Philippe: “I have always been interested in knowing the functionality of things, how it works. That’s why I learned to code. I think some designers are too focused on how it looks rather than to understand, how it works.
Design isn’t only the visual aspect;
what school taught you are sometimes not relevant. In the market, you will always have to deal with problematic scenarios and you have to find the right solution, even if it’s not as beautiful as you expected.”
How do you manage to take out time for side projects?
Philippe: “I always like to work on side projects. I think it really depends on each personality. Some people don’t like to work so hard and prefer to do rest in their free time. But I think that if you really want to create your own project, you need to dedicate this time, and especially when you’re young and have time. I still have free time to go out and chill with friends, but sometimes, I just want to stay at home and work on my projects.”
How do you collaborate with developers?
Philippe: “I like to work with devs, and as a designer, I think it’s essential to be able to communicate with devs when you’re designing. I use Zeplin to send my design to devs, but I’m still struggling to find a way to give feedback to them. Maybe zipBoard can solve this problem for us.”
What gave you the idea to start with Vyte?
Philippe: “I met Martin, the co-founder, on a Hackathon, he pitched me his idea of how we can solve the problem of scheduling a meeting, and I was immediately interested to work on his project. Hackathon is also a good way to meet people and collaborate with them after the event.”
How is product designing in a startup different from a big company?
Philippe: “Designing in a startup gives you more freedom to do your own design and explain your vision on this. I found this very different while designing for a big company, with all the process and grade. And you always have to deal with politics and stuff, it’s quite annoying sometimes. That’s why I always like to work with small startups.”
How do you do rapid prototyping with your team?
Philippe: “Depends on what type of prototype it is. I often use Principle if it’s very simple, and FramerJS if it’s more complicated. And if I can’t do what I want with both of them, I code myself the prototype. I also tried the new prototyping tool from Invision and it’s very promising!”
What is UIGarage all about?
Philippe: “UIGarage came from a struggle when finding specific inspirations. I always find it difficult to find specific inspiration like error messages or alerts on regular inspiration websites, and I always had to screenshot my iPhone or desktop, and it’s really hard to retrieve them after a while. So I decided to create a little website, where I can upload them and search them very easily. It was a personal website at the beginning but people started getting more and more interested in this, so I decided to put it on Product Hunt with my friend Michael W. and it appears that people loved it. We were featured 1st on Product Hunt that day!”
“When you wake up and you reach 1st position on @ProductHunt, totally amazing.. @uigarage” — Tweeted by Philippe Hong
Q: What according to you should be the main focus of a designer while creating a design?
Philippe: “It’s a tough question and it really depends on what designer you are. But I will say for a Product Designer, you should definitely focus on simplicity and user-friendly design rather than visually extraordinary design. Both are important, but I think good designers are the ones who can make a good mix of both of them.”
Q: As a designer what social channels do you love to hang around?
Philippe: “I definitely love Twitter. I always like to chat and comment about design stuff. Find me on Twitter @philippehong 😉”
More from Philippe
zipBoard is still on its journey to interview great product designers; much more coming up next. In case you missed the previous ones you can visit our blog and enjoy reading the experiences of these amazing product designers.
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