Interview with Ki Yan Ip, Freelance UI Designer at Sotheby's

User Experience
Interview with Ki Yan Ip, Freelance UI Designer at Sotheby's
Article by Maria Martin
Last Updated: November 08, 2017

"Stop talking and make it happen."

With such an emphasis on user experience, it can be easy to forget about interface. Luckily, Ki Yan Ip is here to command attention for UI once again. Many IT solutions companies also emphasize the importance of a well-designed UI as a critical element for success.

The unofficial Sketch spokeswoman shares why you need to learn that tool stat, the other publications (besides DesignRush...) that you should read, and why having faith in your own abilities will always carry you far. 

DesignRush: What inspired you to go into UI design?

Ki Yan Ip: When I began studying graphic design at the School of Visual Arts, I didn’t have so much as a clue that there was more to design than print, layout, and typography until my junior year. It was then that I had my first experience with digital design by throwing the UI of an app together — it was far from perfect in terms of content structure but that was the first step. What took me entirely down the rabbit hole was when I began designing and coding sites in an interaction design class. I realized then that I would not only push pixels for a living but think extensively about our relationship with technology.

DR: So how did that help you grow in your career? 

KI: I now get to explore how people respond and react to the details of an overall design experience that I’m creating. UI design could probably be over-simplified as “graphic design for digital platforms” but it’s much more than that. These days being a visual designer not only entails having a grasp for print and digital but understanding how to identify, organize, analyze, and strategize problems and solutions for the projects you are working on.

Designing with purpose, designing with possibility, designing with understanding is what drives my interest in UI design and more so interactive design as a whole.

DR: What are a few of your favorite design tools?

KI: If you’re still stuck using Adobe Illustrator — learn Sketch now! You’ll save so much time and energy, and that’s what we all need more of, right? 

Sketch has a simple interface and it’s quite easy to learn. I highly recommend this tool because there’s plenty of plug-ins you can find and install that will make your workflow that much faster.

DR: You have the day off. What can we find you doing?

KI: A few things come to mind: bingeing “The Office,” working on personal and collaborative projects, and catching up on my zzz’s (rest is not just for the dead -- it’s essential for the living.)

DR: Which blogs, websites, or apps to you check every day and why?

KI: I’m one of those designers who hardly has their finger on the design trend pulse…. but if and when I’m found gallivanting the internet for inspiration or for culture buzz, here are few resources. Also, Google is your friend.

  • AIGA Eye on Design
  • DesignObserver (for podcasts)
  • Medium

DR: What tips do you have for designers looking to grow in their career? 

KI: Train your visual eye whenever you can. Analyze what you’re looking at, and find out what works about it and what doesn’t; what draws you to it and what doesn’t; learn what you’re looking at both objectively and subjectively. You should learn and pick up on what’s going on whenever you can.

DR: Any final thoughts, comments, or words of wisdom you’d like to share with someone in the industry?

KI: A few things:

  • Have faith in your own abilities and know that things will work out for the best. Be open to learning and trying new things always.
  • Find ways to inspire yourself, don’t stop improving and learning.
  • You owe it to yourself to think a problem through and not give into a sub-par solution. If your goal is to make the world a better place — don’t stop innovating.

If you need help with a graphic design project, don't forget to browse through our list of top graphic design agencies.

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