Victoria Whang | Product Designer
Victoria Whang | Product Designer

Blog

Things I read about, watch, hear, do...just all of the things.

Lifelong learning
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Lasercut

Engraved and rasterized on 1/8" birch plywood

Ever since finishing up my MMDD program at Humber college, I've been itching to learn more always. In my field, and most fields of work (now that I think about it), technology keeps changing and I have to keep evolving and growing my skills to meet demand and keep pace with new trends in design and marketing. 

I admire people who are self-learners, who follow online tutorials and delve into new techniques with ease. I, myself, am not one of those people (unless it's a super engaging arts-and-crafts video for children). I learn much better with a teacher and a regimented outline of learning goals. I do well with structure and scheduled classes. Even in my past life, while working at a bank in Ottawa, I loved taking a figure drawing class at Ottawa School of Art every Thursdays from 6 to 9PM. Even the walk downtown to class after work left me feeling so good and accomplished, like I was super proactive and taking charge of my life.

Right now, I've got my sights set on the Digital Media certificate as well as the Fine Arts certificate at OCAD. They've got a long list of classes ranging from 3D design to wearable tech that I can delve into for the next three years or less. The spectrum is quite broad that it will keep me busy and entertained outside of my day-to-day job, which is also quite fulfilling. The courses are not quite as immersive as I would want (6 classes each, weekly) but they're excellent stepping stones should I ever want to really explore a particular subject.

At work, I practice and explore UI/UX, video, and marketing materials and tools. While that is quite a handful, it's nice to be able to experience that same level of focus on other creative endeavours after 5pm...and to have that effort acknowledged with a certificate at the end of five courses is just a lovely cherry on top.

Cherry blossoms season

I've always wanted to see the cherry blossoms in Japan. It's a pretty iconic visual I have in my head of that one famous path along a skinny canal that's lined by a bajillion cherry trees. While I have never been to Japan during cherry blossom season, or ever for any reason at all, they're also in bloom in Toronto at High Park this week. 

Strangely, in all my years of living in Toronto, this is the first time I've seen cherry blossoms in bloom at High Park. I'm headed to Kyoto and Osaka in a couple of weeks. I'm sure the cherry trees will have passed their prime by then but I've got these photos to remember this past week in my beautiful hometown.

Interface without an interface

Last year I participated in the Amazon Hackathon with a select group of students from the Multimedia Design and Development program at Humber College. It was a brand new experience designing, collaborating, and building for the Alexa platform because it's an interface without an interface. It was a 24 hour challenge, hosted by Connected Lab off of King West.

Our group created a version of Dungeons and Dragons game and named it Alexa & Dragons as a nod to Amazon's AI. We brainstormed story ideas and designed the user experience from there. We wanted to build on the storytelling skill for Alexa and made a point to input natural and conversational language into the story architecture as well. On the side, I also worked on producing sound effects to be played at key points within the plot. The amazing developer in our group used the Alexa skill kit to code the different story options for the Voice User interface. 

UI/UXVictoria Whang
Growth of VR...what about AI?

User experience is constantly changing. In this year's FITC, there's a number of speakers in UX who will cover designing beyond the traditional interface. I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of Women && Tech which gives me the opportunity to even interview a couple of speakers, one on one, and ask all of the questions I have about designing for users in the future...dare I say, now?

I was just reading an article in Variety about virtual reality growing and changing the entertainment industry in the next few years. Location based VR is forecasted to change shopping experiences as well, which makes me wonder about my project on Kirk, the CF chatbot. What about location based AI? Does that make sense? Is that a thing? By walking through a Cadillac Fairview shopping centre, can we have a chatbot activate and come to life as a personal shopper/shopping buddy for us and connect us to promotions, events, and items using real-time inventory data?

Would be cool. If any developers are reading this, hit me up. I'd love to collaborate.

UI/UXVictoria Whang
Wedding invitation design
I had the opportunity to design wedding invitations for a personal client which included invitation cards, map cards, and the RSVP cards.

I had the opportunity to design wedding invitations for a personal client which included invitation cards, map cards, and the RSVP cards.

Originally the client asked for every section of the invitation to use different typefaces. We narrowed it down to two: Stylish Calligraphy Demo (cursive font for their names and headings on other cards) paired with Montserrat (body type). I designed and exported for print in Illustrator. The wedding colours were a cool minty blue with gold accents. We wanted to incorporate them into the invitations as well while maintaining readability with mostly black font. For gold foiling details, the printing agents required that the elements be exported in Pantone black and be set as the top layer in the PDF document.

Originally the client asked for every section of the invitation to use different typefaces. We narrowed it down to two: Stylish Calligraphy Demo (cursive font for their names and headings on other cards) paired with Montserrat (body type).

I designed and exported for print in Illustrator.

The wedding colours were a cool minty blue with gold accents. We wanted to incorporate them into the invitations as well while maintaining readability with mostly black font. For gold foiling details, the printing agents required that the elements be exported in Pantone black and be set as the top layer in the PDF document.

We wanted to bring in the geometric gemstone elements into the wedding map card as well. I designed map markers as little individual gemstones. Originally, the gold was the only accent I used, but the client insisted on having mint elements scattered throughout the invitation pieces so here, I chose to add it to the map. I thought that using the colour on words would affect readability.

We wanted to bring in the geometric gemstone elements into the wedding map card as well. I designed map markers as little individual gemstones. Originally, the gold was the only accent I used, but the client insisted on having mint elements scattered throughout the invitation pieces so here, I chose to add it to the map. I thought that using the colour on words would affect readability.

The geometric elements were pulled into the RSVP cards as well. 

The geometric elements were pulled into the RSVP cards as well. 

The bridal party asked for activity cards for the bridal shower. I designed them similarly to the invitations that the bride originally requested.

The bridal party asked for activity cards for the bridal shower. I designed them similarly to the invitations that the bride originally requested.

FreelanceVictoria Whang
Gifs: both good and evil

Sometimes at work, I have to look for images for articles we publish online. Either the writers have a hard time finding relevant ones, or the images they've found aren't inclusive enough or engaging enough. It's not often, but it happens.

Because our audience is mostly students between the ages of 17 and 25, GIFs tend to be pretty popular. I personally, don't like to include too many of them because it makes complying with AODA web guidelines a bit of a stumper sometimes. But here I go, on a freaking journey to Giphy.com and the mundane act of scrolling through pixelated fast moving pictures, usually with content I don't even know where it comes from, makes me feel totally carsick. I'm usually rolling my eyes and wondering why does this have to be so painful.

Here's the thing though. I love making my own. I pull the assets into Photoshop, create a timeline, and set each layer to a frame...so quick and simple. And afterwards, I have a super cute GIF I made! Of course, if it was placed in the scrolling gallery of Giphy.com, I'm sure I would roll my eyes at my own product. But as a standalone, oh-my-gosh how fun.

 

Icons taken from Flaticon as part of a design intern application

Icons taken from Flaticon as part of a design intern application

GIF for a birthday email campaign at IGNITE

GIF for a birthday email campaign at IGNITE

UI/UXVictoria Whang