Who I Am
ᚼ Who are you?
I'm Selena (inspired by Selena Quintanilla, not Gomez) and I live in Irvine, CA. I've been in Southern California most of my life ever since I came here from China when I was 7. I attended UC Irvine where I studied Business Economics and Accounting, and initially worked as an accountant before transitioning to a career in Product Design.
Pro tip: Don't pursue accountancy unless you love to stare at abstract numbers all day and identify super elusive discrepancies.
ᚼ Why did you become a designer?
In college, I aimed to be an accountant for financial security but I've never enjoyed it. I didn't know I wanted to become a Product Designer until I was chatting with my developer colleague one night and he told me about a UX/UI boot camp he took and how much he enjoyed it. I had never heard of this role before but was immediately drawn to his experience and what he was able to accomplish. Within a week, I stopped studying for my CPA exams and signed up for a boot camp while working full-time. And to this day, this is still one of the best decisions I've made.
ᚼ What do you like about design?
I'm passionate about various design fields like product, interior, graphic, fashion, and architectural design, not just product design. Design resonates a lot with me because it's aesthetically pleasing but most importantly, it's functional. It elicits emotions, creates values, and inspires others.
And being able to create something by hand that positively impacts someone's life, even for a short time, gives me great fulfillment.
ᚼ What is your favorite product?
It's tough to choose just one favorite but one of my recent favorite find is Creme. It's an app that teaches you quality chef's recipes. I love cooking, but I've found that most recipes are difficult to follow. What Creme excels at is how clear they convey each step in the recipe. They highlight measurements, incorporate timers for relevant steps, and have videos segmented for specific instructions. Creme recognizes the distractions and chaos in cooking and make their recipes easy to follow. While it's great, I find it lacking in features like voice-activated controls, options to substitute ingredients and cooking knowledge.
ᚼ If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be and why?
Leonardo Da Vinci.
This dude was an amazing artist and an imaginative inventor. But he didn't stop there, he also studied anatomy, architectures, botany, geology and physics. I really admire how diverse his hobbies and passions were. I'd love to understand his thought process and how he came up with such novel ideas.
ᚼ If you could instantly become an expert in something, what would it be?
Definitely artificial intelligence.
The launch of ChatGPT has revolutionized the world and transformed my workflow and learning. I can do almost anything now that I have the knowledge of the entire web in a personal assistant. I'm eager to understand how it works and fully harness its capabilities.
ᚼ What's the most interesting place you've ever visited?
I have two places that I found really interesting.
1. Iceland - this country has landscapes and sceneries that are out of this world. I love how diverse the landforms are and how close you actually feel to nature. At times I really felt that I was on a different planet.
2. Japan - although Japan also have amazing sceneries, the most amazing things are all man-made for me. This is the ultimate place for designers to geek out. Their ingenuity, dedication and thoughtfulness really is out of this world. If you've see the ketchup and mustard packets, you'd know what I'm talking about. This is the one place that I'm willing to vist over and over again.
ᚼ If you had to eat only one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I looove spicy food and there isn't a day that goes by when I don't crave it. I also enjoy a variety of ingredients and textures, which hotpot offers because you can cook almost anything in it. It's also soupy but you can eat noodles and rice with it. It's truly versatile which I'd need if this was the only meal that I can eat.
ᚼ What’s a hobby you’ve always wanted to pick up but never did?
I've tried it once and loved it even though I fell on my butt too many times and barely made it down the mountain. The gears, the movements and the feeling of adrenaline when you're going down is super exciting and alluring. But unfortunately I've just never gotten many opportunities to go. It takes quite a bit of time, effort and money to make a trip happen and my friends are just not into this sport. But I'd love to go again if the opportunity presents itself.
ᚼ If you could have any superpower for a day, what would you choose and how would you use it?
The power to change minds.
It's not something super cool or supernatural but I think it's really powerful. If I can just go around the world and change the minds of really powerful leaders, then I could potentially change the course of the history. The turmoils that's been happening in Gaza and other places is horrible and I truly wish we could all come together, stop the fighting, and just live in peace.
What I Saw
2022 - 2023