Opening a New
Interview with Samsung’s Newly Joining Designers of 2022
This is the story of five designers newly joining the world of Samsung Electronics. Hear about their rich experiences, colorful backgrounds, creative perspectives, and their distinctive identities that define their unique natures in this wonderfully diverse world.
Early on during undergrad I was interested in typography and other typical visual graphics like prints. I especially enjoyed typography and even participated in extracurricular activities and side gigs related to the field. The process of exploring the perfect font, size, and spacing to express the power of each letter was incredibly fun.
I chose to double-major because I wanted to dive deeper into topics that could inspire my design. Engaging with history, aesthetics, philosophy, and various fields opened up opportunities to experience visual references from diverse periods in history. It also was a great way to study humanities and the bountiful text that comes with it, which helped me organize my thoughts and develop critical thinking through reading and writing my reflections.
I joined the Samsung Design Membership in 2020, when smartphone application services rapidly grew in response to the pandemic. It was also when the society at large started to get more interested in UX. I was fortunate enough to participate in several UX projects at the Samsung Design Membership and also take UX courses at school, which naturally led me to have a bigger interest in UX design.
I first started to consider it when I was part of the industry-academy project with Samsung. I saw all designers come together in a single place and collaborate, which made me realize that this company has a strong infrastructure for design. Samsung is also a global company that puts emphasis on design, and has a diverse set of audiences. I thought that this kind of environment would bring a lot of job satisfaction for a designer.
I put together an editorial to showcase my strengths in typography. I focused on organizing the information in my portfolio using typography to help the reader quickly comprehend the content. The portfolio included UX projects and visual graphics to convey my diverse reach and expertise in design.
I would like to say that I am a Generalist and a Specialist at the same time, which means I have a solid basis of expertise but also a healthy and ever-expanding curiosity for new fields. A great UX must be based on a deep understanding of users, so I try to maintain an inclusive and embracing perspective towards diverse ideas to create tailored designs for different users.
I wasn’t given an offer when I applied to Samsung last year. Afterwards I tried working on my own projects but soon realized that I missed collaborating with people. I wanted to get back into working with other people, discussing and learning with them that ultimately influences me to grow and develop. That is when I decided to give it another shot early this year.
The concept of my portfolio was Vitality. I wanted to instill the values I have towards design, which is to create things that have the liveliness of a living and breathing being. I also wanted whoever looks through my portfolio to experience a narrative flow through my creations instead of just flipping through them. I added individual stories to each of my works and gave them life, and by doing so, I hoped people would find my work more resonating.
That would be the last thing I said during the final interview. I told the executives that ‘I have no regrets even if I don’t get an offer because I gave it my all in the most transparent way possible’, and I think they took it well. I believe it is important to be transparent in an interview. Of course you’d want to position yourself as a certain skillful designer, but if you try to force yourself into that profile too much, you won’t have much to say about who you really are. I think it is important to admit things you need to admit and also be confident enough to speak about your strengths.
I’m currently working on recruiting instead of design projects. I plan various company events to help newly recruited members adjust to their teams, and also create contents to promote recruitment for designers. I find it very interesting as I get to have a peek into how a design organization is operated.
For me, it’s about inspiring life into my works and instilling a resonating story into its fiber. I personally call this combination a Pit-a-pat Story. It’s a story that makes the heart beat in excitement, and I try to make each product I design tell this resonating story.
I want to design new products based on Samsung’s innovative technologies, and leverage the power of storytelling to user scenario for future products. I want to be a part of advanced design projects that work on the things people would need in the days to come, and devise the best story to approach them.
Virtual design is a type of 3D design that creates visual interfaces to help users intuitively and easily engage with virtual services like metaverse, AR, and VR. Virtual designers are responsible for visualizing and structuring services of virtual spaces based on creating 3D visual UX concepts to provide new experiences and emotions for users.
I mostly worked on 3D motion graphics as a student. I had an opportunity to analyze users and designing projects based on the insight, which was how I first got interested in UX design. I wanted to work on projects that combined the fields of 3D and UX to create synergy, and thought it would be a great opportunity to apply for the virtual designer role at Samsung.
I created a portfolio with a good balance of 3D work and UX projects. Since it was Samsung’s first time recruiting virtual designers, there wasn’t a lot of information out there. I constantly wondered if I was on the right direction for my portfolio as I worked on it on my own. Once I got a offer, I realized my colleagues all prepared their own unique portfolios that reflected the roles they applied for.
They were surprised to learn that Samsung had a 3D design role. Once I joined, I noticed that there were a lot of virtual designers working on a variety of fields including 3D graphics, UX guides, advanced concept development, and more.
There was a session where we had to think about values that are most important to us as designers, and then share them with teammates. I found it interesting to see designers each having unique visions for their works, and I was quite inspired and excited about the designs that will be created from the collaboration of such diverse people.
I want to be a designer who Pioneers a new path for users. My field is probably a bit unfamiliar to most users, but I want the users to comfortably experience the design as if they’ve used them before. To deliver such experience, it will take a lot of trial and error at first. But as virtual designer who is exploring uncharted territory, I want to set new standards for this field as a pioneer.
When I was at school in LA, I came upon a recruitment posting for a role in Korea and applied right away. I believe it is important for a designer to work and mingle with diverse individuals to create synergy, so I wanted to experience the corporate life of Korea. I am also interested in sustainability, and Samsung’s commitment to sustainability was a motivating factor as well.
The recruiter helps me interview in the same condition as if I were interviewing for the job onsite in Korea. I met with the recruiter two weeks prior to the interview to closely communicate on preparing for the process. I wiped my computer in advance to prepare for practical exams to make sure there is parity with those who are taking the exams onsite, and also got support to install the same applications and fonts that is used for onsite exams. On the day of the interview, there was a camera on the front and back to make sure the whole process is supervised properly, and I carried out the interview in the same time table as those onsite.
The question I got on how I apply design thinking and process to my projects is memorable for me. It was refreshing to learn that Samsung makes an effort to connect design thinking and processes to actual work. Another question I remember was when the interviewer asked about applying my experience to UX when I shared about my graduation project on sustainable design.
There is a lot of problem with carbon emissions like ink and paper waste when it comes to the graphic design industry. I did research on producing paper using seaweed as a response to this problem. I also proposed using letter-press processing to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and ink created from seaweed to reduce energy consumption.
I believe it is important to consider the entire process from development, quality assurance, to waste management when it comes to design. I realized how committed Samsung is to establishing a sustainable future once I joined the team. I’m excited to participate in these efforts to create sustainable designs, which is the path I want to pursue as a designer.
My identity is defined by Biomimicry. My designs are deeply influenced by the organic shapes and lines of nature and the comfort it provides. I believe our lives are dependent on the welfare of nature, so I place a lot of importance on healthy circulation of resources. I want to become a designer who symbiotically interacts with nature and uphold values in sustainability.
I studied research fields like theories and processes when I was learning about UX design as a student. That’s why my projects were not solutions to specific products, but were various form factors in mobile, TV, and automobiles. I thought my background and interest would be more suitable at a company where I could experience a diverse range of form factors, which is why I applied to Samsung.
I also had a chance to work on a project managed by a large corporation when I first graduated, and at the time I needed a better understanding of how a big company works in and out. Unlike my time as a student, I had to be responsible for understanding more than just design, which was why I wanted to gain more experience in a well-structured corporation.
I had a chance to experience Samsung’s design culture when I was a student, through an industry-academy project with Samsung. But when I actually joined the team, I was surprised to see how much more individual freedom Samsung gives to its designers, and how the designers work with so much respect for one another. I expected a more rigid culture but was pleasantly surprised by the flexibility.
I made three friends through the Samsung Design Membership, and a lot of the projects I’ve done with these friends ended up in my portfolio. We applied different things we each learned from school and worked on projects as if we played together. Instead of setting up meetings, we just hung around together, tossed around ideas, and distributed roles amongst ourselves for the project.
When I was a student, my projects would go only as far as conceptualizing an idea. But now that I am at a company, I am learning that there is an incredibly vast and intricate process of development, preparation, and expertise that goes into each product and service before they are released to the public. The task is not easy and requires a lot of responsibility as designs go into mass production, but it is a rewarding process that helps me grow into an expert in my field.
I have a mission as a designer to constantly try new things and inspire others in that process. My identity as an Adventurer of design is to relentlessly tread forward to make the world a better place and never stop challenging and innovating myself.
These are Samsung Electronics’ newest designers are embarking on a journey to usher in a better tomorrow, by embracing people with a warm conscience and observing the world in unique perspectives. We are excited to see how these designers will shape the future of Samsung Design with their unique talent and creativity.