• Jinwoo Ro Creativity & Innovation Center Creativity Lab
  • Minsun Kim Mobile Communications Business UX Design Group 3
  • Jeonghyun Lee Mobile Communications Business UX Design Group 4
  • Hansol Park Visual Display Business UX Design Group
  • Jonghyeok Im Consumer Electronics Business UX Design Group
  • Dahee Lee Corporate Design Center UX Design Group


Being a designer is an exciting job, but like other occupations it’s just that, a
job. With a job comes the responsibility and role one plays in the company, yet
both of those concerns are fast changing in this economy. Alas, with all occu-
pations, being a designer carries a certain discipline. Even if chalk is replaced
with a tablet or a newspaper with a 5 inch screen. The fundamentals remain.
Curiosity, responsibility, passion and persistence are still attributes that are
fundamental to a designer as any digital program or innovation.

Meet 6 designers who have set out to make something of themselves and
to impact the world. We sat down to talk with these exciting individuals who
incidentally have just gotten the word ‘designer’ printed on their business
cards. Life as a designer, life before a designer and thoughts as well as con-
cerns on continuing to be a designer were the focus of discussion.

How was the first 12 months as a professional designer like? Let’s find out.

Please describe to us what you do.
Jonghyeok Im
I’m a UI (User Interface) designer
for kitchen appliances. I design
interfaces for ovens or other
electronic appliances.
Typically I
do my work on PowerPoint and
refine the GUI(Graphic User Inter-
face) before it is applied to the
actual product.
Minsun Kim
I’ve been designing watches this
whole year. I’m the watch face
designer for the Gear S2 GUI team.
Since this is a smart watch, a lot
more goes into design than just
numbers and needles, it has more
functions. Smaller functions or
features are inserted into the watch
itself, called ‘complications’ which
make the watch design quite com-
plex. As a result, I’ve been busy
drawing needles, patterns, even
shadows while developing guide-
lines for app development.
Jinwoo Ro
I’m in the C-Lab (Creativity &
Innovation Center) and prior to
that was part of the VD division.

At VD, we design TVs, audio systems
and remote controls – we have a
guideline for all three modules and
I’m proud to say that I’ve experi-
enced all three. When designing the
user interface we consider how
even the channels change; how it
transitions to how the main func-
tions display when you first turn on
your TV.
Hansol Park

I’m working in the TV GUI team, but
I also do motion graphics as well.
Although it wasn’t my major, I think
TV motion graphics is an extension
of my studies. When I first started, I
worked on the loading GUI—from
concept to final product— and it
was the most memorable experi-
ence. Now I’m working on all th
icons for the entire TV line GUI.

Jeonghyun Lee
Students often think that UI design
means making things easier. While
that may be true, I think it is
also about expressing a vision
as a designer.
For example, I also
take care of Live Broadcast, which
is a personal video service
accessed from your smart phone
and uploaded via YouTube. The
usual task of where buttons and
icons go are vital, but I also feel it's
important to have an understand-
ing of the entire radio broadcasting
Dahee Lee
While the others have men-
tioned a specific product
they’re working on, I’m working
on areas that Samsung will
develop in the future, whether
it be a service or a product.
example, developing a user experi-
ence journey for a specific service
requires a set of form factors.
Tablets, mobile phones, displays,
the Galaxy S2 are the main compo-
nents that were developed. While
this may sound like a burdensome
task for an entry level designer (and
it was!) I’ve learned immensely
about the inner workings of the
design process as well as how the
company is run. So it’s been an
invaluable experience for me.
What is the most important skill in your work?
Jeonghyun Lee
Curiosity? Skill comes from a perti-
nent interest in the work. Research,
I think, really shows the level of curi-
osity you have for a project.
Jinwoo Ro
For me, it’s early adoption. Seeing
and trying things out. Maybe it’s
because I am still learning but I
need to see and interact with
things before I can make a deci-
sion about it.
Hansol Park
I think it’s being meticulous.
Maybe it's the type of work I’m
doing now working with pixels. The
icons we work on vary between four
to five different sizes.When I was in
school I remember thinking I could
make a really large icon and reduce
it to the size I needed. When I start-
ed out at Samsung I quickly realized
that each individual size icons had
its own set of criteria when it came
to detail. When I had a chance to see
the work file of my supervisors, just
looking at the hundreds of layers for
a single icon left me in awe. I still
have a lot more to learn.
Minsun Kim
I’ll add dedication to meticu-
lous! Without dedication or a
passion for doing the work I
don’t think we’d get far with the
As a GUI designer, when we
release the guideline with the
source material, it's vital that we get
things done right as it could cause
problems later on when the product
is fully developed and launched. I
think responsibility, attention to
detail, concern and passion are
needed in equal parts.
What are some things you’ve learned here that you didn’t at school?
Jeonghyun Lee
Language. Not having taken a
language course, speaking in
English during meetings is a chal-
lenge for me. Especially with
colleagues in other regions con-
versing with them isn’t easy.
Well, really explaining things to
them in words… if I could, I
would study English more.
Another thing I think is impor-
tant is to play and have more
When I was in school I tried
motion graphics, branding, music
and I’ve ended up doing UI design,
and when I look back on those
experiences, I don’t think any of it
was a waste of time.
Jinwoo Ro
When I meet my school friends, I
tell them to be true to your major. It
doesn’t seem right doing other
things while your school work
suffers. Also, when you start off in a
company, it's your major they look
for and expect you to excel at.
Using that as a base platform to go
into to other areas is important.
Minsun Kim
I want to mention communica-
tion skills. I think the fact that
you’re hired means you have a
certain level of skills already,
but to be able to express your-
self verbally is so hard!
And to
be concise, yet to the point is a real
challenge, I’ve found it difficult at
times to communicate properly
over the phone or in meetings.
Tell us about your other pursuits (besides design) when you were at school and how it affected who you are today?
Dahee Lee
Looking at trends. I majored in
industrial design, but instead of
product design I’m doing GUI
design. Often thought of this
when I first started out – devel-
oping products for a fashion
brand and a food brand, experi-
encing planning at an IT firm,
and creating an info-graphic for
Samsung before I started here.

The common thread between these
four projects was finding out what
the latest trends were and how they
could be utilized. Finding these
things out may not seem like some-
thing a GUI designer would need
but it helps in so many other ways.
Jonghyeok Im
I participated in many shows
when I was in school.
As an
engineering major, having people
interacting with the work that I
designed or my exhibitions was a
joy in itself. It is similar to seeing
users interact with my work and I
find satisfaction in that.
Hansol Park
I like hip-hop music and have
recorded a few songs myself. All
designers are unique in their own
way. Some designers don’t listen to
what others say while others simply
go with the flow. It’s the same with
music. Recording music is such a
long, tedious task. And when it’s
finally done sometimes it’s actually
embarrassing to listen to. It’s
helped me to realize many things
about myself. That in turn has
helped me with my design work.
Tell us about your typical day at work?
Jeonghyun Lee
I get to work at around 10 a.m.…
let’s say (laugh). Before I check my
mail I surf the major food blogs. It
sets me in the right mood for
work. After about 30 minutes I
immediately open my inbox and
start work, setting out a list of
things that need to be done. After
lunch I see how far I’ve gotten and
prioritize for late work or the week
Hansol Park
I also get to work around then, 9:30
or 10 a.m.. As I’m still new I
check my email often to get a
feel for what needs to be done.

I write a to-do list and get to doing
it. Have a cup of coffee, talk with my
peers, then get to work. Also our
team often goes to Suwon for work
so travel time factors into my
schedule too.
Minsun Kim
When I get to work and open my
inbox and see multiple messages
with the same subject, I know
there’s been something going on in
my absence. I check to see if there
are any ‘urgent’ tasks or specific
messages with my name on it
(laugh). Usually mornings are spent
taking care of that and afternoons
are for sketches and development
Jinwoo Ro
My day is divided between C. Lab -
When I need to be at Suwon I
usually am at work by 8 a.m. I try
to get in a workout before then, to
relieve stress (laugh). When I do
get to work I quickly check my
email because I need to see how
my day will be.
Jonghyeok Im
Please say that I get to work at nine,
on the dot! (laugh) I first search the
headlines and ease into my emails.
I have a schedule pad so I know
what my working week looks
Priority is given to supervisors
and pressing issues. From 10 a.m., I
start with the guidelines. Because
we work with large appliances, our
team is—on average—in Suwon
three times a week. We look at the
actual product and make the
needed adjustments back at the
office in Seoul.
Dahee Lee
I live in Incheon (outside of Seoul)
so the shuttle bus to work leaves
at 6 in the morning. I’m usually at
the office by 7 a.m. which leaves
me with three hours before the
others come into work. I do yoga
at the fitness center until eight
thirty or nine. When we work,
it’s usually as a team instead
of individually so we’re alert
and receptive of each other’s
personal schedules.
As a designer or a member of society, how have you changed from when you first started work here? How have you improved?
Jeonghyun Lee
I feel my sense of responsibility
has increased since I started as a
In school I often did work
I thought was cool, not really caring
about what others thought. Now it's
the opposite. I feel that pleasing the
greater majority is my role as a
designer, and finding out what their
needs are and how to solve them as
a sense of growth for me.
Minsun Kim
I’ve come to realize that the
work I’ve been doing for the
past two years is my own work
and not something I can hide
behind as inexperience.
I don’t know what to do doesn’t
cut it anymore; rather, my mindset
is ‘I need to get this done,’ and
that for me is the biggest differ-
ence from my school days.
Hansol Park
For me it’s similar also, being able to
explain myself to someone, be it a
developer or a fellow designer, and
to persuade that person to see the
things that I see.
Jonghyeok Im
Communication. In any kind of
work, really… the kind of people I
meet and the diverse range of
experiences I’m exposed to were
some things I was never really
ready for. To be able to communi-
cate my thoughts to these people
is my biggest achievement as a
Jinwoo Ro
Working as a team, in an organiza-
tion and planning a feasible sched-
ule is probably the biggest thing for
me. I’ve realized my limitations
and being able to plan my work
around that.
Working in an office
as a team is, in a word, collaborative.
Yes, I could get mad but then I have
to come back to work the next day
(laugh). So that and how I deal with it
has been an important revelation as
Dahee Lee
I agree with what everyone has said.
What we experience at the begin-
ning of our careers is similar, and for
me I think my personality has
become quite positive. When I have
a dispute with a colleague in the
office, I find myself trying to see the
issue from their perspective? I
sincerely believe a lot of problems in
our day-to-day encuonters with
each other can be solved by having
this kind of attitude.

The 12 or 24 months of these six designers must have been a series of new
and exciting experiences. Errors made from a lack of experience and a sense
of responsibility often too heavy to rest on sheer drive alone… the fruitions of
the everyday has and will slowly mold them into a better person as well as a
better designer.

Throughout the interview you may have noticed their reminiscing of their
school years and regretting not knowing then what they’ve realized now. At
the same time, conveying a sincerity to those who will follow in their foot-
steps, a word of caution or a shout of praise to ‘keep at it, it’s hard going but
worth it’.

Charles Eames once said, ‘to design something means to realize there is a
problem to solve.’ These six designers are striving to improve themselves,
not because they necessarily see a problem, rather they strive to fulfill a need
both within themselves and as a member of their team, and their company. It
is our sincerest hope at Design Samsung that these words coming from
these new designers will help you to fulfill your goals and dreams.

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