Meet Amber, the UX/UI Designer at Kai Analytics
Amber was born and raised in Vancouver and she has just completed her last semester in Communication Design at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Currently, she’s working as a UX/UI Designer at Kai Analytics. As a visual designer she has a keen eye for user experience design and creates graphics for our research solutions. She is fluent in French and has a Shiba Inu puppy named Koko.
You just finished your degree, Communication Design at Emily Carr, what did you get to learn there and what was the best part about studying there?
After a bit under four years' time, I finally graduated this May from my program. Throughout my whole undergrad, my favourite project that I’ve ever worked on has got to be my thesis project which I worked on throughout my whole senior year. However, with COVID-19 hitting us last year, the downfall was that we had to do it all at home only meeting virtually, as opposed to working at school like you would during normal times. Unfortunately, our end of the year celebrations and grad exhibitions had to be cancelled which I really looked forward to for a long time, but I’m glad that we’re at least more prepared than the last grad glass was, and we’ll be able to display our work through a virtual show on our online website. Overall, through all the courses I’ve taken, one of the things I loved the most was seeing everyone’s creative endeavours through group critiques, and I really liked the environment of being able to collaborate with all my classmates. It's definitely what I miss the most about in person classes, as it’s difficult maintaining your creative energy with such a self-led project over a whole year, and meeting through a screen isn’t nearly the same. Having a lot of creative freedom was a big part of my degree, as the design program at Emily Carr is pretty artistically free compared to more technical institutions. My portfolio can be found at amberko.com, and my thesis project explores third cultures and identities, specifically with Chinese Canadian identities because that is something I grew up in and I am very proud of. Go check out my project once it’s up!
What does a typical day at Kai Analytics look like for you?
I get a lot of freedom with my working time and when it comes to design it really depends on the phase of the project I am in. I am either doing research and analysis such as competitive research, mood boards, mind mapping, or I will be on Miro with my teammates doing brainstorm sessions. If I’m in the design phase I will be on Figma working on user flows, wireframing, prototyping, doing the visual and technical design work on my screen. Some days I carry out visual design tasks to help with research and marketing needs.
What is the most rewarding part about working here?
Probably my teammates. Everyone here is really fun to work with and are really nice people. :)
What has been the most exciting project you got to work on so far at Kai Analytics?
As I’m a fairly new member of the team, so far I have had the opportunity to work on only one project, Unigrams, which I was assigned to through my school's Design for Startups program. I would say that Unigrams is a lot of fun to work on, as I especially loved designing the platform. The research is important too but it can get pretty long and repetitive, but the design phase of the project is when I really get to put my creativity to the test. It’s been fun coming up with the branding and visual style of how Unigrams is going to look like.
Where do you see Unigrams in five years?
Hopefully, in a few years' time Unigrams will be fully developed. It will be properly coded onto the web and have gone through additional revisions to make it as good as it can possibly be. I hope that five years from now Unigrams will be widely used by post-secondary institutions, and it will help them analyze qualitative data to take their programs and student life to the next level.
What do you like doing outside of work?
Before the pandemic, I loved to go out and take pictures especially while travelling, specifically on my film. Shooting on film just hits differently as you’ve got to think through what you want to take a picture of with a limited amount of frames you get on a roll of film.I really enjoyed going to cafes and getting coffee with my friends, and just exploring my outside environments in general. Unfortunately, with COVID-19 I have had to put these hobbies to a reduced capacity or on hold. Ever since then, I’ve learned how to make my own coffee drinks at home which has been fun, going on walks in different neighbourhoods with my dog, and I’ve have had more time to watch shows (my favourites are Korean dramas). As a creative, I also love looking for all sorts of inspiration in fashion, photography, and design through platforms like Pinterest!