Nicci Yin

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Nicci Yin

UX / UI / Visual Designer

Seattle, WA

www.nicciyin.com
instagram @nicciyin

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am a UX/UI and Visual Designer, creating primarily for digital media.

Occasionally, I will take on print and illustration work as well. On the user experience side, I design a project’s structure, interactions, and layout, with special consideration to usability and accessibility. On the visual design side, I focus on UI, color, typography, animations, illustrations, and photography. This sometimes involves giving recommendations for new content to create a beautiful design that also coheres to the client’s brand and messaging.

 

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

I took a detour in my path to becoming a designer. Rather than fully commit to design school as an 18 year old, I opted for a liberal arts education, a path that has expanded my critical thinking abilities and my versatile skill set beyond design, which I think is incredibly important to have as a contemporary designer.

After a series of internships in public art and exhibition design and a job out of college where I was still doing graphic and web design, I found myself craving a formal design education. I chose an MFA in design and technology at ArtCenter College of Design that would allow me to build my design skills while giving me the freedom to experiment and play with ideas.

I now have experience ranging from being a product designer at an innovation lab to contract work with small design agencies. All of these steps led me to where I am now, as a UX/UI and Visual Designer who is flexible across various platforms, and can fluently digest and translate client concepts into polished designs.

 

How do you stand out in your field?

Beyond working as a designer professionally, I am also interested in design as a tool for research. My background has given me an understanding of emerging technologies, which I feel is a space that design can still intervene into. I don’t think of design solely as a commercial tool, but when possible, I enjoy blurring the line between design and art in order to present and exhibit my independent work in other spaces.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

At the very moment, I am working on updating my portfolio with my most recent projects—a sports bra finder experience, a Shopify site for a sustainable shoe start-up, and a portfolio site for an interior designer. I am also starting on design and project management for a client’s CMS migration to WordPress. Outside of work, I am tackling some DIY furniture projects for my home.

 

WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?

Ideally, I would like to create timeless, clean designs that fit a client’s voice and brand, and don’t just follow trends. But this isn’t mutually exclusive to being experimental and fun and trying out new things. I love bold typography, pretty colors, figuring out systems, and innovative ways of thinking about a problem.

 

WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?

I wish I could spend some time returning to my visual arts roots. I bought a set of gouache paints a few months ago but haven’t gotten around to using them very much yet.

 

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

How to better help clients understand the value of design to their business and why it sometimes costs more time or money than they would like, since delivering high quality designs that have been considered from all angles is preferable to constantly revising designs at more cost down the road.

 

IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

I would hire someone to help me meal prep for the week. It sounds silly, but thinking about food takes up so much of my mental energy that it would help offload some of the responsibility to someone who knows about nutrition and knows what tastes good.

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LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

Even though I don’t regret any part of how I got to where I am now as a designer, I wish I could tell my high school self—as I was making the choice between a liberal arts school or design school—to not be afraid to take the risk and go for a design education. I think I was afraid of “missing out” on all the other potential career paths out there, but what I’ve learned is that early inclinations that eventually become lifelong ones should not be just pushed aside for something that feels safer.

 

IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

Business basics. Through conversations with many friends who are also freelancers or running their own businesses, it seems that almost everyone has to figure it out as we go (budgets, taxes, all of that). I appreciate the resource sharing among fellow creative folks, but if I could just sit down with an expert to get the full download on not just what goes on under the hood, but how to keep marketing myself (something I don’t always feel comfortable doing), that would be sweet

 

WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

I am looking for exciting digital projects that require UX, UI, and/or visual design. If the opportunity arises, I would love to take on smaller branding projects as well.

In addition to projects, I am also open to in-house contracts (minimum 3 months, ideally in Seattle).

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DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.

My ideal client openly communicates deadlines and their needs, and wants to be involved and timely with providing feedback. I would also hope that we have mutual respect for our areas of expertise and can trust each other to make decisions based on this. Always a plus if the client (individual or business) I am working with is feminist, queer- and/or POC-owned or values inclusivity in its mission.

 

WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE? 

I appreciate the value of having a wide range of clients and want to be able to accommodate different budget needs. I typically charge by service, but let's talk to figure out what works best for the scope of the project!

 

HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

Send me an email at hello@nicciyin.com with your name/company, how to reach you, a brief 1-2 sentence description of your project, timeline, and a good time for us to chat in real-time.

 

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

Memes.


This member profile was originally published in November 2019.