A story about how a lab researcher with a passion for illustration became a UX Designer

For this post, I like to share stories from Marielle Palatino, a designer from the San Francisco Bay Area. This post will feature a set of interview-like questions with responses from Marielle.

First off, can you share a little bit about yourself?

Illustration made by Marielle

I was born and raised in Stockton and am a first-generation Filipino-American! I graduated from UC Davis with a biochemistry degree and minor in studio art, which seems like an unconventional mix. But I’ve always had a life-long passion for illustration, and at the time, I didn’t know there were creative career paths besides fine art and graphic design. …


Answer the “Tell me about yourself” question well to set the tone for the rest of your interview.

There seems to be an endless list of things to prepare for when it comes to job interviews. One of the biggest areas of preparation is to practice interview questions, which is critical for both the initial phone screenings and the later 1:1 interview rounds of the UX job interview process.

If you google common UX interview questions,” you will find dozens of articles that feature anywhere from top 7 to over 100 most common interview questions to prepare for. When you look closer, most of these questions are centered around your design process, general UX knowledge, collaboration experiences, and…


Meet Joleen Hsu, a designer working on her own startup to promote BIPOC owned small businesses

Being a design mentor for several years, I had the great fortune to meet and work with so many talented people and hear about their stories. Most of these stories are fascinating, and I often thought they are worth sharing with a broader audience for entertainment and learning purposes. Therefore, I came up with the idea to start a new series of articles called Designer Portraits.

Designer Portraits is an article series that tells stories from user experience designers. Each “portrait” aims to uncover unique stories behind a designer’s background, projects, process, and more.

Today, I like to share stories…


4 tips to get the most benefits out of your mentorship.

Some of the most impactful learnings throughout my life came from other people I reached out to. I didn’t truly grasp the power of mentorship until I decided to get into a job field that my education didn’t prepare me for. When I started the self-taught journey of learning design, my main learning routines were reading books, following online tutorials, and going out of my way to connect with industry professionals by attending events. As an introvert, it was a challenge for me to put myself out there and “network” with people. It was even more of a challenge to…


Throughout my career, I’ve created, contributed, and maintained different forms of design systems at various companies. Now I am working as a UX Designer at Chegg, leading the design system efforts.

Depending on the needs of the team, a system can be as simple as a user interface toolkit file or as complex as a multi-page playbook about the brand, UI patterns, collaboration process, and more. …


A look at the state of UI design tools mid-2020

It’s 2020, the market today is saturated with UI design tools. Ever since Sketch app came out with its sleek, simple, and efficient tool to craft user interface design, many companies have followed suit to take a piece of the design tools market share. Based on the 2019 Design tools survey conducted by UXtools.co, Sketch was leading the way last year but quite a few tools are catching up if you compared to the previous year.

2019 most popular UI design tools survey result


5 frequently asked questions to help you get started.

Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

At the start of 2020, it was hard to even imagine we will be dealing with a pandemic, which caused unfortunate hardships for many. I’ve heard from people in my network that are dealing with shelter-in-place adjustments, medical issues, and loss of jobs. In times like this, people are forced to take a second look at their career choice and question whether they are working in the right industry. From my experience coaching people from my network or through programs like Designlab in the last few months, I noticed a spike of people interested to learn more about UX Design…


I often discuss the topic of improving visual design skills with junior and mid-level designers. While there are a number of design principles the designers should learn and practice, one important skill that is not often considered and deliberately practiced is the ability to spot visual problems within a design. Over time, “an eye for detail” can certainly be acquired over time with UI challenges and design projects but the earlier a designer can develop the ability to catch common visual design mistakes, the sooner it is for the designer to level up his or her visual design quality.

For…


Practical examples of how to build a simple hover state prototype with some of the most popular prototyping tools on the market.

There are tons of options available for UX designers to prototype a user experience and you may not know what are the pros and cons of each tool just yet. The main goal of this post is to give you a taste of each tool’s prototyping workflow by taking you through the process of building a simple hover state example. By the end of these exercises, you should have a high-level idea of the jobs that are suitable for each of the tools.

What are we building?

Since the goal is to get a quick understanding of the prototyping tool’s workflow, we don’t need…


Probably one of the most common questions I talk about with aspiring UX designers is how to make the resume presentable especially in the case where they haven’t had design experience yet. It’s the classic chicken or the egg problem where employers want to hire someone with experience but how would you get experience if no one wants to hire someone without experience.

Emphasize any and all design knowledge you got

Yes, you may not have any working design experience just yet. …

Poyi Chen

Designer. Career Coach. Productivity Nerd. See more content on http://www.poyichen.com

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