Yanwen Hu

Specialized in Graphic Design.

Yanwen Hu

About Yanwen Hu

Yanwen is an award-winning designer specializing in user experience, data visualization and graphic design. When Yanwen served as a User Experience Designer at Conde Nast Digital, she worked on multiple global brands' website redesign projects, including Glamour, Conde Nast Traveler, Epicurious, Teen Vogue and Golf Digest. Those projects have been nominated by the Webby Awards in 2015 and 2016. Besides that, Yanwen’s design has been exhibited in New York and Beijing, China. Additionally, her work has been featured in various publications. Now she serves as a jury member for CSS Design Awards 2017, 47th Creativity International Awards, and a mentor for NYC UXPA mentorship program.

  • Winner of 2 A' Design Awards.
  • Specialized in Graphic Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Graphic
  • Mobile
Chinese History Infographic Book

Chinese History Infographic Book

Graphic Design

Buddy Mobile App

Buddy Mobile App

Mobile Design


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Interview with Yanwen Hu

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
I studied painting since I was 6 years old and won several China national painting awards when I was little. From that time, I discovered that art and design are my true passions. Unlike my parents who both majored in Science and Engineering, I am always interested in visual languages, and eventually, I decided to be a designer. I studied Visual Communication Design at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Then I got a scholarship to pursue an MFA degree at Pratt Institute in New York, USA.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
I am currently working as a Senior UX/UI Designer at Moda Operandi in New York, which is a global online luxury retailer.
What is "design" for you?
"Design" is to build the bridges between two separated things.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
I am interested in User Experience Design, Data Visualization, Infographic, Book Design and Graphic Design.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
"We Feel Fine" by Jonathan Harris. His work aims at exploring human emotion from weblogs all over the world. It picks up the emotional words in the phrases “I feel” and “I am feeling,” and expresses them in a visually attractive system.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
Glamour Beauty's site lipstick.com's Slideshow template.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
Collecting and sorting information, then narrowing down the design concepts based on the analysis.
What makes a design successful?
Maintaining the voice of design but speaking from your audiences' perspectives.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
Good design should receive positive feedbacks from both designers and its audiences.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
Designers should use their skills to improve people's lives and change the prejudices.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
Design might exist in more media because of technology, but its methodologies are unchanged.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
2014, "Pending Exhibition," All Things Project Gallery, With 19 other designers, NEW YORK/USA.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
I have my personal digital inspiration "library" collecting the design I found in exhibitions or online.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
I currently live in New York, the United States, but I am originally from Beijing, China. The cross-culture background definitely influences my thinking and design.
How do you work with companies?
Most of the time I work as an in-house designer collaborating with other teams, like engineering, product, and QA.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
Talking to the designer personally to see whether both of you share the similar understanding on the upcoming project.
What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
A vase I got from MoMA, antique lamp, wall bookshelf, hand-made glasses, hand-drew cups.
Can you describe a day in your life?
On weekends I usually go to the coffee shop downstairs and spend several hours reading books or writing blogs there.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
Positive: being a designer allows you to dream big every day; Negative: being a designer also need to find ways to make dream come true.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
Depends on the scale of the project. It might vary from one day to one year.
What was your most important job experience?
When I served as a User Experience Designer at Conde Nast Digital, I worked on multiple global brands' website redesign projects, including Glamour, Conde Nast Traveler, Epicurious, Teen Vogue and Golf Digest. Those projects have been nominated by the Webby Awards in 2015 and 2016.
Who are some of your clients?
Lenovo, Glamour, Conde Nast Traveler, Epicurious, Teen Vogue, Golf Digest, W Magazine, Self, Moda Operandi, etc.
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
Infographic and data visualization. I can use design skills to illustrate my point of views.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
Most of the time I lead the design by myself, but I do collaborate with other designers on some projects.
Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
A series of infographics illustrating the relationship between design, business, and engineering.

Designer of the Day Interview with Yanwen Hu

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?
I started painting since I was six then I decided to study design in college. After that I went to New York for Master program. Later I was working for Conde Nast, where I had chance to work closely with lots of famous magazines.
How did you become a designer?
My parents were majoring in science and engineering so they were a little bit hesitated about my decision. They felt I should be a scientist or an engineer. But I love painting since my childhood, so they are supportive and encourage me to do what I want.
What are your priorities, technique and style when designing?
I am always obsessed with complexity of structures and patterns. That is why I am doing data visualization because I like charts and numbers. I feel the visualization shows the beauty of statistics.
Which emotions do you feel when designing?
For most of my work, design is not my first step. Most of time I will write down my feeling when the feeling hits me. The words are more abstract and linear, while the visual language has more dimensions. In my work I am trying to explore the both parts.
What particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?
I think the logical thinking coming from my parents' background definitely influences me a lot. In my daily work as a lead UX designer, I like reading metrics by myself.
What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?
User Experience Design is my dream design field. It is hybrid, including information architecture, interaction design, visual design and research. It is a great area that I can integrate both my design aesthetics and logical thinking together.
What are your advices to designers who are at the beginning of their career?
Explore the world and discover yourself. Know what you like and what you are good at.
You are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?
Embrace every opportunities and do not say "no" to yourself at the beginning.
What is your day to day look like?
My daily work is quite busy. Now there are lots of meetings with stakeholders which means I have less time designing compared to the past; on the other hand, I learnt a lot about business directions and product strategies, which are helpful for design. Sometimes you really need to see the vision, then you can evaluate and execute the idea.
How do you keep up with latest design trends? To what extent do design trends matter?
I am reading tech and design blogs during my commute. In the technology industry, everything changes so fast. Even for designers, it is important to know the new techniques and trends.
How do you know if a product or project is well designed? How do you define good design?
Definitely designers will evaluate any products or projects from aesthetic standpoint, but most importantly is whether it makes sense to its users. Balancing the aesthetics and utility is one of my rules to evaluate projects.
How do you decide if your design is ready?
To be honest, design is never FULLY ready. Everyday you can still find some parts in the design that you want to change. But for work, you need to launch your products. So it is essential in work to collaborate with other team members like Product Managers and Developers and prioritize design by different phases. No product can launch all the features at the same time.
What is your biggest design work?
My most favorite work is 5000 Years Chinese History Visualization, which is my college capstone project. That time I spent nearly one year researching history, which I am always interested in. I really appreciate my school gave me one year to explore the things I love.
Who is your favourite designer?
I likes German and North European Design since I was in school. Also I am really into the data visualization published by the New York Times. Actually that was one of the reason I decided to move to New York for my graduate school.
Would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?
Beijing is my hometown, which is the capital in China. It is a fast-growing city and has over 20 million population. I think that might make me try to discover the beauty of complexity. There are lots of things going on and they are all connected in some ways.
Would you tell us more about your work culture and business philosophy?
As a UX designer, I believe the best product coming from a perfect "triangle:" design + technology + business/product. Design's mission is to find and push for the features that are benefit for users; technology is about the current technique capability whether we can make the product come true; while business is about when and how we can make the products survive in the reality.
What are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?
I always feel local design communities are so helpful. I was serving as a mentor for NXPA NYC last year and my mentee was still in school. We kept talking for almost half a year, about her portfolios, interviews, jobs, future career, etc. The responsibility as lead designer is not just designing, but also mentoring. I even learnt a lot from helping her.
What positive experiences you had when you attend the A’ Design Award?
I think the most impressive part is how A' Design Award is keep connecting you to multiple activities.

Extended Interview with Yanwen Hu

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?
I studied Visual Communication Design at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Then I got a scholarship to pursue an MFA degree at Pratt Institute in New York, USA.
How did you become a designer?
I studied painting since I was 6 years old and won several China national painting awards when I was little. From that time, I discovered that art and design are my true passions.
What are your priorities, technique and style when designing?
Unlike my parents who both majored in Science and Engineering, I am always interested in visual languages, and eventually, I decided to be a designer.
Which emotions do you feel when designing?
I am interested in User Experience Design, Data Visualization, Infographic, Book Design and Graphic Design.
What particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?
Learning from your peers; taking challenges as opportunities; being open-minded.
What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?
Whether this designer has a clear long-term career goal and how he/she influences younger designers.
What are your advices to designers who are at the beginning of their career?
Good design should receive positive feedbacks from both designers and its audiences.
You are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?
Design builds the bridges between audiences and brands. Good design can benefit both parties, eventually, affects societies.
What is your day to day look like?
A series of infographics illustrating the relationship between design, business, and engineering in the technology industry.
How do you keep up with latest design trends? To what extent do design trends matter?
Research projects focusing on design principles and methodologies.
What is your biggest design work?
"We Feel Fine" by Jonathan Harris. His work aims at exploring human emotion from weblogs all over the world. It picks up the emotional words in the phrases “I feel” and “I am feeling,” and expresses them in a visually attractive system.
Who is your favourite designer?
5000-Year History of China. It is a big challenge to visualize the huge amount of uncountable historical data.
What positive experiences you had when you attend the A’ Design Award?
Professor Jingren Lu. He was my college thesis advisor, who encouraged me to study design in the United States.

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