This post is a lot of firsts - first coworker from Flatiron Health, first maternity feature, first rooftop session! Let’s dive right in.
Tell us a little about you.
Hi, my name is Yuki, I’m a UX design manager at Flatiron Health. I design products and services to improve lives. And I’m a mom of two wonderful little humans.
What are you trying to say with these outfits?
Pregnant ladies can be fashionable, too!
What are you working on at the moment, and what do you love about it?
I am working on a Practice Management System at Flatiron Health. I love it because it sits at the intersection of finance and healthcare - two of the most highly regulated environments that haven’t grown up around customer-centric practices, so there is a lot of room for innovation and disruption.
How did you land where you are now? Did you have a plan?
Being a generalist and building relationships along the way. I didn’t have a specific plan but I always had a compass that guides me towards certain types of problems to solve and certain types of people to solve the problem with.
How would you describe your style and its evolution?
The motto “less is more” pretty much summarizes my style evolution - I used to love accessories and mismatch funky colors, now I care a lot more about comfort and function. I feel most me in a bold color jumpsuit with an asymmetrical neckline, something that’s chic, simple but not overly feminine. In fact, I wore a white jumpsuit at my own wedding and loved the choice :-)
How do you choose what to wear each day?
Prior to COVID days, I usually chose what I would like to wear based on my color mood, the weather, and the type of activities scheduled. If I had an important meeting, I would pick something that makes me feel powerful. At the moment, I’m wearing yoga pants and a hoodie - remote working style.
What’s a silver lining you’ve found during these interesting/difficult times?
I have a 10-month-old baby at home, being able to spend more time with her and not miss any of the developmental milestones made me feel grateful.
Did your relationship with work change after having children?
Finding the balance between work life and family life became a lot more important as a mom. I learned to create boundaries around my working hours so I could better engage with my kids when they need me the most.
What’s a project you’ve worked on that you’re proud of?
I had a player-coach role at my last job where I led the mobile team to revamp the Planning App for The Knot. The project opened new business opportunities for the mobile team, it put us on the center stage for over 1.2 million users. It also coincided with the rebranding effort along with organizational changes which challenged me to work with many senior stakeholders.
You’ve worked in a couple of different fields, how does that change your role?
I studied brain cognition in school and have had a long list of titles in my career including strategist, product manager, start-up co-founder, and of course UX designer. In a way, my career journey also reflected the progression of UX Design in our industry, my passion has largely stayed the same even though my title changed many times on paper. I’m glad many of the skill sets I learned in school and in the early days of my career are becoming increasingly useful when I approach problem solving as a UX designer today.
What do you wish other people in your industry knew about UX design?
UX is an emerging discipline that often requires us to wear a lot of different hats, we do a lot more than just creating pixels for an user interface. Also, many of us come from a variety of backgrounds, I’ve worked with UX designers who used to be lawyers, marketers, theatre teachers. What we have in common is that we want to represent the user’s needs and improve the overall user experience while balancing against the business goals and technical constraints.
Are there any misconceptions about STEM as a whole that you’d like to clear up?
Just because someone graduated from STEM majors didn’t mean they are smarter and would land jobs with a bigger paycheck. Don’t do STEM for the sake of STEM.
Anything exciting coming up on the horizon?
Now that I have a daughter, I have a lot more opportunities to play dress up with her. Very much looking forward to that, hahaha.
Will you leave us with a piece of non-traditional career advice?
Instead of simply “follow your passion”, figure out the intersection of what you like, what you are good at, and what the world needs.
What is the best way for people to connect with you?
I cannot thank Yuki enough for doing 2 photo shoots with me, less than a week out from her maternity leave. I hope I captured the grace, humor, and insight she brings to all our interactions.
P.S. if you need a prompt to say hi, Yuki’s interested in hearing about your experimentations with capsule wardrobes