Berlin-based Designer of the Week Lu Yu works in various fields of communication, with a focus on interaction design and art direction. Read on to learn about her exciting digital adventures and find out what she’ll be up to next.
Name: Lu Yu
Design school attended: Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
How would you describe your work?
I am a designer with a branding and printing background. Right now I’m mostly working on digital products and websites, crafting things that are functional and beautiful. I love elegant, bold design with simple concepts and great execution. This is definitely something I try to achieve with all of my work.
Where do you find inspiration?
Over the last couple of years I’ve worked on Semplice, a leading portfolio building platform loved by thousands of creatives worldwide. One of my tasks is to curate our Showcase, where we feature two of the best portfolios built with Semplice every Wednesday. This requires me to review dozens if not hundreds of portfolios on a weekly basis. It’s been my main source of inspiration.
I find the work that’s different from my personal style especially inspiring. It’s not necessarily my aesthetic, but I think that’s where you learn the most.
Apart from looking at other creatives’ work, I also find my inspiration outside the design world. Contemporary art, modernist architecture, movies, traveling … any new experience is a great source of inspiration and motivates me to try new things.
Who are some of your favorite designers or artists?
Ask me on a different day of the week and I’ll have different answers. 🙂 It keeps changing as there are so many talented people out there, and it’s almost impossible to list them all! But it’s usually the people/team I work with that inspire me the most.
Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on?
Semplice is definitely at the top of my list.
The product has helped many great designers finally launch their portfolio, and I’m always blown away to see what other designers create.
We are a small team, and we don’t limit ourselves in one specific role. I’ve taken on a variety of challenges: designing the product interface, shaping the user experience, creating website and landing pages, managing social media, helping with customer support … It is impossible to get bored working on Semplice, and it’s incredibly inspiring to work with such talented people.
Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
I consider every new project of mine the new biggest challenge, but among those, Memomi might be one of the most interesting. Memomi is the world’s first high-fidelity, true-vision digital imaging software platform. They offer a set of digital AR mirrors for high-end fashion brands like Tom Ford, Sephora, and Neiman Marcus.
This is a great example of “the best interface is no interface.” Although the mirror itself is in fact a screen, we try to minimize interaction needed from the user, as well as make it feel like a real mirror we would use every day. It’s certainly a challenge, but a fun one.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
This is a question I keep asking myself almost every day. I am passionate about so many things related to design: UI/UX, branding, illustration, product design, AR/VR … But at this moment I am very interested in AR/VR and voice interfaces, and I see a big opportunity there; especially for helping people with physical disabilities.
What’s your best advice for designers today?
Be patient, stay focused, and work on your craft. It’s easy to get lost in the design world nowadays with design trends, job titles, tools … As designers we need to constantly remind ourselves that the work is the only thing that matters.