Ken Loh - Pivoting to Product Design, My Best Career Move Ever
Tell us about yourself?
I started out as a software engineer working in financial services and spent many years building and managing teams and products before discovering the world of UX.
Over the last 10 years I’ve gradually worked towards pivoting my career to become an out-and-out UX Designer. More recently, I’ve been the Design Team Manager and Senior Product Designer at Masabi for the last 2 years.
This transition has been challenging but I’ve successfully moved into a new career path with the help of a few good mentors.
As a result, I’ve been very committed to mentoring efforts. By sharing my story and experiences, I can only hope that I’m passing on some good advice and knowledge that has been given to me so it may also help someone along their own career choices.
What led you to a career in tech?
Growing up, I was always surrounded by computers. My father owned his own computer shop and I’ve been ‘playing with’ both hardware and software from an early age.
Then in the noughties (and as we’re seeing now), there was a huge investment in tech as new tech companies (Google/Youtube/Twitter/Facebook) were emerging to take on older tech companies.
Leaving university, I found a great opportunity for working with essentially what I considered my childhood toys.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I don’t feel I have a ‘typical day’. That’s actually one of the great things about my role now.
On average I would divide my time between:
- People and Team Management
- Design Operations and Planning
- Collaboration and Meetings with Stakeholders, Product, Engineering and other services
- Designing - Understanding our users (general UX Research and documenting). Exploring (ideating and prototyping). Materializing (taking designs and testing them with users and then working with engineering to build and release the products)
- Company Culture - as a nominated Culture Caretaker Lead for my company, I work with our People Ops team to help build, reinforce and promote good working culture
Advice to your younger self?
Achieving goals and milestones should not be the only measure of success that makes you happy.
If you could invite anyone to join the Black Valley community, who and why?
Dan Norman. One of the founders of the term UX and he’s a brilliant public speaker
I did a Live Stream with Maze last year where I covered some use cases of how we do UX testing with users. It was incredibly fun and I hope you’ll learn some thing if you watch it.
Here’s the link for the Live Stream: