Jen Ng is a queer, Asian-American brand and product designer based in NYC. She’s spearheaded digital experiences for eCommerce, mHealth, fashion, education, and job-matching platforms for agencies and freelance clients — synthesizing research insights through storytelling for startup stakeholders while identifying key business opportunities.
She works on social justice projects rooted in LGBTQIA+ issues, race relations, youth empowerment and women’s advocacy for Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls; and previously, for media outlets including The Heart, Venus Zine and BUST. She currently organizes the event series Design x Activism, a creative think tank working together to address social justice issues through bi-weekly conversations and real-time workshopping in an interactive, virtual magazine format covering themes of Empathy, Language, Access and Invisibility. Her work explores ways that story, identity and self-expression can work together to strengthen communities.
In the masterclass, Jen will share her personal experiences of being excluded to help others find their sense of belonging. A child of immigrant parents who built their lives of the American Dream in rural Wisconsin where she was raised, she was often the only BIPOC around, shunned from social circles. Creative pursuits in writing, music and art allowed her to find purpose and community online, later landing her leadership roles as Literary Editor and Program Director throughout junior high school and into college. Still, she often found herself as the only BIPOC in these positions.
After entering the field of product design where Asian-American designers skewed towards the norm, she continued owning the status Odd-One-Out when it came to initiating conversations about social justice and equity-centered design solutions. In the heyday of the Black Lives Matter movement, she feels out of place when the media is doubling down on BIPOC communities, with Asians being neither here nor there. Jen’s lifelong status of being a misfit fuels her drive to help others relate to one another by bringing out their shared qualities rather than their differences — so that we are all seen, heard and included.
'Designing for inclusive experiences'
At a time when ROI, KPIs, datasets, and programmatic analytics drive design outcomes and marketing budgets, it can feel impossible to consider tossing demographics out the window. Never more than now, successful design is being in service to authentic human needs - and designing for journeys and experiences that connect with people in ways that help them feel seen, nurtured, and understood. Sure, our goal is to help them complete the journey at hand - but can we help users complete that journey feeling empowered at the endpoint? Absolutely... more >
Thursday, September 10, 19:30 - 21:30