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Harriet

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Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to dive into the captivating world of design, productivity, and the blend of art and technology that makes life more organized and meaningful. We bring you an intriguing conversation with the multifaceted UX designer and creator - Harriet.

Born in the vibrant city of Hong Kong, now based in the captivating milieu of the United Kingdom, Harriet’s journey takes us through the ever-evolving landscape of design and innovation. She is a maestro who crafts a beautiful amalgamation of aesthetics and functionality. From her exploration of Notion, the creation of her coveted templates, to her adventures with her guinea pig Tori – her story is one that is both inspiring and grounded in the real world.

Harriet’s forte is not only limited to UX design; she is also an aspiring polyglot, a seasoned singer, a burgeoning YouTuber, and an ardent K-pop enthusiast. More importantly, she is a continuous learner who isn’t afraid to push the boundaries of creativity.

With a cup of coffee in her hand and a song in her heart, Harriet navigates the challenging world of UX design, effortlessly intertwining her skills with her passion for creating value for her followers. This incredible journey has just begun, and there is so much more to unfold.

So, buckle up and get ready for an incredible ride into the exciting, creative, and highly caffeinated world of Harriet.

Q: What led you to the discovery of Notion and what made you stick with it?

A: My journey began around 2021 when I was carving out my identity as a Graphic Designer on Instagram. Notion struck me as a highly intuitive and customizable platform. The freedom to design blank pages and shuffle them around using the Kanban view was like a breath of fresh air for me as I juggled the task of scheduling my social content.

Q: Can you share with us the hurdles you faced while launching your debut Notion template?

A: The roadblock I constantly bumped into was having an avalanche of ideas and deciding which to follow through on. To navigate this, I asked myself – what challenges am I currently grappling with, and how can a Notion template be the solution? The answer was crystal clear – a Product Launch Planner.

A product launch is a challenge common to many creators, from conceptualization to promoting their templates across various platforms. Every step holds untapped potential if you look keenly. Instead of merely brainstorming template ideas, pinpoint the problem you’re aiming to solve. This ensures that you’re not wasting energy on a solution for a non-issue, creating a product void of any tangible value.

Q: What inspired you to embark on the path of a creator?

A: I draw inspiration from a plethora of creators, both within the Notion community, like Easlo, Red Gregory, and Thomas Frank, and in the UX arena, like Rachel How and Aliena Cai. They don’t just excel in their respective fields but also add immense value to people’s lives, building a devoted and supportive community around them.

This led me to ponder, beyond my full-time job, what greater impacts could I catalyze with my skills and knowledge? The epiphany was realizing that I didn’t have to be an “expert” to make a difference, but merely share my learnings along the way. The roles of a “creator” and a “UX designer” needn’t be mutually exclusive. Instead, one can feed into the other, creating a virtuous cycle of growth and learning.

Q: Could you tell us a bit about your journey into UX design?

A: My foray into UX design happened when I found myself jobless after the marketing agency I was a part of shut down. I felt adrift, unsure of how to leverage my Architecture degree and Graphic Design experience.

The concept of UX caught my attention while watching Product Designer vlogs on YouTube. Intrigued, I enrolled in Google’s UX certificate program and immersed myself in various discord communities, collaborating on UX projects. Participating in hackathons allowed me to gain hands-on experience working with engineers, which proved invaluable during my startup internship.

The more I delved into UX, the more I realized how it resonated with my skills and interests. From understanding human behavior through Psychology to constructing a comprehensive experience with an empathetic perspective from Architecture, my existing skills meshed perfectly with UX. Using these experiences, I crafted my portfolio narrative.

After about nine grueling months of job hunting, I finally landed my current UX role. I’m incredibly grateful to be a part of such an amazing company, teeming with learning opportunities and a supportive team culture.

Q: Have you incorporated any skills from your UX design work into creating templates in Notion?

A: Absolutely! UX permeates every aspect of template creation in Notion, from conducting user research to designing the template layout. In fact, user experience is essential for any interaction, digital or physical. Whenever human interaction is involved, prioritizing user experience is key.

Q: How does Notion complement your productivity system?

A: Personally, I see Notion as my “Second Brain”. In this information-saturated age, it’s crucial to have a neatly organized repository of knowledge for future reference. Besides, Notion helps me plan my side projects with clear tasks and objectives, keeping me focused and less overwhelmed.

On the professional front, I use Notion to jot down daily notes and meeting minutes (since a day in UX = an influx of meetings). It also provides a safe haven for capturing my learnings at work, which I later use to reflect on whether I’ve met my OKRs.

Q: Any exciting Notion template projects you’re currently working on that you’d like to share?

A: Well, I’ll keep the specifics under wraps for now, but I’m considering launching a new series of templates catering to aspiring UX designers. Keep your eyes peeled for more!

Q: How does an ordinary day unfold for you?

A: Despite what you might expect, my days are far from glamorous. I wake up, fuel up with breakfast, and prepare for daily standups by powering up my laptop. The rest of my day is usually spent shuttling between Slack and Figma. That’s about it! However, I do plan to incorporate daily walks and meditation into my routine once I relocate to London for a healthy mind space.

Q: I happen to know that you have an unusual pet, a guinea pig named Tori. Can you share something about her?

A: Tori and I share a somewhat complex bond. We’ve been companions for over seven years now, a journey that started during my high school days and continues into my adult life. However, I suspect Tori hasn’t fully warmed up to me yet as she only seeks me out when she’s hungry and needs food.

Here’s a pic of Tori in her ladybug suit – doubt that she’s digging it, Haha!!

Q: What’s your go-to activity to unwind and de-stress?

A: Despite my constant screen time, even post-work (whether working on Notion projects or catching up on K-dramas on my iPad), singing is my sanctuary. It’s a passion I’ve nurtured since childhood. I’m also keen on learning to dance because, in my eyes, good dancers radiate a captivating aura!

Q: Could you share a goal or dream that you’re currently chasing?

A: My current goal is to consistently nurture my side hustle, whether as a Notion creator or an upcoming UX YouTube creator. I hope to persistently work towards it without losing steam halfway. (PS: This is my third YouTube channel, and unlike treating my UX channel as a casual hobby, I’m excited to see the heights it could reach with my dedicated efforts.)

As we wrap up our insightful conversation with Harriet, it’s evident that her journey is one of constant learning, undeterred passion, and the courage to embark on new ventures. Her love for design, a keen eye for detail, and commitment to adding value to people’s lives shine through every word she speaks.

From her humble beginnings in graphic design to her current prowess as a UX designer, from her enthusiastic plunge into the world of Notion to her innovative template creation, Harriet epitomizes the essence of a multifaceted creator. Her fascinating experiences, coupled with her candid outlook on life, provide inspiration and a roadmap for all aspiring creators and designers.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Harriet’s story serves as a powerful reminder that our passions and interests can truly shape our lives. Her love for singing, her affinity for aesthetic places, her pursuit of language mastery, and her aspiration to remain consistent with her side hustle, all embody the vibrant energy and passion that she brings to everything she does.

Her journey is far from over. As she steps towards her future dreams and goals, we can’t help but wait in anticipation to see where her path leads her next. Thank you, Harriet, for sharing your story with us, and for illuminating the intertwined worlds of design, productivity, and personal growth. Here’s to many more years of creation, innovation, and bringing joy to the world through your work.

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