Elwin Dong (董天田) completed a Master of Design in 2009.
Elwin completed a Master of Design at UNSW and a Master of Interactive & Digital Media at the University of Sydney during his time in Sydney between 2008-2011. On the completion of his studies, Elwin returned to China and joined Huawei as a UI Design representative. He subsequently worked at Hisense as a Senior User Experience Architect, then spent time as the Manager of Consumer Insights at Nielsen, before moving into Lenovo as a Senior UX Designer. Recently, he just started a new career in China Unicom as a Sr. UX designer.
At the end of 2014, Elwin joined UXPA China and founded the Qingdao branch. The branch expanded quickly and now has a team of 14 members covering local major enterprises and universities. The team successfully introduced UXDA to Ocean University of China, and tutored a student team named Fisssh, which was promoted to the TOP10 in 2015, becoming the first and only Shandong province team to do so.
In 2012, Elwin published his personal novel ‘Lives of the young in Sydney (悉游记)’. From 2011 to now, his five articles have been published or collected in CSDN, UXPA thesis collection and other magazines. Based on the real story, his second novel is also being published and depicts the tough situation that mobile user experience undergoes in a large enterprise in China.
At UNSW Art & Design we encourage our students to explore the breadth of career opportunities available to them. The Design Your Future series showcases the journeys of our unique and inspiring design alumni.
Tell us a bit about your career in design? Were there any pivotal moments on the path to where you are now?
Since I commenced my career as a designer, the scope and meaning of design has changed significantly. It has evolved into a multifaceted discipline with designers needing to broaden their knowledge base and be more agile, especially in the face of advances in AI, which can create professional designs.
Most rewarding aspect of a career in design?
To keep growing as a designer and to stay in the foreground of the design world. This means you must be avant-garde all the time (which means you will never get left behind).
Most interesting design challenge/project you've worked on?
A project I worked on in 2014-16 stands out, where we collaborated with a leading design studio in Germany to create a flagship mobile ID design. It presented numerous challenges, such as a tight time frame and budget, a shift in the senior management, and working with a diverse team and various stakeholders. Notably, I got to sign my name on the contract worth several million dollars.
What about your UNSW experience has helped you in your career?
Having a comprehensive and in-depth knowledge of design ethics has given me a solid base for my design process and thinking. A big thank you to UNSW Art & Design lecturers Dr Micheal Garbutt and Ms Selena Griffth, who taught me a great deal during my studies. I invited Micheal to give a video lecture to CXD Huawei in 2014 and contributed a chapter for Selena's book series (Visual Tools for Developing Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Capacity), so the connections I made while a student are still important now that I'm an alumnus.
One skill you learnt at UNSW that has been invaluable?
Ethical thinking in design is the standout.
Designing Your Future – one piece of advice for aspiring designers?
Design empowers civilization and evolution.