Sonar Team Spotlight: Wynne
Happy Friday, friends!
We’re capping off the week with a Sonar Team Spotlight on Wynne (pronounced “Winnie”) Chan, Sonar’s product designer. Wynne was born in New York City but grew up in upstate New York. She moved back to the City to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and has lived here since. Outside of work, Wynne likes to make pottery and knit. Read on to learn more!
That’s cool that you went to FIT! What did you study there?
I started off in Fine Arts, then switched to Communication Design, which is what they called Graphic Design back then. At my first few jobs, I learned HTML and front-end development - that’s where I got my web design skills.
Neat. What do you do here at Sonar?
I do product design. I design Sonar’s features, interface, interactions - basically, what you see and how you use the App. It’s like graphic design mixed with user experience. I also made the website. My main tools are Illustrator and Photoshop, and I also code HTML and CSS.
When it comes to designing, are you influenced at all by your background in art or inspired by any things in particular?
I’m usually inspired by fashion or architecture. They’re the oldest forms of design. I like to look at architecture and fashion and break down what makes a building or piece of clothing successful and important. Then I try to see what the equivalent of that is in interaction or product design. With clothes, the most important thing isn’t the pattern or color, it’s the cut. That’s how I like to think about design. If you compare fashion to interaction design, in fashion, the cut is the most important part, because it’s the form, and in interaction design, the user experience is the most important part, and you build on top of that.
That’s really interesting, I’ve never thought about design that way. Do you have any fashion advice for us?
I like buying clothes that I could wear in 10 years and still get compliments on because that means they’re timeless. I also like very basic pieces so I don’t have to think about how to put my outfit together in the morning. I’m not a morning person.
What’s your interaction with Sonar like outside of work?
When I see my friends on Sonar, I like to say hi and see how they’re doing. My favorite part is when I’m meeting up with people and waiting for them, I’ll know if they’re far away or close by and whether I should text them. Sometimes they’re only a couple blocks away, so I don’t text them. Or if I see them near a store and coming my way, I may ask them to pick something up for me. I like not having to ask people where they are.
That does sound really useful! Also, when people say they’re “on their way,” you can check to see whether they’ve actually left their house or not.
Yeah. When you’re waiting for someone, if they’re a minute away, you can wait, but if they’re 5 minutes away, you can go do something.
Thanks for chatting, Wynne! Before we go, what’s your current pottery or knitting project?
I’m working on making sets in pottery - either a set of bowls, a tea set, or a set of plates. I’m learning how to be consistent and make things the way I want them and not letting them just form because I can’t control what I’m doing. One thing that interests me about pottery is the fact that it’s 3-D, versus the 2-D stuff I do on the computer. I can make a perfect circle on the computer, but not a perfect sphere in real life!