Samsung Visual Display was the world's largest manufacturer of displays and TVs. We wanted to enter into the advertisement revenue arena and created our team to start a stealth division to create a monetization strategy that spanned all of Samsungs consumer devices starting with our SmartTVs.
Understand the scope and guide the user from the start to the end goal. Design with intention and make the user flow effortless and enjoyable.
Knowing where to start is key to the experience. Clearly telling the user what is important through good design and hierarchy. Being consistent will help the user understand design.
Ego has no place. Start with the user's needs and craft contextual experiences. Clearly, define the design's objectives and solve them first. Be accurate and concise.
Sweat the details. The more effort put into the design, the less effort a user has to take to understand it. Design intuitive and universal experiences without sacrificing quality.
Keep it simple stupid. Show the user only what they need when they need it. Stay honest and keep your intentions transparent. The user should always know what they are getting into.
Delight the user and exceed their expectations. Spend time designing solid experiences, and then take the time to make them extraordinary.
Samsung VD had yet to gain experience building an Ad Stack or iterative development. Its business was a - make it and ship it, then create something entirely new. This also meant that Design typically was not at the forefront of the process, as everything was based on what our hardware teams could deliver. Samsung was organized into product silos, with each discipline traditionally reporting to a different business unit.
Many of these issues were compounded by the fact that Samsung is a Korean company that introduced language and timezone challenges into an already challenging environment of a stealth startup within a large company.
Samsung needed a centralized design language between the marketing face that North American consumers were familiar with and the in-product UI they used.
Our team started very small, with a founding member for each discipline (Product, Design, Engineering, Business Development). Our group consisted of seasoned veterans from tech giants like Microsoft and Google and veterans from the Ad business like Omnicom.
I cultivated a design-first culture by holding regular design reviews and talks while keeping an open-door policy to involve the entire team and demystify design. I developed a design workflow and provided my Product and Engineering partners with an overview to help them understand and estimate the cost of work items.
As we grew our team, I was responsible for hiring front-end engineers and building the design team. As a senior team member, I interviewed Product Managers to understand how they thought about abstract concepts, problem-solving, and building new products. I cultivated a design-centered culture and later leveraged this support to better position my design team within the company to take on new challenges and deliver value.
As our product matured, I led efforts to develop a scalable design language and design system that allowed us to quickly adapt to changing requirements. In doing so, I established the basis of the design language currently used for Samsung TVs based on the Tizen platform.
I was employee #4 of our startup stealth team and the founding designer. As a part of the team leadership, I interviewed and hired Product Managers, Front-End Engineers, and Designers. I led our multidisciplinary design team and the company's design-related ad business. I worked alongside multiple teams in Korea and the USA to ensure business and product requirements were met while keeping our consumers front and center.
I led the company's roadmap vision while exploring different business areas we could enter to compete and revolutionize.
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