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Ti has had a natural passion for design from a very young age. Growing up in China it was a well known fact that imitation is a prevalent practice in transition economies. Having vistited small product firms in southern China, and seeing how their philosophy of imitation and quality production lead to short-sightedness inspired her to want to be a innovative industrial designer. College was the first place her design dream became a serious reality. Since college, from industrial design, visual communication design, to interactive design, she has studied and worked in various design disciplines for more than 10 years.

During that maturation time she has had different understanding of the role of designers. When she was in college, she believed designers were people who had various artistic skills to devise functional products, services, buildings, furnitures and many more, but later on as she went to workplaces, she realized collaboration is key in design. Designers in a company should be like a hub to coordinate and help all the departments, be they marketing, product planning, hardware design, software design or interactive design. A product that comes out from a collaborative team should stand out in the market without any words of introduction needed. A successful design is predictable at the beginning if it goes through a valid and rational design process.

As her design experience progressed she started to recognize the expanded role of the designer in the larger business picture. While designers or product managers pay attentions to products’ appearance and structure, they also need to focus on how to both establish and preserve brand internally and externally, and how to extend brand into new markets. There are diversified niches in the market, so there is often no right or wrong with the design. Most importantly, the design should fit the brand and company’s positioning as well as the customer’s needs.

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