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Christie
Tang
I was an adventurer like you, until I took an arrow to the knee
When I close my eyes all I see is UI
What would you say y'do here?

My resume, in human speak

Wait, what?

To make sense of how I got to where I am now, these entries are in the order of oldest to newest— you know, like a Snapchat story. A resume should be about the meaningful experiences, not masked by buzzwords and inflated wins. This is the real story how I would tell it like a real person, but of course if you still need the HR ready version it’s here.

Education

Boston University

Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Study: Psychology and Graphic Design
GPA: 3.73 (Magna Cum Laude)
Dean’s List (7/7 Semesters)

I studied psychology with the intent of being a user researcher. I loved learning how people’s perceptions could affect others, themselves, their minds, or even their bodies. I took almost twice the amount of required classes for the major because I found everything so interesting. At the same time, I was doing random freelance projects for friends or clubs and thought design could one day be a viable backup, so in my junior year I studied abroad in Venice, Italy to finish my graphic design minor.

Experience

JUN- AUG 2014

Graphic Design Intern

SPARKS Companies (Shanghai, China)

In the summers I visit my family in Shanghai, and at the time I really wanted to find an internship working at a lab but there weren’t any opportunities in Shanghai. Instead, I did a summer internship at an agency that specialized in high-end cosmetic beauty. I shadowed the lead graphic designer, and it was the first time I had really understood that everything that was designed had been considered, like the kerning of type or how the top of people’s heads were deliberately cropped. I spent a lot of time working on logos and graphic banners. The great irony is that I didn’t think this experience would be relevant to me later in life, because at the time I still wanted to be a UX researcher. But in hindsight, it became a critical foundation to my professional design knowledge.

SEP 2014- JAN 2016

Research Assistant

Boston University’s Active Perception Lab (Boston, MA)

I worked in this lab during college working with a DPI eye tracker, the most accurate eye tracker in the world. I did everything from recruiting participants to coding all the data in MatLab. I was on track to publish an academic paper comparing visual gaze among gamers and non-gamers as first author (in the academic world, first author is a big deal). I was very successful in that lab. During my time I earned a student researcher award, and my professor offered to sponsor me for a PhD program. I was very flattered, but I knew immediately, holy crap I cannot do this for another 5 years.

JAN- MAR 2016

Visual Designer & Program Manager

Ember (Culver City, CA)

In my senior year of college, I graduated a semester early to accept this job. It was a big sacrifice, I had to gave up first author on my paper, and dropped the rarest selection of senior year classes. Ember was a professional League of Legends team in the Challenger Series (kind of like the minor leagues in major league baseball). I was originally hired to be a player development coordinator, which was something similar to a sports psychologist. As a startup we only had four staff members, so I ended up doing a little bit of everything like human resources, event management, program management, and graphic design. Ember was a ton of fun — we had mandatory 9AM team workouts or yoga, and in our fleeting moment of fame, we almost got invested by Elon Musk. Sadly the team lost of the playoffs and our angel investor pulled out, so it was a very short-lived experience. It was from here that I had to really think about what I wanted to do, and I decided that out of all the things I got to try, I actually enjoyed design the most and wanted to switch careers.

OCT 2016- JUL 2018

UI/UX Designer

Optimity Advisors (Culver City, CA)

I revisited my design skills, read articles and books, and learned something new every day in search of my first actual design job. I found the opportunity at Optimity, a small management consulting firm headquartered in DC. The work was very much like a typical design agency, and it was a cool opportunity because I got to work with some of the biggest named clients in LA out of their offices. Sometimes it got crazy where I would be on seven different projects at once, but at the end of it all I felt like I had worked at 10 different companies all in different industries. I had learned so much about different tools and processes. It took me some time and patience to become “client-facing” since I have a very direct personality. As I reflect back, I am grateful for this skill because it has brought me a long way. Plus now I can understand all the agency jokes.

JUL 2018- NOW

Senior Product Designer

TrueCar (Santa Monica, CA)

At TrueCar I really felt myself blooming. I taught myself so much at Optimity that I became the one teaching others at TrueCar. There were a lot of existing process problems and I helped introduce Abstract for version control, worked with the lead systems architecture to build a grid system that worked, and defined a handoff process from design to dev. I also worked to level up our library of React UI components and built our TrueCar UI Sketch library from scratch. I quickly became the unofficial system designer and was promoted to Senior. I am most proud of redesigning Trade-ins, Marketplace Search, and the Vehicle Detail Page, some of TrueCar’s most consumer-facing products.

Projects

JUN 2020- NOW

Jury Member

Awwwards

Awwwards Jury is an expert panel of internationally trusted industry leaders, who use their expertise and experience to score sites, as well as forming a valued part of our community by some of the most important designers, bloggers and agencies in the world. Jury members evaluate the talent and effort, and give awards to the best designers and developers on the web, as well as promoting fresh new digital talent from all over the world.

APR 2019- NOW

Writer

UX Collective @ Medium (Remote)

On the side I write articles on visual design, tech, trends, and best practices, and for a while I was listed as top 5 design writers on Medium. Some of my top articles have over 100k views and my article on design patents was featured on OneZero.

JAN 2016- SEP 2019

Founder & Owner

Tangy Design (Santa Monica, CA)

Tangy Design is a water color project that went from hobby to business. I found my love for water color when I studied a semester abroad in Venice, Italy. Some of my best works are in watercolor, so I wanted to couple it with my graphic design skills to make a marketable product. The merchandise includes but is not limited to cell phone cases, accessories, and prints. Goods were sold mainly online but also at pop up shops at various artisan markets around Los Angeles. I discontinued this business and passion project, but still paint during my free time.

Tools

  • Sketch
  • Invision
  • Invision Studio
  • Abstract
  • Figma
  • Principle
  • Adobe CC
  • Usability Hub
  • UserTesting

Skills

Visual Design

I’m pretty confident in my visual design skills and I’d say it’s one of my strengths. I had a pretty good graphic design foundation.

Rapid Prototyping

I work really fast. I can type 140wpm and I keybind macros and memorized most of the shortcuts. Did I also mention I’m gamer?

Responsive Layouts

I use grids in my design, and I also learned HTML/CSS, so having done some of it myself, I actually do know what layouts would be responsive.

System Design

This is one of my primary jobs at TrueCar: building reusable components and thinking about how it fits within the system with specific use cases. I also refer to Google’s Material styleguide like a bible.

Information Architecture

Hierarchy on a page is one of the basics, but mastering it takes years of experience. Combining visual design, responsive layouts, and system design is what makes this a strong skill of mine.