Travel Blog

2 Jul

Featured Vancouverite: Chenny Xia

Chenny Xia

Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia

How long have been a Vancouverite? 18 years — to put it in perspective, about 78% of my life.

I’m currently running a design consultancy in Vancouver. I craft informed design directions by focusing on the ‘why’ instead of the ‘what’, while thinking consumer-first. One of my favourite projects, PaigeeWorld, is an app that connects young artists globally and provides drawing tutorials for all experience levels.

I’ve also been named as one of The Next 36 from Canada, an entrepreneurship-immersion program that offers mentorship and up to $95,000 in seed investment. I’m currently working on a venture that captures the ideas, suggestions, and sentiments of members within organizations so leaders can get a real pulse on what’s going on internally.

What are some of the most exciting things you see happening in the design, media and user experience realm in Vancouver?
If you’re a practicing designer or student, check out Vancouver Design Nerds and subscribe to their newsletter. User experience is a team effort — never an individual! Participate in one of many monthly jam sessions. If you’re a parent, there’s a huge need for women in technology right now. If you’ve got a young internet-savvy inventor in your family, consider sending them to GIRLsmarts.

Best advice for someone who is looking to study design and user experience in Vancouver?
Whoever told you “good things come to those who wait” is horribly wrong. Opportunities come to those who ask for them. The great thing about Vancouver is that it’s extremely diverse. A diverse environment means an abundance of design problems to solve. So go out there, solve some pain points that you’re passionate about, and learn along the way.

Remember to check in with your users from time to time. Being a designer means being a socializer.

If you were to pack only five things for a visit to Vancouver, what staples would you suggest?
1. A camera while you island-hop along the Georgia Strait
2. Hiking boots to climb the Squamish Chief or stroll along Lynn Canyon.
3. A wind-resistant umbrella to keep your toes dry.
4.  Good chopstick skills — there’s amazing sushi in this city.
5. Your MacBook to ‘fit in’ at coffee shops.

Do you know someone who would be a great featured Vancouverite? Let us know in the comment box below!

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