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Joseph Nelson, Chief Designer at Niu Innovation Lab - Baron Mag

Joseph Nelson, Chief Designer at Niu Innovation Lab

Shanghai
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Who are you :

I’m Joseph Nelson.

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Your current job :

I’m the Chief Designer at Niu Innovation Lab which is a start-up I founded with a friend. We design and manufacturer mobility solutions for urbanites. Currently these solutions happen to be in the form of smart electric scooters.

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In which city are you located?

I’m currently located in Shanghai.

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A word to define what kind of worker you are :

Visualizer. I’d rather communicate a solution through a quick sketch or dirty mock-up than by describing it. I struggle to explain with words what’s in my head sometimes.

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What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)

Copic markers, 0.3 Fine liner, Moleskin.

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What does your office space look like?

Chaos. My office is a design studio, workshop and a library of parts. We have motorcycles and scooters in various states of disassembly scattered throughout the space then mixed in with my own personal projects. 

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Then I have my desk (that’s where the magic happens) and it’s a bomb site. Empty desk, empty mind.

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What kind of music do you listen when you are working ?

Usually some rock like Led Zeppelin, Dire Straits etc. Not sure why but I personally don’t enjoy anything post 2000.

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Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work ?

I make a list of the most important tasks I have to complete that day on a post-it note and slap it on my desk.

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 Then I remain pretty flexible and turn my attention to whichever design task is most urgent at that time.

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What tips would you give to improve productivity ?

Turn off the social media.

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You're better than your colleagues to :

My colleagues are the best at what they do. Everyone has their own unique skill that we like to find and then grow. For myself, I believe it’s seeing the big picture: budget, timeline, manufacturability, brand fit and then taking all that and still creating a cool design that people will love.

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What is the best advice anyone has given you ?

There’s no such thing as talent. It’s all grit, determination and hard work.

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What is your best tip for saving time ?

Delegate. Build a team of skilled people around you and trust them. That gives you time to work on the big stuff and work that matters to you the most.

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Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?

My Niu N1 smart scooter! It takes me everywhere.

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 be.net/joseph_nelson