Minh Pham, multidisciplinary designer

Ho Chi Minh city - Vietnam
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Who are you 

I’m a multidisciplinary designer with 8 years experience in the industry. I focus on UI/UX design, visual design and motion graphic design.

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Your current job : 

I’m working remotely for a San Francisco based digital studio: Interactive Labs. We focus on web/mobile product design. I’ve been working here for 2 years and built up a team of 10 talented folks. 

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In which city are you located? 

Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam

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A word to define what kind of worker you are : 

Trustable => I might not do a perfect work, but I always deliver what I promised

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

For UI/UX design: Sketch app is the best, it’s also very good for other visual design purposes

For prototype: Principle or Flinto

For animation: After Effects is the beast

For illustration/print design: Adobe Illustrators

For 3D stuff: Cinema 4D

Operation system: I love both Mac & Windows. But my primary computer is a MacBook simply because Sketch is only available for Mac

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What does your office space look like? 

I and my team are currently working in a local co-working office studio. We really enjoy it due to the flexibility and other benefits from the community. But my job is very flexible so I don’t always go to the office. Instead, I’m free to work from home or anywhere else I feel comfortable (coffee shop or a small hotel nearby the beach..). 

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

When I need to think using my left brain (logic, UX thinking) I’d prefer soft ambient music which keeps me focus

When I work on more fun stuff such as drawing, animation, visual design…Rock & roll is my favorite

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

Of course, I do have my own tips to get things done:

Before starting a day, I review all tasks that I need to do and prioritize it from easy -> hard, urgent -> less urgent

Deal with minor/easy things first (something that I can wrap up in 15 minutes) so that I don’t have to memorize it anymore and then concentrate on the major tasks, it gives me a better sense of completion.

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What tips would you give to improve productivity? 

Use the right tool: instead of spending time doing something manually, find a good tool to do it faster. For example, Sketch app is my weapon of choice, it’s so much faster and there are tons of available plugins that make my life easier and allows me to be lazier.

I usually give each of my tasks a goal. Then I’ll focus on the goal and avoid wasting time on things that do not serve the goal. Don’t try to make it perfect, I make it work first

Refresh my workplaces: Sticking around the same workplace every day will make me feel bored and uninspired so that I usually move around places like home/office / cafe… to see things in a different perspective

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You're better than your colleagues to : 

I was known as always being good at time-management, it helps me do more with less time.

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What is the best advice anyone has given you? 

Back in college, my major was Business/Marketing and I didn’t have much interest in it. That made me feel lost for a couple of years. Then my uncle told me to stop doing what I’m not into and seek for something else. Then I realized that I would love to become a designer. That was one of the advice that changed my entire life.

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What is your best tip for saving time? 

Again, use the right tool for the right job: Technology nowadays allows us to be lazy. Anytime I feel like I’m spending too much time on something, I start to wonder if there’s a better/faster way to do it. And surprisingly there’s always a better way if you are willing to pay more.

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What is your routine start and end of the day?

I usually deal with other folks in the US so I stay up pretty late (2 AM) so that I wake up a bit late as well: 9 AM. 

I start a day with coffee, check for some news and emails and start working at 11 AM. I have a daily gym session at 4 PM to keep me healthy and refresh.

I go back home at 7 PM, have dinner and continue my work until late night.

Basically, my routine is very flexible and there’s no specific boundary between working and chilling, it’s a mix of both

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

A headphone/earphone, I’m a man of music.

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