What are the similarities between fashion and UX? For one, both industries move at lightning speed. Beyond that, each industry requires a keen eye for design — and that’s exactly what Sally Chung has mastered throughout her time at school and work.
Though she’s been a senior experience designer at BCG Digital Ventures for about a year now, her life before UX was all about art: fashion, architecture, interior design. She explained to Built In NYC how she’s been able to pursue her passion for creativity and art in a digital setting at BCGDV.
What’s your professional background, and what brought you to BCGDV?
Despite wanting to become a fashion designer since I was 10 years old, I realized that was not the right path for me once I got to the Parsons School of Design. I tried my hand at architecture, interior design and even contemplated becoming a fine artist before finding my passion for user experience and communication design. After college, I did just that as one of the founding members of the digital team at Saks Fifth Avenue.
Next, I went on to co-found my first startup, HelloAva, bringing together my passion for technology and beauty. I wanted to learn more about launching and scaling companies as well as obtain exposure to different industries and people, so I decided to join BCGDV, where I discovered my passion once again.
It pays to be a chameleon."
What was your first impression of BCGDV, and how has it measured up since?
When a friend introduced me to BCGDV, I thought it was perfect for me because I love working through new ideas and creating startups. My first impression was “Holy sh** it’s moving fast!” Every day, I continue to learn from different aspects of the process and have lots of fun along the way.
Tell us about your role. What's your favorite part?
I joined as a senior experience designer (XD). At BCGDV, our XDs come to us from backgrounds ranging from neuroscience to visual design — and most of us are hybrids. We wear so many different hats and do everything from leading design workshops and research efforts to creating the user experience itself, making wireframes and designing the UI. My favorite part is definitely the people. I love meeting new people and listening to their stories, which is a natural part of my job.
What's the best project you've worked on at BCGDV?
My first venture I worked on was what we call a “validation sprint,” where we worked through an idea in depth to understand if it had viability, feasibility and desirability. It was deeply challenging and focused a lot on the business model, but overall, it was a great learning experience. I guess you always remember the hard ones.
Collaboration is important at every company, but why is it especially the case at BCGDV?
Collaboration is key to producing the best results in any team setting. At BCGDV, our teams are small and multidisciplinary. People bring vastly different backgrounds, skills, expertise and, most importantly, personality. Without being respectful to one another, we can’t work together, meaning we won’t produce to our potential. We often work with a different venture team every few months, so it pays to be a chameleon.
How do you collaborate, both as a team and across departments?
My approach is “respect first.” Even if a person is less experienced, they still have something to bring to the table. Be friendly! You never know what might happen in five to 10 years — that person could end up being your co-founder.
What's one trait that everyone at BCGDV needs to have to be successful? Why?
Being open is really important. Openness leads to creative ideas, collaboration and success. We need to accept each other and be open to any and all new business ideas. It’s the best way to be a teammate.
What would someone be surprised to learn about BCGDV?
The pace. People can imagine it, but once you’re in the venture you can really feel it. Just be prepared for it and have fun!