October 7, 2020

Fiona Yeung; Empowering Women and Non-Binary folks in UX Design

Fiona Yeung, graduate of the 2015 class of York's Bachelor of DesignOn a scale of 1 to 10, Fiona Yeung (BDes ’15) loves her job as an Interaction Designer at Google as an 11.  She started as an intern at Google in 2014 and was hired fresh out of school the following year in 2015. Highlights of her time with Google include her first promotion, speaking at Google I/O (a peak experience she calls both humbling and surreal), becoming the director of Hexagon, and having many opportunities to use her passion for mentoring and giving back to the community.

Fiona credits Design at York University as one of the top design programs in Canada with a stellar reputation in Silicon Valley and the US. She enjoyed the flexibility of being able to explore a wide variety of design streams in her studies. “Being able to dabble in so many different design streams like graphic design, editorial, motion, and UX allowed me to become a more creative person. I gained inspiration and perspective from so many areas,” she mentions, “which helps in the work that we do, and the problems we try to solve in our projects.”

Collaborative class work at York prepared her for her current job where her team works in a similar fashion. “There’s nothing quite like like Google, but at the same time the projects at York and the process we learned was able to prepare me for the industry,” she says.

She has worked on Fuchsia, an open-source capability-based operating system currently being developed by Google. “Working on this team is like diving into the deep end for me,” Fiona said. “The work is challenging and I’m learning every day all while being surrounded by a stellar team. One of the things I love about Google is how much learning and growth is prioritized.”

She is demonstrating that growth capacity as the Director of Hexagon, an international community of women and non-binary individuals in UX who support each other by sharing stories and fostering growth at all stages of their careers. She started as a community manager for the organization and later led the process of rebranding the name from XX+UX to one that is inclusive of gender diversity. After the rebrand she stepped up as director and she’s now leading them through an expansion from 5 to 12 chapters including NYC, London, Tokyo, Berlin and Toronto.

In addition to leading Hexagon, she also gives back by sharing her knowledge on Medium, being featured on the Google Design Method podcast, running the UX intern program, and delivering keynotes and sessions at conferences like CUTC Waterloo and Berkeley CMYK.

With many demands on her time she still manages to prioritize her passion for adventure (she was the Vice President of the University’s Dragonboat Team during her time at York) and travel.  We are so proud to recognize Fiona Yeung as a York U alumni. Keep up the great work!