Well known in the industry as a design leader and evangelist, Felix Lee has worn many hats. Co-founder of ADPList and a design lead at Gotrade (YC S19), he has an engineering degree and has had a brief stint in the army as well. When Packdat, a company he had co-founded while still pursuing his engineering, was eventually acquired by Passpod Indonesia in 2018, it was decided that Felix would lead the design team at Passpod and that’s where it all began.
What were some of the struggles that you faced during or after your transition to UX?
I started from an engineering school so you could say that I was pretty deep in the ends of electrical/mechanical engineering. When I transited into design, there were huge differences in the way of thinking. Personally, I struggled more with finding friends who were interested in design since I was in an engineering school. I think one of the best ways to learn and grow is to surround yourself who wants to do just that. As for me, I saw LinkedIn as a way to reach out to design professionals to learn what the real world and industry looks like.
Did your stint in the military service help you gain skills needed for UX?
The Army taught me a lot about love and loss — it bettered me as a person which became the fundamental of me becoming a design leader at Gotrade (YC S19) and ADPList. In the army, we’re surrounded by fellow soldiers from diverse backgrounds and the one thing I’ve learned is that, if we want to lead people from everywhere — we have to do so with empathy, humility and gratitude. Design skills in many cases can be taught & trained for – these qualities however are much harder to develop and I’m thankful I have this experience in Singapore.
What would be your message to people looking to transition to UX with zero design background?
Learn and share – we all learn faster by sharing our knowledge. Lastly, don’t judge yourself too early, have the patience to follow through things. Have faith in what you do and love what you do — be radically honest with yourself yet kind.
This article was last updated on December 11, 2023; Originally published on December 28, 2020