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02.07.24 - Makeway Culture

Meet the Maker: Cindy Phan

Designer, Cindy Phan smiling in the center of black and blue graphics

An interview with our Designer, Cindy

Role: Digital Designer
Based: Orlando, Florida (originally from Rochester, New York)
Family: Lives with mom, sister, and pet Chihuahua named Bebe; has family living in NY still
Favorite story-based video game: 
Behind the Frame

Gaming culture is strong at Makeway, but few enjoy their video games quite like Cindy Phan.

Cindy’s such a big gamer, in fact, that she traveled all the way from Orlando, Florida, to Vancouver, Canada, to meet some of the friends she made playing video games online.

In this Meet the Maker, we’re excited to let Cindy tell you all about her fun hobbies, her background, her role as a digital designer, and why she appreciates motion design.

How did you end up at Makeway?

After graduating from the Rochester Institute of Design I spent some time just chilling and working on my portfolio. Then I moved from New York to Florida to be with family, and that was when I really started applying. I had a colleague that I worked with on a few projects during college and they referred me to Makeway, and that was how I got in. It’s been a little over a year now that I’ve been working here.

What is your role at Makeway?

This is my first job using my degree and I didn’t really have internships before this, so I work more as a supporting designer. But I also work on motion things when our main designer, Kelly, is working on other projects as the main web designer. I have a lot of fun with the motion projects, and two big notable motion projects that I’ve worked on are for Purina and Nestle. We made a whole storyboard from beginning to end, so that was pretty cool.

Web design is fun, especially when I get to prototype. When I get to introduce motion into web design, that’s probably my favorite part. I’m pretty nitpicky about certain things, but when I get it right it’s just really satisfying to have things move the way you want.

How can organizations embrace motion design?

Websites can set themselves apart from other regular websites with motion and micro-interactions. Those play a big role because you are not just scrolling through the page, you’re watching things move. And how you interact with them jumpstarts different micro-interactions. At this point, it’s a necessity if you want a very attractive looking website. It takes both skilled designers and coders to bring it to life. I think motion plays a pretty big role and I’m just glad that I’m able to incorporate motion into websites these days.

“Websites can set themselves apart from other regular websites with motion and micro-interactions.”

What’s your favorite part about working at Makeway?

I think everyone’s really nice and they respond quickly. On the design team, I know Kelly well and she also plays games, so we easily bond over that. I’m just glad that the other designer is cool and I learn a lot from her. Every month we do this all-hands meeting and I usually stick around to the end because I don’t really get to talk to a lot of people outside of the design team and the PM team on a daily basis.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I’m usually playing games with friends. But if I’m not playing games, I draw and I watch shows with my sister—usually anime. I usually play games that involve co-op, so League of Legends and, right now, I’m really into a game called Grounded.

Last year, I traveled to Vancouver, Canada, to visit some friends that I had met through online gaming. I talked to them pretty much every day, so that’s why I was familiar with them enough to make the trip. That was awesome because that was my first time ever traveling alone and out of the country.

In Florida, there’s an arcade that I go to every now and then. It’s probably one of my favorite places to spend time. Initially, I discovered it because I was a part of a social gaming group. I work from home, and I’m an introvert, so I don’t really go out and most of my hobbies just let me stay home. So I met this group at that arcade and made friends from there. The arcade is one of my favorite spots and my favorite game is a piano rhythm game. Over in Canada, I also got to go to some arcades with friends, and the one I enjoyed most was a Dance Dance Revolution game. I suck at it, but doing it with friends was really fun.

Cindy with friends on her recent trip to Canada
What else?

So my desk is pretty plain and I don’t really decorate. I hadn’t found anything cool to decorate with, but when I went to Canada last year I found these figurines called blind box figurines. On the side of the box you can see the whole set, but you don’t know exactly which one you’re getting until you open it up. I think they are pretty cool, so I’ve been decorating my desk with them. Canada just has really cool random things that I don’t think Florida really has, and there is a whole store called Pop Mart that sells those blind boxes.

Blind Box plastic figurines sit atop Cindy's desk

Cindy is a talented designer who obviously appreciates good design in all aspects of life, whether it’s video games or blind box figurines.

We’re thrilled to have her as part of the team and can’t wait to see what she accomplishes throughout her career in digital design.

If you​​’d like to connect with Cindy, you can do so on LinkedIn. And if you’d like to learn more about joining our team, visit our careers page or email us at [email protected].