Meet Mandi – NM Spotlight!

26th January 2021

Mandi Liang is a Principal UX Designer at the NaturalMotion Birmingham Studio. She has been working as a designer with a focus on user experience and user interface for digital products for over seven years! Mandi’s experience with NaturalMotion has been very pleasant so far, and she describes her NM colleagues as being very experienced, welcoming, kind, and helpful. She also loves the diverse culture at NaturalMotion, and wants to inspire other women to get into the gaming industry! She firmly believes that if companies focus on hiring with diversity and gender equality in mind that more and more women will find their place in games, and really help transform the way games are made and designed. 

Read on to learn more about Mandi and her role within NaturalMotion!

What is your role within NM/BA and how did you get here?

 I’m a Principal UX Designer here at NaturalMotion – Birmingham studio. I have been working as a designer with a focus on user experience and user interface for digital products for over seven years. 

Walk us through your typical day.

I start my day with making myself a pot of tea (English breakfast or Jasmine green tea); while drinking my tea I’ll quickly read through my email and slack channels to catch up on anything that has happened during my time offline. I also join one or two stand-ups in the morning to check in with the team I am working with and see how we are doing. Then I will check my to-do list to see if there are any updates needed and start working on the tasks from the list in the morning. During lunchtime, I sometimes spend time cooking for myself, or I will eat something simple so I can go out for a walk in the garden. Afternoons are always packed with meetings, so I will check the agendas of each meeting before joining, and use the gaps in-between meetings to do some design work. As we are all working from home, online communication plays an important role in our day to day routine, especially for designers. Throughout the day, I will make sure to check Slack often to get the latest news from different channels, or slack others to ask for help or provide help if needed. I get most of my creative design work done during meeting-free mornings or afternoons. Before I log off in the evening, I quickly go over my to-do list again to keep tasks updated and prioritized. Afterwards, I normally spend time cooking something nice for myself as a reward for a hard day’s work. Then I will either play games or read before heading to bed.

How would you describe the people within NM/BA?

The people within NM are very experienced, welcoming, kind, and helpful.

What is a common misconception your industry faces and what is the reality?

There is a misconception that there are less women in the gaming industry because women aren’t interested in playing games. Most games used to be developed by male designers with male preferences, but the situation has changed in the last few years! Companies are hiring people with diverse cultural backgrounds and focusing more on designing for female players. More and more female designers are joining the gaming industry with the hope to contribute to the evolving gaming world.

What advice would you give someone trying to break into the industry?

Stay curious, allow errors, there’s always room to learn more.

What does it mean to you to be a woman in technology and gaming?

I don’t feel the difference of being a female designer in the industry. We all love to play games, and create fun game experiences for everyone, regardless of our gender and cultural background. I hope to be able to inspire more people to think and feel the same way about it.

What role have men played in your career or what role do you think they can play in women’s career equality?

I have worked with men in all different kinds of roles, ranging from team leaders, mentors, and co-workers to managers. In terms of gender-equality at work, I believe that everyone should be given equal opportunities, and we should all train ourselves to avoid unconscious bias. Meanwhile, it’s important that we work on building empathy for each other at work.

What is it like being diverse in gaming?

It feels free and safe to be in a diverse culture at work, regardless of the industry.