A mobile experience in China

From left, Bin Wang, Alvin Lee, Shu Hong, Jean Claire Dy, Yu Wang, Jie Liao were among the more than 50 attendees in Hangzhou.

Led by the indefatigable Lily Lu and sponsored by the Youth Times, SND held a workshop on “Gearing Up for the Mobile Age” in Hangzhou, China, this past weekend. Instructors Joey Marburger and Yuri Victor of the Washington Post taught 50-plus attendees in the three-day workshop. Every attendee left with the ability to create a mobile site. Every attendee also joined SND. This means the Society now boasts more than 100 members in the Middle Kingdom. I spoke with a few of the attendees about their experiences. Even when speaking through a translator it’s obvious we all share a universal design language.

I spoke with six of the attendees, on their experiences with SND:

Bin Wang
“User Experience Design Engineer, Sina Zhe Jiang / zj.sina.com.cn, Hangzhou

Before this workshop I knew nothing about SND now I know a lot. Through the lectures I realized that outside China the work is much more advanced than in China. In this country the Web sites and the current stage of Web site quality is not that good.”

Alvin Lee
Editor-in-Chief for Online, Beijing News

“It’s good to learn what others in our industry are doing, it seems the West is one step ahead of us. Maybe we can discuss the problems we have together and find solutions – that’s what is great. SND is an organization of designers for newspapers by tradition but in the last years has made a leap into other areas. In print we can see the designer’s love on the page. No matter if it is an App or Web site the reader needs a good experience, they need to see that love, too.”

Shu Hong
Design Editor, Beijing News

“Before 2008 we did not see design from the West. Then we got the [Annual SND competition] Book and the concept of design totally changed for me. SND is bringing a new design culture and knowledge to China. And now we are seeing it in new media. Print design is still the most important here but more and more media are taking their businesses into new media.”

Jean Claire Dy
Shanton University
Cheung Kong School of Journalism and Communications

“I just went to the SND web site last night, it’s a great resource. Just looking at the Book is a great resource for my students about the importance of design and visual language and how it affects journalism. It confirms what I thought before, when I worked as a magazine editor in the Philippines. And now I am learning the importance of keeping updates with new technologies, everything is changing very fast.”

Yu Wang
Design Editor, Meirixinbao
Tianjing, China

“I have learned a lot. I have tried many times to work with our online side, but haven’t succeeded, our model has never been successful. Part of the problem is the setup – we have a group of designers and a group of coders, and we don’t have communication between these groups. I am trying to learn how to fix that.”

Jie Liao
Deputy Editor-in-Chief for newspaper, online and TV
Chinese Medical Tribune, Beijing

“I came to the workshop here in Hangzhou in 2009, and got a lot of great suggestions from Steve Dorsey. We are a publication geared to the medical field. We have made a lot of improvements to the paper since then, especially in expanding our infographics use. Now the plan is to expand our new media business model.”