Joshua Ong

Joshua Ong

User Experience Designer, Air New Zealand
Bachelor of Design in Communication Design

He enjoys providing great digital experiences for Air New Zealand customers, says AUT design alumnus Joshua Bryan Ong who now works as a user experience designer.

“What I love most about my role is that it combines two of my passions: design and helping people. User experience design is about understanding people – their needs, wants and desires – and designing something that helps them achieve what they intend to do.

“I like that I don’t design for myself or just for the sake of beauty. I facilitate user interviews to understand our users’ needs, and iterate the insights we gather for our designs. I work alongside project managers, developers and various stakeholders, collaborating to deliver the best possible experience for our users. I love that no two days are the same in this role.”

Following his passion
After initially studying business, Joshua soon realised he had to follow his passion for design, and enrolled in AUT’s Bachelor of Design in Communication Design, focusing on user experience and user interface.

“Art and design had always been something I loved doing, but I wasn’t sure it was a viable career opportunity for me. I was pursuing a business degree at another university, and during one of my business lectures I realised I couldn’t see myself doing this for the rest of my life. Shortly after, I left and decided to pursue art and design.

“I chose AUT because it’s known for its practical, hands-on approach to teaching. I felt that was a great way to learn – especially when studying something like design. I had also seen some of the work of previous design students from AUT, and was blown away by their level of skill and knowledge.”

His time at AUT has given him the confidence to push himself beyond his comfort zone, Joshua says.

“Questioning and challenging the status quo is something I try to apply in my day-to-day life. It provides those around me with a new perspective on a problem we’re trying to solve. Throughout my studies at AUT I also gained a love for teamwork and collaboration, which is something I try to always encourage at work.”

Surrounded by talented people
The people he met while studying are what stands out most about his time at AUT, Joshua says.

“My classmates and lecturers were incredibly passionate about what they do, which further inspired me to pursue my interests. I was surrounded by people who were very talented, which made me want to push my skills even further and strive to achieve the same standards.

“I was lucky enough to be the graduate speaker at our graduation ceremony, where I spoke on behalf of all the art and design students graduating that day. That was one of the highlights for me.”

Joshua’s hard work during his studies hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“In 2018, my project partner Siobhon Joe and I won a Best Award for our final-year project, which explored how we can accommodate a user’s cultural identity when designing user interfaces.”