5 Minutes With Junnan Ma hero image
5 Minutes With Junnan Ma hero image

Each one of our team members plays an important role in keeping the agency a well-oiled machine. In our ‘meet the team’ series, we share insights into the lives of the talented individuals that make up our Yoghurt Digital family.

1. What do you do at Yoghurt Digital?

I am a UX/UI Designer. This means that I optimise the digital experience on our clients’ websites by transforming research data and insights into visual design. It’s my job to create a delightful and intuitive user interface that provides value to both our clients and their customers.  

Junnan with his Daughter, Bethany
Here I am with my adorable two-year-old daughter, Bethany.

2. If you weren’t doing that, what would you be doing?

I’d be a carpenter, maybe. When I was a kid I made wooden toys such as planes, cars, and swords – but at the time, carpentry was seen as a low social status labour job in China. Everyone just rushed to study business and finance out of social pressure, and so did I. 

Actually, if I was born in Australia, I’m pretty sure I would have become a carpenter: I loved Bunnings so much when I first arrived in this country – it was a kind of supermarket I had never seen before!

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

Pushing pixels around on the screen, drawing wireframes and website mockups, creating illustrations and animations occasionally, and annoying Minhal, our lovely developer – constantly.

4. What is your favourite thing about working at Yoghurt Digital?

I think interdependence is the best thing about working at Yoghurt. I take full ownership of my work and also have trust from my team. We are all really good at what we do and we all depend on each other to achieve something a lot bigger.

5. What are the values that drive you in work and life?

Thankfulness, humility, and endurance.

6. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I love outdoor sports. I used to skateboard a lot in my teenage years, and fell in love with surfing when I came to Australia 10 years ago. A year and a half or so ago I also became an avid mountain biker, and learnt all the different techniques on YouTube. For a father of a 2-year-old, that might be too many hobbies to maintain…

Junnan mountain biking

7. What are your top 3 favourite books?

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey. This is one of the most popular self-help books, and you either love it or hate it. A lot of the stuff in it sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s really timeless wisdom leading to a better marriage, career, friendships, and family. I go back to it every now and then just to reflect and refresh myself.
  • Design Your Life: Build a Life That Works for You – Bill Burnett & Dave Evans. It’s fascinating to know that the design-thinking process I use at work can be applied to life, too! This book helped me understand why life is – and should actually be – a detour rather than a destination.
  • Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High – Ai Switzler, Joseph Grenny & Ron McMillan. This book contains plenty of systematic ways to approach any conversation. I think I still suck at conversations, but at least this book made me more empathetic to this fact!

8. What’s the best advice you have ever received?

“Do not fall in love with your first idea.”

This doesn’t just apply to design, but also to life in general. I’m a very impulsive person who usually makes quick decisions, but life is full of alternative solutions that require trial and error. For this reason, I don’t like when people say “just follow your passion”, because they’re basically saying “just enjoy doing whatever comes into your mind first”. Passion only comes after trying something, discovering it, and developing it – not before.

9. What’s your favourite spot in Sydney?

I’m not a bar/pub person because alcohol and loud dance music aren’t my things (boring…I know). So I guess my favourite spot would be any mountain bike trail around Sydney where I go two or three times a week nowadays.

10. You’re on a deserted island and can only listen to one album for the rest of your days. Which one would you pick?

Maybe any collection of Mozart. I actually rarely listen to classical music, but I think that if I were trapped on an island for the rest of my life, classical music would be the best echo of human civilization.

11. What’s a fun fact about you that no one knows about?

I can do pushups with just three fingers on my right hand. Though I guess it’s not a secret anymore in the Yoghurt office, because everyone’s so curious.

12. What’s your favourite meme?

Gate bottle meme

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