July 30, 2023

Design Feast’s Side Projects Series—117th Interview: Product Designer Ken Pan Collaborated on a UX Design Job Board to Help Applicants Save Time

What are you working on—on the side?

We, Gracia (Junzhu) Zhang—Product Designer & Visual Designer, Kyle (Chentao) Wang—Product Manager & Front-End Engineer, and myself, are Ciwei, a name that comes from the Chinese word for “hedgehog.” The hedgehog was our choice, because socialized on Chinese internet, hardworking folks are often lovingly referred to as “Kings of Rolling Up” or “卷王”—much like how hedgehogs curl up into a ball. We wanted to embody this spirit of hard work but in a cuter way, hence: Ciwei.

Our journey began with a group of UX graduates—all of us working tirelessly to land jobs in a highly competitive market. Realized we were spending a lot of time each day looking at new job postings, filtering out those that matched our qualifications and finally applying. This was a time-consuming process, and we knew there had to be a more efficient way. That’s when the idea for Ciwei was born—to help everyone find suitable job opportunities quickly—leaving more time for self-improvement and networking.

(My other side project is creating a UX New Graduate Community—consisting of 500+ members from almost every major design school in the US. That’s the “a group of UX graduates” I mentioned earlier.)

Here’s what we do at Ciwei: our community members, who are also job seekers, contribute by adding job openings they find during their search to our platform. Behind the scenes, we categorize and analyze these job listings. With the help of OpenAI’s engine, we highlight important information that our users care about. For example, if you’re a fresh graduate, you might be overwhelmed by the vast amount of unrelated job recommendations on platforms like LinkedIn. We filter through the noise for you, picking out jobs with lower experience requirements so that you can focus on opportunities that really suit you.

This is already something pretty helpful to our job-hunting journey. But we’re not stopping here. We’re currently looking into features like helping you auto track of jobs you’ve applied, and even providing insights into your interview success rate. More than just a job search tool, we want Ciwei to be a supportive community for UX graduates.

How do you manage to work on your side project(s)?

The driving force behind Ciwei, first and foremost, is my passion for community organization and helping others. The struggles of job hunting, something I’ve continuously observed in our UX new grad community over the past year, made me desire 

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