Neroli Ko



Hi there! I’m Neroli, a 19 years old student who love design, technology, creating stuff, travelling and trying out new things.

Though I’ve spent 18 years of all my life in Hong Kong, I’ll be living in Montreal, Canada for the next few years as I pursue my studies in Electrical Engineering.

While I’m a full-time student, I also work as a freelance graphic designer / illustrator – you can find my work in the portfolio section or on my Instagram. I also sell on Etsy.

Clients: Indescreet | Jun & Tonic | Gathe Raho | ReSet - Ryan Tram Music | C.Lew Photos | Wendy&George Photography | James Hirata Photography Limited | Koju Sphere Plants |

Download my resume here.

Why UX? Here’s my story.

As an Etsy seller, I go on the Etsy app often to check out my competitor’s listings as well as mine. However, I noticed that the current design of the app frustrates me - not only is the UI outdated, the way information is presented made it difficult for me to navigate as well. It is then that I realised - app development is not just about coding. As an engineering student we are taught the technical stuff, but no matter what new technology we use to make the product, if the user experience is not good, then no one is going to want to use it. Engineering is for human, and thus should be human-centered.

I started learning more about UX through reading blogs, books and watching Youtube videos about it, and the more I learn, the more interesting it becomes. I was also at a ‘slump’ where the thought of having an engineering career doesn’t seem to excite me anymore, so finding this new passion of mine was very exciting. As someone with an engineering background, as well as graphic design and illustration experiences, I am determined to bring the best of both fields - problem solving, design thinking and visual representation towards growing and becoming a great UX designer.

So why did I choose engineering?

Before entering university I had no idea that UX exists. Sure, I’ve always been into design, but the thought of entering graphic design or any traditional design fields have never crossed my mind. I’ve also always been a science student in secondary school, and physics (especially the electricity part) was my favourite subject. Oh and one more fun fact - for a period of time I was really into tinkering that I made tons of small electronics myself (e.g. portable chargers). So with that, I thought choosing electrical engineering would be a great choice. I could still do my side design stuff but choosing engineering in academics will make sure that I’d at least have option in the future to enter the engineering field.

Fast forward to my first year of university: I had my first and only computer science course in the EE curriculum and I’d have to say I absolutely hated it. It was a miracle that I passed, but it has reaffirmed again that coding / software is definitely not my thing. I’ve also been to couple of tech fairs, and not only was I faced with the fact that most companies are looking for people with at least some coding skills, actual electrical engineering jobs are also becoming less exciting for me. My own Linkedin account looks off too - all my experience is design related, so what exactly am I doing?

Then why are you still in engineering?

I don’t hate studying engineering. In fact I think it’s the most interesting one out of all the subjects that a traditional university has to offer. Also I’m already half way through so I might as well finish it. Transferring is not an option too because 1. there’s no design related course at my uni and 2. I don’t want to waste the tuition. And most importantly, engineering teaches you a lot of transferrable skills that’d be useful in most careers. New careers will pop up, especially in the technology field, so having an engineering background would never be a disadvantage.

If you ask my 17 old self if I’d still choose engineering, it’d be a yes. If I had known about UX? The answer would be maybe? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.