Ruofan Zhang is a Principal Designer on the Studio Foundation team at Roblox where she focuses on making the Roblox Studio a world-class “Metaverse Editor.”
Describe your role here at Roblox.
The Studio Foundation team focuses on making Roblox Studio a world-class “Metaverse Editor.” We provide “a powerful, free toolset that allows developers to rapidly build, publish, and operate their experiences.” As Studio Foundation designers, we combine holistic and systematic thinking with a user-centric design process to empower the team to account for both long-term goals as well as immediate needs.
What is one of the most interesting aspects about working on your team at Roblox?
Solving complex problems through an evidence-based approach is a fun challenge. Roblox Studio itself has grown exponentially over the past ten years. It’s intriguing to see how it has evolved from the original “physics editor” on the web all the way to an integrated complex platform today. The expanding user segments, growing product needs, and developing tech requirements all contribute to a unique design challenge. We’re not building a set of disparate features, but an extensible system. Similar to math and physics, it’s rewarding to be able to come up with simple but elegant solutions to describe and help with complicated scenarios.
How is your experience on the team at Roblox different from other roles you’ve had?
I’m impressed by the unrestrained growth opportunities and amazing coworkers on the team. In my past four years here, I have been able to explore different roles and domains that I’m interested in. It’s also a super supportive environment—whenever I’m looking for feedback to grow, both my manager and teammates always share their honest feedback which is extremely helpful. In addition, they’re just such an inspiring group to work with. Designers, product managers, engineers, data scientists—everyone has helped me to gain new perspectives and new knowledge in different domains as well.
What are the most interesting projects you’ve worked on and things you’ve learned while working at Roblox?
The most interesting projects are the ones where I get to work directly with our developer community. It’s always intriguing to hear their stories and learn about their experiences—how they get to know Roblox, how they start building in Studio, and how they encounter challenges in the experience as well as their feelings in those scenarios. By connecting with developers, we’re able to validate ideas and uncover new opportunities. That also alludes to my biggest learning while working at Roblox: solving a problem right is important, but what’s most crucial is to solve the right problem.
What’s one thing you love about the culture at Roblox?
I love that one of the core company values is “Respect the Community,” and I can feel it embedded in our day-to-day work. In meetings you often hear people say, “does this solve users’ problems,” “what are the real user needs here,” or “imagine you’re a developer: going though this is really painful.” Those comments come from everyone, no matter what role or title they have. We’re building products for users, not ourselves or our imagined users.
Interested in joining the Product Design team at Roblox? We’re always looking for new talent, so come check us out at corp.roblox.com/careers/ and see if there’s a role that’s right for you.