Hey, I’m Derek Mei.

I’m a Boston-based design generalist with an interest in the worlds of accessibility and development, amongst many other things as well.

Here, I host a blog that I (mainly infrequently) update, my portfolio, and a plethora of ways for you to get in touch with me.

Currently, I lead design at 3Play Media. On the side, I do a bit of consulting work through my design agency, Umeita Design, which focuses on helping small-to-mid sized social justice and not-for-profit organizations improve the user experience of their digital products and websites. When I have time, I like to talk design and share a bit about my life outside of work on my Youtube Channel, The Handoff.

Derek at Allagash Brewery, 2019

Here are some facets of my life that are important to me.

I’m a designer by trade, creative generalist at heart.

The path to discovering my love for my work was never linear, but I’m grateful to be able to work at the intersection of so many fields I love. Principally, understanding how people interact with the stimuli and environments, and designing experiences to make them even better is probably the impetus behind what originally drove me to the fields of human factors and experience design.

Among my accomplishments, I’m most proud of being the first one in my family to finish college and also pursue graduate school, although none of this would have been possible without the support of my family.

Collage of work related image: Derek with Chris Do and Jared Spool, at a computer, giving a presentation

I’m a firm believer in continuous learning and growth.

After so much formal schooling, I’ve learned that the best way to learn is not through formal education, but by applying my skills to real-world problems in uncontrolled environments.

Outside of learning about work-related topics, I’m currently immersed in the following:

  • Language learning: learning Korean, Thai, and Spanish to help me connect with people on a deeper level.
  • Video production: creating and editing videos about design and my life on my Youtube channel
  • Productivity and goal setting: researching how I can help make people the best versions of themselves through accountability and reinforcement
Collage of Derek learning: graduation pictures, talking in a Youtube video, his daily journal, picture with a friend at a hackathon

I engage in activities with the goal of seeking fun, community, challenge, and self-improvement.

I’m a competitive spirit, and I prioritize to beating myself over others. Recently, I’ve deeply immersed myself in the physical, mental, and cultural elements of Muay Thai, and hope to spend time practicing with top Krus in Thailand.

In addition to amassing bruises all over my body from sparring, I’m also infamous for having collected an assortment of injuries for my scrappy play on the basketball court. I’ve never been taught how to shoot properly, so at this point, I’m known as that guy on the court who has a “whack two-handed jump shot”.

As I grow older, I hope to continue to use play as the medium to meet others, build my community, and stay young at heart.

Collage of Derek playing: kicking Muay Thai pads, playing the board game Sorry, team picture of basketball, in front of a wall of beer

I’m a proponent of resting to find flow, and seek comfort and peace through self-discovery and self-care.

I spend a lot of time cuddling my two-year old Shih Tzu, Koda, who looks like an old man but has the energy of a puppy.

When I have time, I love traveling, trying unfamiliar foods, and exploring new places – especially when it’s with my girlfriend, family, or friends. Next up on my list of places to visit are South Korea and Thailand.

Lastly, I spend a lot of my time looking inwardly and planning for the future using my Baron Fig bullet journal. I tend to think a lot, and using a journal is cathartic, as it allows me to map out my thoughts and help me decompress.

A collage of Derek resting: his dog Koda, looking pensive in a museum, at a table with friends for dinner, hiking pictures in front of a green forest

Thanks for visiting my site - let’s stay in touch!

Right now, I’m looking to connect with like-minded people who are passionate about sharing knowledge and pushing each other to succeed. In particular, I’m interested in sharing knowledge with experts in the development, business, real estate, and design fields. Over time, I’ve discovered that the best relationships are the ones where a diverse group of individuals are willing to cross-pollinate ideas.

If you’re a designer looking to break in the field or want to learn about my experiences, please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Thanks for stopping by.