•   Karen X. Cheng

    Karen X. Cheng

Hi, I'm Karen

I'm a designer in San Francisco. I also learned to dance in a year and filmed my practice footage. This video went viral, which gave me the idea for Giveit100. Previously, I was the lead designer at the startup Exec and a product manager at Microsoft Excel.

Design

My specialty is designing and shipping - fast.
I'm a jack of all trades, perfect for a small startup.

VentureBeat called me "a rare startup Swiss Army knife who can seemingly do a little bit of everything."

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iPhone Design

Exec Cleaning iPhone App

UI/UX

Evernote Journal

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Web Design

iamexec.com

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Logo & Brand

Waffle iPhone App

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Motion Graphics

Logo Animation

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Project Management

Microsoft Excel 2013

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Art Direction

Team Photos

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Print & Packaging

Chocolate Packaging

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Copywriting

Outdoor Advertisements

Currently accepting new clients

Let's Talk

Projects



I’d wanted to learn to dance since I was a little kid, but didn’t start because I never thought I could get good. When I finally decided to learn, I filmed myself learning to dance over the course of a year. The video went viral, with 4 million views.

It’s been a crazy experience - I got to go on the Queen Latifah Show and have spoken and danced at conferences like Google I/O, TedX (watch video of performance), and Ignite. Here are my tips to learn how to dance and to make a viral video.

Exec

I was the lead designer at the startup Exec, where I learned to design and ship extremely fast. For my work there, VentureBeat called me "one of those rare startup Swiss Army knives who can seemingly do a little bit of everything: marketing, product, design, and beyond."

I designed two iPhone apps (Exec Errands and Exec Cleaning), the website, and all the marketing materials (everything from campaign emails to chocolate packaging). Exec sold to Handybook in 2013.

Microsoft Excel

I was a product manager for Microsoft Excel, where I led a team of 10 people to bring animations to Excel 2013. I made wireframes, ran usability tests, and got hordes of people to agree with each other on very long email chains and in conference rooms. I worked with developers to make sure the right features got shipped on time for an extremely complex product.

For my work on Excel, I have 9 patents pending. Oh - and I’m not the one responsible for the ribbon (that happened before I got there).

giveit100

Giveit100 is a place for people to make inspirational progress videos from their practice footage. I got the idea for it after my dance video went viral, and built it with my co-founder Finbarr. Giveit100 has over 70,000 members with a combined 30 million video views. Some of our members have gone on to be featured in their own viral videos. Lakeisha’s 100 days at the gym and Estella’s 100 days of push-ups each have over a million views.

Awesome Baby Name

Awesome Baby Name is a baby name generator with an SEO twist: it finds unique names based on available domain names. Finbarr and I built it in a weekend at a hackathon. In just one week, over 100,000 people had tried it. The idea came from a joke - because I have such a common name, I couldn’t get karencheng.com. Finbarr joked that there should be a website that makes sure newborns never have this problem.

Cosmopolitan magazine called it “the insane new selfie trend that’s going viral.” It started with a video I made, Donut Selfie, which uses a technique where I'd swing my arm in a circle around my head (making a donut) with my iPhone. It’s a way to put a professional cinematography look into an everyday selfie, and the best part is all you need is your arm and a phone.

Dance

I'm working on an unreleased dance project that will take me about two more years of training before it's ready. In the meantime, I share my dance practice videos on Instagram. Here are some my favorites:

Tutting Squares

Dimestop Drills

Balanced Robot

Invisible Wall

Say Hi

Email: karenxcheng (at) gmail (dot) com
Media Requests: If you need hi-res images, help yourself to these

Facebook Where I update most frequently
Twitter Don't use this much anymore, mainly just for self-promotional crap
Instagram New dance practice videos here every few days. My favorites here.
Vine More dance videos
YouTube Less frequent, but better thought out videos
LinkedIn This inbox is a black hole - email's a better way to get in touch