Close Up interview with Zheng Li From Zing Design

Tell us about Zing Design and your role?

Zing Design is based in Wellington, New Zealand. It is a digital creative agency that specialises in providing cutting edge web and mobile technology services to the government and enterprise level businesses throughout New Zealand, Australia and the United States.

Although the business is relatively young (we are only 2 years old), we have been very lucky to work with some of the biggest names in New Zealand including Telecom, RaboDirect, Rabobank, NZ Police and Trade Me.

Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 6.40.29 pm

As the Founder and CEO of the company, my job involves wearing multiple hats (sales & marketing, account management, design, governance, managing and mentoring creatives), which is exciting, as there is always something new to learn, opportunities to explore and amazing people to meet.

Recently my focus has been on expanding Zing Design beyond New Zealand. As most of our clients are international (For example, Rabobank has branches in 40 countries), the next step for the company is to leverage these existing relationships to open up satellite offices worldwide and for that, I can’t wait!

What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you and Zing Design?


Ambitious, straight-talking, curious-about-everything, Intense(ly passionate) and Intuitive

Zing Design:

High quality, fast, innovative, talented and emphatic.

Zing design landing page

Tell us about Zing Design and what you can do to help your clients?

There’s a lot of confusing stuff out there and a lot of people will try and trip you with scary sounding acronyms and systems.

At Zing Design, we don’t talk jargon, our end goal for every project is to help our clients acquire more customers online and help their current customers rediscover why they fell in love with them and became a customer in the first place.

We do this in 3 simple steps:

  1. We help you understand your customers through user research and user testing, so that you know exactly who you are trying to target, what their motivations are for buying from you and what you need to do to attract the right kind of customers.
  2. We design and implement campaigns, websites, mobile apps with an amazing and pleasurable user experience that draws them to further engage with you and activate those customers who haven’t engaged with you for awhile. During this step, we will also ensure that the creative work is developed within a robust and scalable development framework, so that your customers won’t be disappointed with outages, errors or inflexibility.
  3. We ensure that the finished work is marketed cleverly and visibly amongst your target audience and ranks well in search engines, whenever someone searches for your services/products.

What was the purpose on starting your business and how has the concept come about?

Prior to starting Zing Design, I was a senior User Experience and Online Marketing consultant to corporates around Wellington. Due to the high quality of my work, my focus on ROI for their businesses and my reputation in the industry, they all wanted more of my time and resources, which lead to the founding of Zing Design.

Zing Design is unique because we use Design Thinking to solve business problems. In doing so, design becomes less of a wallpaper (purely aesthetic) but a foundation to help businesses grow and prosper. We believe that in our industry of digital and interaction design, most design agencies see their work as standalone artworks that are heavy on the ego and light on the business deliveries. At Zing Design we believe design has the power to transform brand perceptions, turnaround unprofitable businesses and realise the true potential of any business.

Zign design service

What are the most common issues that your clients who come to see you?

We usually deal with one of these 3 types of challenges for the client:

  1. Most businesses don’t have a solid understanding of their target audience, so they try to sell to everyone, which means they end up selling to no one in particular. We conduct user research to help them understand customer motivations, triggers for purchasing, main demographics and what marketing channels and strategies are most efficient and cost effective in converting the right prospects into clients.
  2. A lot of businesses have the mentality of “build it and they will come”, so they focus all their attention on the product and none on the marketing. By the time they realise no one is buying (because no one had heard about the product), they usually approach us to help position and promote themselves in the market through interactive campaigns, advertising and a sleek brand that aligns with their vision and potential. In our opinion, a good marketing strategy and roadmap is vital at the start of any business.
  3. Many businesses have been burnt dealing with other (usually more infamous) digital creative agencies, who promise the earth in vague and immeasurable terms (i.e. We will help you get more brand recognition, we will help you dominate your brand colours). This leads to insanely expensive campaigns & projects, which are difficult to prove the success or failure of, resulting in negative ROIs and the client proclaiming the work is a success even though behind close doors, they realised they’ve just learnt a very expensive lesson and they will never deal with that agency again. At Zing Design, we help the client establish measurable and realistic goals at the beginning of any project so that our work is always measurable, always profitable and we always make our client look good in the process.

Zing Design service3jpg

Tell us about your process for working with clients?

Here is our 5 steps to digital success when working with clients:

  1.  We establish the ideal outcome at the start of any project. We do this by asking a lot of questions about the company, the industry, any competitors and what their business objectives are.
  2. We come up with a strategy with an actionable project plan which fulfils the business objectives that were previously established. This includes proposals, briefs, site-maps, content and marketing strategies.
  3. We start the creation and development process. This includes doing wireframes, having weekly meetings with the clients, workshops and making prototypes so that we can visualise the solution to the client’s problems/goals.
  4. We test and iterate until we have the perfect solution. This involves user testing our prototypes with real life customers as well as the client themselves to ensure that our assumptions are correct and that our solutions have solved the challenges/goals that have been established in step 1.
  5. After launch, we establish a roadmap for future growth. This includes goal setting for the future, discuss conversion optimisation, future enhancements and monitor the project’s growth over time to ensure our work truly flourishes.

Zing design service2

What advice can you offer to emerging artists & designers who are just starting out ?

  1. If you are starting a business, you need to ask yourself: What problems am I solving for my clients? A designer, by definition is someone who solves problems. If you don’t know that it is you are solving, don’t start a business until you do.
  2. Realise that a client is using your work to make money/make them look good in one way or another, this means when you are working on client projects, the project is about making them money/make them look good. The focus should be on the client and not on you.
  3. Focus on doing one thing and do it better than anyone else in the world.
  4. Don’t do unpaid work/internship. All design work has residue value and by offering to work for free, you are sending out the wrong message – that you think your work is worth nothing.
  5. Get a really good mentor/coach (like Vinh!) early on in your career, especially someone outside of your industry (to get a wider perspective). If you didn’t know anyone or you are particularly shy, self-help books can be useful as well.

Do you have a book that you would like to recommend?

  • Personal Power II by Anthony Robbins
  • Design Is a Job by Mike Monteiro

Where do we find your services?


Contact person: Zheng Li


Phone: +64 4 472 7275

Wellington office: Level 2, Berl House, 108 The Terrace, Wellington, 6143

Sydney office: watch this space!



Vinh Van Lam
the authorVinh Van Lam
Vinh Van Lam, co-founder of ArtSHINE, is a visionary art coach and entrepreneur with a passion for fostering creativity. With a diverse background in art and business, he brings a unique perspective to empower emerging artists, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic art industry through the innovative platform of ArtSHINE.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.