#008 - Susan Lin

With Mango Roll

Profile image of Susan Lin

Susan is a Lead Product Designer for Cloudflare, which powers 10% of the global internet traffic. She also creates incredibly beautiful art. Susan is based in San Francisco, California.

Andy: Let’s do the important intro first. What pet have you brought along with you today?

Susan: Hi Andy. Today, I’ve got Mango Roll with me.

A shiba inu dog
A super photogenic dog

Andy: Oh my, what a name for a dog! What a photogenic dog too.

Tell us some more about Mango Roll. When did you two meet?

Susan: Mango Roll says thank you. A little background about her name... When I went on vacation to Hong Kong this past year, I discovered Mango Cheung Fun 芒果腸粉 which are Mango Rolls. They’re the dessert version of the savory dim sum dish stuffed with fresh tropical mangos. So good I had my friend Jason take me back to the cafe every other day to have them. We joked that I loved them so much that I would name my dog after them. One month later, I found out I was going to be adopting Mango Roll.

We met when I picked her up from the airport. I had never known the world behind the main terminal until that day. She was eager to be outside and have a meal. When we met, Mango was 4 months and 5 pounds. She used to fit snuggly in my petite arms. I have imagined having a Shiba Inu all my adult life. This was before the doge meme. No one believes me when I tell them that though.

Susan and Mango surrounded by hanging baskets of plants
A fabulously well-framed shot of Susan and Mango

Andy: Oh my, what a story about how you met and how she was named! I need to try some Mango Cheung Fun too!

Mango is actually the first of two (so far) Shiba Inus to feature on Developurrs and I’m becoming quite the fan of them. They are such sweet-natured doggies.

Is Mango your first dog then?

Susan: She is! Well, I did have a childhood dog. He was a Pomeranian mutt mix. But when you’re six years old with a dog, you aren’t the one taking care of them.

Andy: That is very true. Really, it’s them that are looking after you when you’re a kid.

Let’s talk about that magazine cover. You’re gonna have to give me some background on that.

A comp of a magazine cover that features a large shot of Mango
The fabulous magazine cover

Susan: At the heart of it, I love procrasti-working. What’s the fun of having all these creative and technical skills if you don’t play with them sometimes? There is a Dogefolk which precedes Dogue. My friend Hannah and I cooked together at the home of Hachi the Shiba Inu. Per millennial ritual, we photographed our creation before consuming it. We took a look at the results and joked that they had a Kinfolk vibe to them. The next logical thing happened.

A magazine cover that features a large shot of Mango with various food elements
The cover of Dogefolk

Mango had expanded her wardrobe and I photographed her new looks. When I was writing the caption for the photoset Vogue came to mind. Doge plus Vogue equals Dogue. And that’s that.

Andy: These are so good! So much creativity!

Speaking of which: why don’t you tell us all what you do on the web and how you got into it?

Susan: Sure! For my ninth birthday, I raised funds for my first PC. I asked the adults in my life to give me cold hard cash for my birthday. My father, who is a serial entrepreneur, was touched. It was mine, CRT monitor and all. It booted Windows 95. Makes dial-up noises. I, like many children in that era, ended up on Neopets and Geocities. I became the “web master” for many student clubs in high school. I didn’t plan for this to be my career.

I recently joined CloudFlare as a Lead Product Designer. Cloudflare powers 10% of global internet traffic and serves 2.8 million users each month. I also manage the design team at headquarters. We are building world class products to keep the internet up and safe. As a design lead, I’ve worked in cross functional teams for the past 10+ years. Notably, I designed HealthCare.gov’s new application experience and built Trulia’s first design system.

Outside of work, I still build on the web for fun. I have a few CSS art pieces up on CodePen. This easter egg on my website is one of the favorite things I’ve ever built. It combines my love of pixel art, video games, and web dev using CSS sleight of hand.

Andy: That is a cool Easter egg! I love that sort of creativity. I’m also a big fan of Cloudflare and what they do to empower people on the web.

Have you got some exciting things lined up that you can talk about, or is it all hush-hush?

Susan: What I can say is that I’ll be working on the core product. I’m excited to take on a large-scale redesign which should greatly improve the end experience. The team is also working on the design system and driving its adoption.

P.S. If any of this is interesting, we’ll be hiring a bunch for the Product Design team in the upcoming months.

Andy: It sounds very exciting indeed. I’m a big fan of some of the recent initiatives by CloudFlare, such as the DNS service.

Susan, let’s wrap this one up. It’s been great fun and very different to the other articles!

How can people find you on the web and support what you do?

Susan, holding Mango in a very tidy workspace
An incredibly tidy workspace

Susan: I’m very online. My serious work self is here. I’m @mintlodica on Twitter and Instagram. Mango Roll is @mangoroll.shiba on Instagram. I have a newsletter that I aspire to update regularly. If you’re looking for art to buy, I sell prints on Level. I also do limited edition runs of enamel pins and stickers on Tictail. And for the KonMari practitioners, I have a Patreon.

Thanks for the interview Andy! I hope your readers enjoy this. Or at least all the photographs of Mango Roll.