June 18, 2024


Jackie Fong
Lead Experience Designer

LinkedIn profile link: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacquelynfong/

Pride 2024 Employee Spotlight on Lead Experience Designer, Jackie Fong.
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Last book you read/listened to: Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng

What methods do you use to stay motivated and focused?

Motivation ebbs and flows. One day it’s—“Let’s make this game the best it can be” —and another day it’s “The sooner I get this done, the sooner I get to go home and watch X-Men ‘97”. I’d say go with what speaks to you in that moment, with whatever momentum you can gather. As Ted Lasso says, “Onward. Forward.”

In terms of focus, a song that I enjoy on repeat with snacks on the side does wonders. Think Penny Parker in Into the Spiderverse when she’s creating a new goober. That, plus standing while working.

Have you had any mentors or role models who have played a significant role in your career development?

I’ve had the great fortune of having many excellent mentors right here at Zynga: Nicole Hartvig David, Phuong Phillips, Kate Stevola, Michelle Del Rosario, Bekah Nye, Zak Pytlak, Aaron Watanabe, and John King.

Can you share a meaningful tradition or celebration from your heritage that you hold dear?

Family dinners for Lunar New Year. In particular, having leen go, tong yuen, and just spending time together at my grandparents’ or parents’ home.

What do you enjoy most about working at Zynga?

Both teams I’ve been on (Poker and Harry Potter) have put a lot of care and study into player experiences and feedback. I don’t think I’ve ever worked at a studio that values consumer insights as much as we do, as well as interacting directly with VIP players—providing them great support and an avenue to help shape the games they love.

Tell us about joining zPride and what the group has brought to you and your career.

I first became a local lead for zPride in 2017, taking over for Leeanne Donovan (another wonderful ally, advocate, and all-around awesome person). As a mostly straight, mostly femme-presenting cis woman, I knew that I would be mostly learning and supporting, at least in the beginning. There were moments when I hesitated to direct or guide programming because I didn’t think it was entirely my place. But Lad, Marcos, and the other leads over the years have been so welcoming and collaborative that those worries melted away. I think my experiences with zPride, WAZ (Women at Zynga), and zAPI (Asian and Pacific Islanders) have been doubled as reminders that I always have something to offer. It has opened my eyes to what is possible, from external partnerships to in-game LGBTQIA2S+ representations, and supporting international Zynga members. It’s really amazing, and I’m grateful to have had the chance to support both as a local ambassador and as a co-lead.

What advice would you give to others on fostering inclusivity and understanding in the workplace, considering your background?

Talk less, listen more. Do not expect emotional labour from your community members. There is a wealth of content creators, educators, and activists who offer endless and accessible information. Allyship means doing the work, and holding physical, intellectual, and social space so that everyone has a voice.