On March 18, 2019, I launched my side project on Product Hunt for the first time. It reached #7 on March 19 and stayed on the home page for the whole day. To add more context, Product Hunt is the #1 worldwide community for makers, entrepreneurs, journalists, and tech enthusiasts to discover new products. There are typically close to 100 products being launched each day. My competitors on the same day include products from Google, Typeform and many other legit companies.
This result made me feel both proud and humble. Besides, the support from the users and the community warmed…
Design thinking is a never-ending process. In theory, every tiny component in a product has room for improvement. We can run testings, again and again, to keep optimizing it. The work will never be “finished”. However, in reality, even the largest tech company has limited resources (time and money) on each project. It’s critical to be intentional about where to put the resources? When to shift gear from one effort to another? Most importantly, what’s the definition of “success” for a product/feature?
To answer these questions, setting metrics is the key.
Metrics in simple terms is the quantifiable goals for…
This is the second part of “How to choose a UX Master’s Program” in which I shared my journey and considerations of starting out a UX career.
Since the first article was published, many people reached out to me for more specific advice. I thought I can do a better job organizing my responses and make them available to folks who might have similar questions.
For a list of UX programs, please check out the site I made: www.topuxschool.com. You can sort the schools/programs by length, location, tuition fee, requirements, etc.
It’s not a secret that UX is a booming field. Many people want to break into the this area and the first questions they ask tend to be: “Should I get a degree?”, “Which program?”
I asked myself these questions after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business (Taiwan, 2010) and ended up collecting two Master’s Degrees in UX Design along the way — Master of Design for Interaction (DFI) at TU Delft (Netherlands, 2011–2013) and Master of Human-Computer Interaction and Design (MHCID) at University of Washington (USA, 2015–2016).
This article intends to explain my rationale behind my school selection…
Last updated: Sep 21, 2018
First of all, I have to confess that my UX design skill was not completely “self-taught.” I have in total 3 years of higher education in design. Simply put, this is not a “how-to-land-a-decent-job-without-a-degree” story. I did learn a lot in school in terms of research, critique and collaboration. Nevertheless, I found that all successful people I knew in the industry are incredible self-learners. On top of that, I realized a lot of design skills and knowledge can be learned, or even have to be learned, outside of the classroom.
I started to self-educate for…
I remembered one of my teammates at school presented her video work to our team. I thought there was large room for improvement, so I pointed out what I didn’t like about the video, using another teammate’s work as an example. After finishing my comments, I immediately felt the tension in the air. My teammate replied:
“If you don’t like my work, I’m fine with passing this task to someone else.”
Ouch! That’s the moment when I realized that I sucked at giving feedback. …
User testing is an integral part in an iterative design process. Blind spots can be seen early on and users’ insights can be gained to keep improving the design. While the whole design team benefits from the engagement of the participants, the participants seem benefit very little from the session. Why do they still invest time and effort with so little in return?
There must be something in their mind before the testing that prompt their decision, which I called the “pre-testing motivation”:
They are your friends, coworkers, neighbors and family. And you need “help” from them to finish the…
Have you ever been given a design brief with a single end goal to raise the conversion rate?
As UX/UI designers, we were trained to think from end-users’ perspectives. We’re no stranger to the process of selecting target users, observing them, talking with them and even creating with them in order to elicit insights that can potentially improve the products or services. In other words, we design with users’ needs and wishes in mind. Our success is plausibly equivalent to users’ satisfaction.
However, in the real world, products and services usually belong to companies, and companies usually exist for profit…
UX research ≠ good UX research.
Coming from a design background and working in the industry for a couple of years, I’ve seen many occasions where UX research failed to serve its purpose. It’s not uncommon that after a significant amount of time and effort were put into conducting interviews/focus groups/usability testing, the findings turned out to be unsurprising or not in line with what actually happens in the real world.
This is the moment when people, including myself, start questioning about the value of UX research in terms of cost-efficiency and the impact on the final products.
I’ve been thinking for awhile about writing an article to explain why I decided to leave the Netherlands, but something kept holding me back. On the one hand, my feelings toward the Netherlands are complex. It’s not an absolute like or dislike. On the other hand, it feels like a relationship without a happy ending — a bit shameful to just spit it out.
Not until last week, when I was invited to speak about my 4 years of study and work in the Netherlands as an alumni at an event organized by TU Delft in Taipei, did I realize…