From Teacher to Product Designer.

Illustration of a woman at a whiteboard and another designing at a table.
Illustration of a woman at a whiteboard and another designing at a table.

That’s what Sally Hogshead shares in her book Fascinating. She speaks about how “better” keeps you chained to the same old way of working as your competition. It pays off to be different because true innovation doesn’t arise from just trying to be better than another.

At the company I work at, we are different.

Consider how we approach design. Design at our company is currently a small but mighty team of three. Look deeper and you’ll find that there’s nothing typical about us. Our team comes from all different walks of life: a former veteran, accountant, and elementary school…

I have had the unfortunate pleasure of having to rewatch the first forty minutes of The Emoji Movie five times while I was a teacher. While the film didn’t match my personal tastes, I still recall the scene where a teacher speaks about hieroglyphics and how they were an ancient language of picture forms. He then unsuccessfully attempts to get his students to connect it to how its akin to the emojis they use when texting.

Beyond emojis though, icons are similarly a language of picture forms that are prevalent in our every day lives. Granted, some icons are partnered…

Image by The Next Web

I, admittedly, do not make many purchases online. When it comes to clothes, I prefer going in stores because I somehow always manage to buy the wrong size online. The idea of buying groceries online seems bizarre because what if they give me all the bad produce? There always seems to be so much room for error when it comes to online shopping that I’ve stuck to my old habits of going to physical stores.

Amazon would be the one constant exception in my life when it comes to the world of ecommerce. I originally started with purchasing textbooks for…

Image by Aerolab

A break down of the who, what, when, where, and why of usability and accessibility in design during a modern day digital world.


Usability is the “ease of use of an interface, or how easily people can learn and use your product.” To gauge the usability of a product, one can consider the learnability, efficiency, memorability, errors, and satisfaction of a product.

Accessibility focuses on creating products that can be used by anyone, regardless of their capabilities. It is the ease of every interaction for someone with a disability. …

These were my very words when I was first alerted about MoviePass. $90 for a year of unlimited movies? How could this not be a scam? A ticket at my local AMC came out to be $6.89 if I went first thing in the day. That meant that so long as I watched at least 13 movies a year, I would get my money’s worth. If I watched in the evenings, I could earn it back that much faster! So with Costco’s generous return policy as a guarantee, I eventually committed and purchased this wondrous deal.

Of course as the…

“How would you design an ATM for children?”

It’s funny how the world works. This was the task given to me by my UX class — the very class I had taken on to move away from my path as a teacher. I suppose it just goes to show that your prior experience will always help you out in some shape or form.

Teaching had been my calling for the last few years. From a teacher assistant to a full time public school educator, I worked tirelessly to better understand my students so that I could best help them learn…

“The customer is always right.”

It’s a motto that has been around since the early 1900s. It was a revolutionary notion at the time that changed the way businesses interacted with their customers.

Of course these days, this slogan is disputable. A Google search of the phrase will show that 2 out of the top 5 results lead to articles about why the customer is not always right.

Designers, as well, often encounter these same kinds of troubles. How many of you have worked with a client before that offered an idea that went against all your design principles? Whether…

Penny Juice.

I remember it to this day with its atrociously bright colors. When I first showed the website to my web design students, there was a collective sound of repulsion and dramatic screeching. While their reactions were overly exaggerated, it was to my amusement that even ten year old kids could tell just how poorly designed the thing was.

A quick debrief warranted these comments from the students:

“Why are there so many colors?”
“I still don’t understand what Penny Juice is after looking at this.”
“Even I could make something better than this.”
“My eyes hurt.”

Thankfully, most…

Kristina Wang

Empathetic designer, effective communicator, and solution-orientated innovator based in the Bay Area.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store