My experimental project at the 2020 Facebook AR hackathon

In May 2020, my friend, Andrea, and I joined a virtual hackathon hosted by Facebook. Using Facebook’s AR design tool (Spark AR studio), we and the other participants created World AR effects for Instagram. We explored applications of augmenting experiences on surfaces, people, and environments viewed on a world-facing camera.

presentation & demo video


COVID-19 impacted our lives — including our mental health, especially loneliness due to long periods of isolation. …

My experience at the 2017 Fall IDEO CoLab Makeathon

In October 2017, I was one of 60 participants among 700+ applicants invited to the IDEO CoLab Makeathon, a full-day design marathon where makers gathered to explore and create concepts around emerging technologies. Each team of four to five people prototyped how a given technology prompt can be applied to solve a human problem.

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My team explored the concept of micro-transactions and its application to slacktivism — the practice of supporting a political or social cause via the Internet with small effort or commitment. From our personal experiences, my teammates and I noticed that people in this digital age are quick to post about social issues, especially on social media, but slow to actually commit financial resources towards their causes. …

Exploratory design to promote solo travelers’ mindfulness

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ColorAway is a tool that helps solo travelers practice mindfulness through interaction with modified photos. It is part of a larger study on solo traveler’s technology use. The process and findings of this project have put into a research paper. It has accepted into 2018 CHI Conference Proceedings and the 2018 Convey UX. (Edited April 2018).

In this project, I produced prototypes and gave research insights from a literature review, interview coding, and affinity analysis. Later, I also worked on the visuals and art direction for the presentation given at the conferences.

Mindfulness != Meditation

The meaning of “mindfulness” has more than “meditation.” Mindfulness, drawn from Western psychology and Buddhism literature, has two key…

CHI 2017 Student Research Competition

Summary: I worked in a team to develop a prototype for research on understanding self-transcendence experience. This project became one of the 8 student projects that were accepted and presented at the 2017 CHI Conference, Student Research Competition.

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Despite of the increase in its popularity, research on Self-Transcendence in HCI field is scarce. In this project, our team explored how we could design to understand the ST experience. We focused studying solo travelers because they were previously found to have a high frequency of encountering Self-Transcendence experience.’

Selected HCDE 451 Projects

In the Winter 2017, I took a course on various types of UX prototyping. Each week, I learned and practiced a new prototyping method through hands-on projects. Here are the selected projects I particularly enjoyed.

2½D Fruit Bowl Laser Cutting

I created a fruit bowl that can be disassembled into pieces so that it can be stored flat, transported, and save space when it is not in use. The purpose of this assignment was to design and build an object that practices aspects of laser cutting. Details on my design process can be read on my Medium.

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2½D Fruit Bowl

Zombies, Run!

I created a 60-second video prototype that portrays a scenario-based user case of the “Zombies, Run,” a mobile application that combines running and gamification. …

Improve the WTA website based on usability testing insights

Summary: I worked in a team to conduct usability testings on various features of the Washington Trails Association website. We gave design recommendations based on insights gathered from the usability research sessions.

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WTA Logo

Washington Trail Association (WTA) is an organization that aims to preserve, enhance, and promote hiking opportunities in the Washington state. Its website provides information about hikes, volunteer trail maintenance opportunities, and WTA facts.

My team identified test objectives through heuristic evaluation. We then tested the product on people with various backgrounds. During this project, I contributed heuristic evaluation, participants recruitment, research facilitation, data collection, and data analysis.

Educate people on helping victims during emergencies

Summary: Stop the Bleed is a voice-controlled app that empowers bystanders to help victims during emergencies such as mass shootings. It was designed and developed within 24 hours and placed 2nd out of 88 project submissions at a Dubhacks hackathon, the largest collegiate hackathon in the Pacific Northwest. My roles included secondary research, ideation, UI design, and presentation design.

Date: October 2016

Credits: Devin Bell (developer), Eric Yan (developer), Valerie Najera (designer)

Related Link: Demo (on Rapid API Blog)

Recognition: DubHacks 2nd Place Winner

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Project Motivation

Increase in Mass Shooting Incidents

Journal of my first visual design class

Note: The black image borders are for differentiating the images from the white background of Medium platform.

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a concept ideation of my second design assignment

Prologue: Design Baby

Hearing stories from my friends who had taken the visual communication design class, I was little daunted to imagine how much I would need to work in order to survive in this class. Yet, thinking about doing fun projects, I was more excited for my first visual design course.

First week of the class was relaxing. I could easily get full points for finding examples of good and bad visual design and explaining why they have (or do not have) successful communication. …

Animation production from ground up

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snapshot of the film

— Babara Mones, The Director of “Fish Out of Water” and Animation Production at the UW’s Animation Research Labs

Fish Out of Water” is my first animation project produced in a year-long Animation Capstone program offered by the University of Washington Animation Research Labs (ARL). After a quarter of digital animation trainings, twenty-one multi-disciplinary students and I produced the film under the Director Barbara Mones.

During the six remaining months, we worked on all aspects of the production pipeline, including scene planning, modeling, digital cinematography, character animation, and rendering. My primary roles in the production was lighting and post-production editing. My secondary roles included, rendering scenes, UV unwrapping props, and putting together a blooper video for Friends and Family Night. …

How might we enhance the detection of neutral faces?

Summary: A classmate and I studied how society perceives a neutral face as a Facial Expression Research course project. Our goal was to expose the existence of different types of neutral face, particularly the “Bitchy Resting Face” and investigate what could be done to classify varying neutral expressions.

“Bitchy resting face,” also known as BRF or Resting Bitch Face (RBF), refers to a facial expression which unintentionally appears as if a person is angry or irritated when s/he is not particularly expressing an emotion.

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example of BRF (image source)

To study how people perceive neutral faces, we first gave photos of neutral face to a set of participants and asked what facial expression the participants perceived. These photos were then modified to dilute the variables that influenced the participants’ decisions. These were then given to another set of study participants to determine whether the variables actually applied to the perceptions of the neutral faces. …


Shin Young (Lucia) Choi

HCI + Design @GEHealthcare. @HCDEUW alum.

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