In this article, I will reflect on how icons impact and help guide our day-to-day lives, subconsciously and consciously. The icons that I’ll be sharing were all found in my small apartment in the Bay Area, and spoiler alert: They were not difficult to find. It just goes to show how present icons can be in our lives.

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7 sets of icons
  1. I found the start and stop icon located on the microwave. This is similar to the play and stop button often found on remote controls, radios, or music apps. These icons are filled in, making the icons visible from far. …

I love Etsy, and with the holidays coming up, Etsy is probably the reason for my 40% increase in screen time. In this article, I will be looking at design patterns that I’ve observed throughout the Etsy website, as well as providing my own user flow for when I am navigating and purchasing items from the site.

Design Patterns

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Modularity and color-coded items


Etsy uses modular rectangular boxes to showcase different products for sale. The usage of modularity is clear in the image above, giving the user a consistent and structured shopping experience.

Color-Coded On Sale Items

Another design pattern that is utilized is the color-coded green text that signifies to the user that “hey this item is on sale!” This is also accessible to users because in addition to the colored text, there is also a strike through the old price. …

As part of my assignment for DesignLab for UX Academy for Week 2, we were asked to reflect on good versus great products. We spent the first week getting familiar with what makes successful products. For the beginning of the second week, we are exploring the product development process. In this article, I will reflect on my own product usage experiences, as well as discuss the products that I use every single day and what makes them so addictive.

In The Principles of Product Design by Aaron Walter, he states that “the difference between a good and great product is the last 10%. Everyone has the same 90%…the same core features and similar pricing and a similar story. But that last 10% is the real differentiator.” I truly resonate with this statement, and agree that the difference between great and good products lies in the details. …

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I’ve decided to take the big leap of faith forward to transition careers from teaching to UX Design. Throughout this article, I’ll be talking about the process of how I decided on the transition, which industry I chose to transition into, and what path I chose to take to get there. I am by no means giving advice, or advising against the teaching career. Some of the teachers I work with are the best and happiest people I know and I genuinely appreciate and admire anyone who enters the world of education.

Deciding to transition from teaching

For some background, this is my 3rd year as a math teacher. Around the end of 2019, I had a lunch discussion with some teacher friends- one who has been teaching for 20+ years and, let’s be honest, will probably will be teaching until retirement. My other teacher friend is a little older than I, approaching her 30’s, and was still deciding whether or not this was the career “for the rest of her life”, which sounded extremely daunting for me. It was at that moment that I started thinking about whether I can see myself teaching long-term. …

Background: What, why, how?

  • As a third year classroom teacher who recently had to transition to distance-teaching because of the pandemic, I realized the importance of offering teachers viable options to distance-teach.
  • Google Classroom is a website, with a mobile app, that is used by both teachers and students. Teachers can post assignments, grade assignments and provide feedback directly on Google Classroom. I want to focus on teachers’ experiences of using Google Classroom, features they liked that could be improved, and also suggest new features to improve the efficiency of using Google Classroom as a teacher.
  • I sent out a survey to a group of high-school teachers between the ages of 25–65 years old in the San Francisco, Bay Area. The survey aims to pinpoint current uses of Google Classroom, and pain points. I categorized common responses to pain points that teachers expressed in the survey with a pie chart below. …

I am onto my second chapter of Don Norman’s “Design of Everyday Things”, in which he talks about the 7 Fundamental Design Principles: Discoverability, feedback, conceptual model, affordances, signifiers, mapping, and constraints. In learning about these 7 fundamentals, I started thinking back to everyday products that I use, and tried to practice identifying these 7 fundamentals and where it existed (or did not exist) in the products. One came to mind very vividly — my work desk. …

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I’m a 3rd year high school math teacher working with 14–16 year old kiddos in San Francisco. (Are 14 year olds even kiddos anymore?) I’ve decided to spend my summer learning about design, something I’ve always had a yearning to learn but never had the time to. Now that time has presented itself, I have no more excuses!

After reading the first twenty pages or so of Don Norman’s “Design of Everyday Things”, I realized that a lot of core concepts mentioned so far in the book can be applied to teaching, and that learning design can actually make me a better teacher. …

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Dan: Look I’m standing!

Kelly: Oh gosh Kyle is about to fall on me

Kyle: I’m so happy I can fly

Daniela: Trying to balance and smile at the same time is hard

Vidhi: Is the picture taken yet?!

Alie: I’m so glad I wore mittens today

Brittany: You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out…

Morrissa: Guys, when are we getting boba?

Kam: Hair looks good, scarf game on point. Okay ready for the picture!

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a beautiful array of colors all around!


Kelly Wong

A high school math teacher looking to break into the world of design

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