A second post in a series on UX methods

It’s 6 p.m. in a cold, wintery Moscow, Russia. Alexandra, a 21-year old college student is studying at home when she receives a notification on her phone — she has been recruited to complete a usability test on Amazon.com. After following the link to the site, Alexandra is prompted to complete various pre-determined tasks while thinking aloud. Within 30 minutes, she completes the set of tasks and receives $30 in compensation.

Halfway across the globe, it’s 9:00 a.m. on a rainy day in Seattle. Brendan, a user experience researcher for Amazon…

My first impressions

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks since I left my hometown of Toronto, Canada to embark on my first ever trip to Europe and my international exchange here at Leeds. Melanie (a classmate who is on exchange at the University of Madrid) and I both had never been to Europe before, so we came up with a crazy idea —we decided there’d be no better way to be introduced to Europe than a week long, action-packed Europe extravaganza: Iceland, Germany, and Czech Republic, all in a week. Within a week’s time, I had taken more than 10 long-distance trains…

Personal Project | February 2015 — October 2015
Winner of Best New Initiative — Fall 2015 from FEDS

What is CanACC?

The 1st annual (now 3 times going on 4!) Canadian A Cappella Conference was a one-day event held at the University of Waterloo that brought together over 100 singers from 4 universities/colleges across 9 distinct a cappella groups. The event consisted of round-tables, workshops, and a showcase concert that brought collegiate a cappella from schools outside UW to campus for the first time.

Where did the idea come from?

The idea for the conferenced was conceived on a bus ride back from the 2015 ICCA competition. We were…

A simple and effective UX research tool

A re-post of a blog I wrote while working at Boltmade as a UX designer & researcher. Boltmade has since been acquired by Shopify, where I also worked as a designer.

Card sorting is a design research tool that helps you design your product (e.g., a website, an app) so users can more easily find what they want. Card sorting is usually used near the beginning of the design process, and can be used to guide the design of the navigation menu and the overall structure (information architecture) of the product.

Why Card Sorting?

Card sorting is effective and simple. …

Sony (SNEI) | May 2015 — August 2015


Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI) develops the online network infrastructure to provide top-quality entertainment around the globe through games, videos, music, and other services. I worked as a user experience (UX) design intern at SNEI over the summer of 2015, and was responsible for evaluating and improving the user experience of the PlayStation web store.

What is the PlayStation Store?

The PlayStation web store is a digital media store that offer PlayStation console owners a variety of downloadable content for purchase or for free, such as full console games, add-ons, movies, and TV shows. The store exists…

Manulife | September 2014 — December 2014

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First iteration of the ZOOM Day Challenge schedule I created

Towards the end of my four months at the Manulife Research, Exploration, and Development (RED) Lab, our team helped run the ZOOM Day Challenge- a program designed for local high school students to experience first-hand real-life work. We guided three high school students through a rapid prototyping challenge of making an app that would improve the banking experience. At the beginning, I wasn’t sure where they take our challenge, but in the end I was impressed. After going through a brainstorming exercise, many design iterations and customer interviews, they presented an interactive prototype…

Yang Chen

Product Designer @ Shopify, previously Sony, Manulife. Acappella arranger, aka vocal music nerd. Systems Design Engineering ’18 @ University of Waterloo.

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