What I learned about Personas from working on a product that is at various growth stages in different markets

Common personas workshop templates suggests categories such as profile, age, work experience, education, industry, to build empathy and pseudo rapport with a user type.

The average Personas template doesn’t work for growing products.

However, for a growing product, this type of method doesn’t provide enough insights or take into account of product stages and markets. For example, looking at the average of Traders reveals the average. But it doesn’t reveal the nuances of a Trader in Market A vs B.

traditional personas vs product-based personas

“John Smith has a degree in STEM” so what?

Personas are supposed to help us empathize with the user but…


A few years ago, I started a bullet journal, complete with beautifully hand drawn calendars and pristine task/life trackers. It was wildly decorated, carefully curated, and close to Pinterest worthy.

For those who are not familiar with the bullet journal, a quick search on social media will spit at you aesthetically hand drawn trackers of everything from how much water you drank to how much veggies you ate. However, the bullet journal system at the core is a method of tracking past, present, and future activity. …


(lack of) empathy in search design

I’ve been using ClassPass for over a year now and the ability to reserve classes with various studios on my phone is so convenient. I’ve seen ClassPass’ business model and app evolve, fine tuning its branding and functions. However, I have to point out some of the sloppiness that I expected to have changed by now.

What do people do? Log on. Check upcoming class and/or find a class.

Scenario #1
You open up the filters to see what is on and decides to leave it as is. Now you’re left with 2 choices:

1. “Done” (but you haven’t done…


This is how an idea became a digital object and transformed into a web interactive graphic using SVG.

My manager and I sat down and looked at the web page of our firms’ investment process. It was a multi-paragraph/wall of text display. Not only was it intimidating, it was time consuming to digest even for the most seasoned professional.

Idea to Design

The challenge was that the investment process is not strictly linear or circular and consisted of simultaneous actions.

The graphic does not capture the complexity of the non-linear investment process.

Next, I played around with an overall circular shape. To retain the sectional display of information, I deployed trapezoids. Instead of creating a complete circle, which would defeat the purpose of the sectionals, I formed a mock circle (nod to Gestalt’s…


Confetti Room in Color Factory. © Lily Li.

Borrowed from the Color Factory, below is a free* secret “scavenger hunt” map that takes you to various neighborhoods of San Francisco.

The 17 stops incorporate various finds from hidden messages and murals to snacks and drinks (purchase necessary).

💰= purchase attraction ($0.30–$13)
🍴 = food/drink attraction (*automatically a purchase attraction)
📷 = selfie photo op

*some attractions are “limited edition” items/snacks that you can purchase
**some attractions might request a proof of Color Factory visit to purchase the CF themed snack (but that shouldn’t stop you from visiting!)

  1. JANE 🍴 925 Larkin St. Daily 7am-6pm Taste: Hot pink dragon…

Lily Li

UX Designer | UC Berkeley ’17 | Intrigued by human behavior & passionate about design | San Francisco, CA

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