View of Osaka Station /

According to the Nielsen Norman Group, by definition, icons are a visual representation of an object, action, or idea; they must first and foremost communicate meaning. As you have probably noticed, icons exist all around us. That being said, we may not always consciously notice them until they become more useful to us than other forms of communication. When in a foreign country, the shared visual language of icons might help you find your way more quickly and easily than writing in a foreign language.

I frequently navigated Osaka Station (located in the heart of Osaka, Japan) when visiting as…

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In recent years, I’ve gravitated toward direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands for various consumer goods such as clothing, jewelry, and cosmetics. In particular, ColourPop Cosmetics is a DTC brand that has captured the attention (and almost cult-like following) of youthful, makeup-loving humans around the world. A number of things are attractive about this company. They’re wallet-friendly and cruelty-free, and it’s honestly hard to keep up with the pace of their product innovation and collaborations. Simply put, they make “beauty that doesn’t break the bank” and seem to operate their business in a way that makes people feel good.

As a student of…

Google Translate app icon

While living in Japan as someone who is not fluent in Japanese, I frequently turned to the Google Translate app to help me navigate everyday situations and decipher written content on my mail, menus, and more. I quickly moved the app icon to the middle of the home screen on my phone for easy access, and used it almost every single day. The app definitely proved itself to be useful throughout my travels to other parts of Asia as well. …

Photo by Max Langelott on Unsplash

As I’m sure you’re well aware, we live in the Information Age. Many lifetimes worth of content, knowledge, and information currently exist and come into being every second of every day! It’s simultaneously incredible and overwhelming. Also, it means that Information Architecture is more important than ever, and will surely evolve along with technology and society.

But first, what is Information Architecture?

Information Architecture (IA), which originated from library and information sciences, is the study of how information is created, managed, and organized.

In other words, IA refers to organizing, labeling, and classifying information in ways that makes it easier…

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This post was inspired by a video by CNBC.

When I lived in Seattle a few years ago, I noticed (and loved) that coffee shops were everywhere. Coffee culture appeared to blend seamlessly with the hipster and tech cultures of the city, and offered a remedy to the chilly overcast skies that were present for much of the year. Not far from where I lived was the world-famous Pike Place Market, which houses the world’s very first Starbucks store.

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I’ve been regularly using a mobile app called Clue for over 3 years now. This product is relatively simple in concept, yet it has had an outsized impact on my life. On a basic level, I’ve known for a while that it’s easy-to-use and solves a problem that I consistently have, along with many other women. But now that I’m on my way to becoming a UX designer, it’s time to dig a little deeper into how exactly this app has changed my life through its thoughtful product design.

Now you might be wondering, “What the heck is Clue?” …

Yumi Morii

Product Designer @ Kinsa. Previously medical writer & researcher. Designlab UX Academy grad.

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