I love building awesome products that improve people's life in a massive scale.
Every product I built, it's a continuous love story between my users and products. I believe a great product should be engaging, delightful, sometimes addictive, and should simply works. I believe great products have to be built by a team of rockstar talents, who are obsessed with delivering the best user experience, the most sophisticated technology, and supporting a sustainable business model. I find my niche to be a designer who embrace entrepreneurship, and having a full spectrum of skills to build products people love.
To do that, I specialize in designing for ecosystems of products, envisioning new concept designs, identifying strategies for success, and leading cross-functional teams. I have worked in both visionary and schedule-driven capacities, have been a manager as well as an individual contributor, and have designed for a variety of users and technologies.
At my current company, Inkling, I'm designing the modern approach to creating and sharing knowledge through an end-to-end cloud publishing platform for customer's most important content. My focus is on conceptualizing and refining site features and new products that meet the user's desire for engaging, useful, and pleasurable experiences, and the business's revenue and monetization goals. Beyond that, I also specialize on design techniques of helping product to achieve hyper growth and virality.
How I Got Here?
My journey starts 12 years ago. As a young, ambitious industrial designer, fresh out of college, dreaming one day my design can help lots of lots of people in the world. But in reality, the industry environment at Taiwan in early 2000s was still mainly focus on OEM (Original Equipment Manufacture), and design was just an appended service of it . I worked in an industrial design consultancy, producing product designs in a high speed of one project per week. But I never know who are my users. What project finally got shipped to the market? How is the real world react to my design? That great sense of feeling that you are sailing away from your dream, really keep me up in the night.
So I decide to make the first career gamble: come to the state and get my master at Illinois Institute of Technology, Institute of Design (IIT ID). IIT ID is an interesting school, which was known as the "New Bauhaus" (it was founded by László Moholy-Nagy graphic designer from Bauhaus, after WW2 while Bauhaus was shot down by Nazi). Different from traditional design school, IIT ID focus on training the multi-discipline students to practice design thinking for solving complex, large scale problems. The projects at IIT ID more focusing on social issues such as design planning for the post global warming world, health care reform, or solving poverty issue in south America. In this education process I learned how to tackle complex problems in a systematic fashion, and how to communicate efficiently with cross discipline professionals. It gives me the confidence that designers are able to make huge impact on the strategy round table.
At the year of graduation 2007, Youtube was just acquired by Google with the crazy price of 1.6B, Facebook just hit's 50M user mark, and lots of hot money was rolling back to valley. Inspired by these events, I made my 2nd gamble: switching from the physical product design world, and entering the virtual internet industry. After a few try and error career approaches in the valley, I lucky joined the fast growing professional network LinkedIn at September 2009. In the past 4+ years, I designed and shipped products in very short cycles, and my design was able to touch millions of people's life and helping them be great at what they do. Looking back my dream of helping people in large scale, I guess I am getting a little bit closer.
What I Believe.
Break it down then build it up.
While tackling any kind of large scale problem, we often spend too less time and resource to ask ourselves, are we working on the right problem? What is the root of the issues? How we manage the process of innovation? So I took a page from Vijay Kumar's Structured Approach to Innovation and build up this process that I use for every projects.
#1. Understand the reality by research
Usually it start with asking lots of metric questions and working with data scientist on analyzing user's behavioral data. This gives us a macro view of users' reality and answering the question "What". The analysis result will lead us to a set of hypotheses and identify a few personas/user groups to recruit for field research. The close up micro view will build up the real texture of user's life problem and connect product team's internal empathy with the users. This help us answering the question "Why".
#2. Identify patterns and create a vision
After collecting all these raw data from the field and tracking data, we need to look for patterns, recurring themes, and opportunity spaces within it. Lots of analysis technique can be apply at this stage to help product team connecting dots. The goal of this stage is to invent a vision and a set of principles which should be forward thinking, inspiring, and actionable.
These first 2 stages are also the way I differentiate user experience design from more traditional design fields such as UI Design and interaction design. Because these 2 stages both need to deal with the abstract, intangible type of thinking, analysis ,and communication. In these 2 stages, UXer need to learn how to take off their craftsman and builder hat, and wearing their anthropologist, scientist, and entrepreneur hat to create a vision that's not only able to generate great products, but also able to reinvent an industry.
In order to have a higher success rate in the research and analysis stages, I had experiment a few methodology in the past few projects with my product teams. One of the most efficient one is building up a product war room, to concentrate team's effort, generate common ground, and create a vision all team member can believe in. My learning was documented in this talk: "8 war room tips: A way to kick-start large scale redesign"
#3. Ideate, iterate, evaluate, and refine your designs
Base on the solid vision co-created by the product team, designer can start to prototype and bring the vision to life. In this main playground. I found two capabilities that differentiate myself from other designers. First is speed. The faster you iterate, gather feedback, fine tune. The higher quality of design you can achieve at the end. Second is being a magician. Technique like interactive prototyping, help us to simulate an almost-real product experience without any line of code. The product team then can make way more accurate decisions in early stages.
#4. Communicate, improvise, and agile to craft the last mile
Act like an owner.
While working on a product with your full heart and soul, you are willing to do whatever you can for making the product success. That's why I love to work with entrepreneurs and start-up like environment. I started my core capability around interaction design, information architecture, and design planning. But a few years later, I found myself gaining more and more domain knowledge in business and engineering, also widening my skill coverage in the UX world. And I can't wait for the next challenge to help me grow.
Senior User Experience Designer 2
LinkedIn | September 2009 - Present
Every following project, I worked on the end-to-end product development process from user experience research, user behavior data analysis, defining product hypothesis, visualizing strategic intent, iterating design variation, interactive prototyping, flow/logic design, design documentation (spec), visual design & assets, front-end QA, product marketing design , post launch usability study and post launch agile tuning. Working with product manager, product marketing manager, front-end and back-end developer to build the world class product that improves people's professional life.
- LinkedIn Contacts iPhone App
- LinkedIn Contacts Web Redesign
- Add Connections Page Redesign
- Address Book Import Promotion on Homepage with Social Proof
- People You May Know V2 (2012)
- Who's Viewed My Profile v1
- Connection Suggestor on Profile
- InMaps (Hack Day)
- Jobs You Maybe Interested In v1
- People You May Know V1 (2010)
- Universty Page Early Phase Exploration
- Global Navigation Redesign Early Phase Exploration
- Unified Search Early Phase Exploration
- Global Search Type Ahead
- Company Search
- People Search Premium Filter Up-sell Flow
Interaction & User Experience Designer
Cisco | February 2009 – September 2009 (8 months)
- Cisco Network Product Efficiency Visualization Web App
- UI Requirement scoping
- Flash interactive mockup for high level communication
- Quick-n-dirty rapid prototyping (power point)
- High fidelity interactve UI prototyping for delivering communication to executives, clients and UI develop team (Flash and Flex)
- Data Visualization
User Experience Designer
Conviva | August 2008 – February 2009 (7 months)
- Design RIA's user experience in Flex and AS3 develop environment.
- Manage and align user interface development road map with service road map
- Work seamlessly with flex developer for optimizing user, business and engineering value
- Research enterprise user experience of online live broadcast monitoring
- Data Visualization
User Experience Design Intern
SAP Labs | March 2008 – August 2008 (6 months)
- Design user interface for Master Data Management software, including interactive table, process widget and product hierarchy diagramming
- Build high fidelity interface mockup by using iRise which includes simulation of database interaction
- Conduct and analysis usability study for testing MDM classification interface at ASUG 2008 (American SAP User Group Conference 2008)
Chief Product Designer
Chu Pang Industrial Co.,Ltd | August 2005 – January 2006 (6 months)
- Conducted seasonal trend research
- Developed ceiling fan, including creating specifications for overseas manufacture
- Rendered and sketched concepts and designs
- Created trend boards for catalog style-outs
- Conducted aerodynamics wind tunnel testing for new ceiling fan design
Illinois Institute of Technology
Master of Design, Design Planning | 2006 - 2007
"Massive Change: Living in the World with Rising Seas"
System planning for preparing, preventing and responding to future rising sea levels caused by global warming.
"Mattel -The Future of Play"
Strategic plan the will help Mattel improve future market positioning by understanding the lifestyle shift of children in the near future.
Design analysis project based on Professor Vijay Kumar¡¦s innovation toolkit methodology to discover the insights and solutions of "encouraging active lifestyle"
"SPA Concept Scooter"
Transportation design that focused on mother users in Asia, captured the insights from local user experience research to approach more appropriate transportation design solution. This project was referenced by Business Week Online as "Concept of the Week"recently.