There are so many guides to time management out there. What makes this one different?

Honestly, probably not much. I would just be rehashing several key points, like the Parkinson’s Law and the 80/20 rule and how you could put them together, twist the laws of physics and become highly productive.

I am a big believer in that, but this post will come at it from a more pragmatic perspective and a less theoretical level. We are all humans, we are all tired after work, and many of us have lives and responsibilities outside of our jobs. …


Here’s one important reason.

Growing up, I’ve always subconsciously avoided competitions. I’ve received “awards” here and there throughout school, but they were usually prizes that I didn’t even know I’d entered.

Such as — “the most awkward penguin in the high school class of 2005.”

Why is that? Because I hate doing fake projects, I told myself. After many years of (almost overdoing) architectural school and grad school, I’m hungry to make things that real people use rather than hypothetical, conceptual projects. It isn’t good for my psyche. But deep down, I know those were excuses. A sizable part of the equation is my…


What I learned in my “first 90 days”

My “first 90-days” at Empowerly, an early-stage startup, was spent speed-fixing an utterly broken web app so that our users can successfully access our basic revenue-generating service features to complete their tasks. Now that the product is patched up, we saw our user engagement up by four-fold — and can at least for a brief moment let out a sigh of relief. Of course, this is just the beginning of a very, very long journey.

I decided to reflect on my experience of this first operation. Here’s my survival guide for anyone else who might be working as a lone-wolf…


A letter to disillusioned architects trying to take the leap

Dear disillusioned architect,

When I signed up to study architecture for my undergrad degree a dozen years ago, it was far from being an informed decision. I was 18 and had no clue what I wanted to do in life. As a teenager who loved art and design, architecture seemed to be the only semi-creative degree that fulfilled my parent’s expectations of me becoming a “licensed professional.”

The rumor I heard was that — even if you don’t want to become a practitioner for life, the intensity of architectural studio training will prepare you for careers outside of its traditional…


A case study on overcoming the imposter syndrome and becoming in control

Ok, this is embarrassing.

I’m going to announce to the world that: In the past decade I’ve failed close to eight driving road tests in total (and passed two). That is five times (to get my Hong Kong license), and three times (to get my Californian permit).

When I first started learning how to drive, I was 19. I didn’t realize I lacked the driving DNA, so I naively, and audaciously, went for the stick shift.

Oh. Never again.

And even with automatic, I failed seven more times.

At some point, I just accepted that, well, I sucked, but I…


A Google Ventures Design Sprint Case study

Mockup template attributed to psdhands.com

Overview

Project nature

This is a one-week GV Design Sprint student project completed for the Springboard’s UX Career Track program.

Note: The original brief, “GalleryPal,” is provided by Bitesize UX . I took the liberty to reinterpret the task as redesigning SFMOMA’s existing museum app.

My role

UX Designer

Timeline

One week

Tools

Figma and Principle

Disclaimer

I have borrowed names, texts, and images from real, existing SFMOMA promotional materials on a fair use basis for the production of this academic project. All interactions demonstrated on the designed prototype screens are entirely hypothetical and fictitious.

The (hypothetical) problem

SFMOMA is trying to raise visitor satisfaction when viewing art in-person in their…


Case study of the UI design process

Read more about this project:

(Act I) The UX research process
(Act II) The UX design process

Overview

Project nature

Springboard’s UX Career Track program capstone project (individual effort)

My role

UI designer

Timeline

0.5 months

Tools

Sketch, Invision

The challenge

Buddyride is a rideshare app that helps otherwise-homebound older adults connect with younger, retired individuals who can offer them concierge driving services.

The challenge of designing the UI for this app is that, since it is a rideshare app, the mobile app must be optimized for older adult accessibility. …


Case study of the UX research process

Read more about this project:

(Act II) The UX design process
(Act III) The UI design process

Overview

Project nature

Springboard’s UX Career Track program capstone project (individual effort)

My role

User researcher

Timeline

2 months

Tools

Adobe InDesign+Illustrator, pen and paper, a blank wall and sticky notes, sound recorder

The problem

Today, many older adults who are living in automobile-centric cities in the US suffer from depression due to the loss of mobility and increasing social isolation, especially when they have to give up their driver’s licenses.

The solution

I undertook in-depth research and investigation on this problem space, and resulted in a specific, tangible product/service idea that could effectively address the issue. …


Case study of the UX design process

Read more about this project:

(Act I) The UX research process
(Act III) The UI design process

Overview

Project nature

Springboard’s UX Career Track program capstone project (individual effort)

My role

Information architect, user experience designer, user researcher (usability evaluation)

Timeline

Two months

Tools

Sketch, Adobe InDesign+Illustrator, POP by Marvel, Invision, pen and paper

The challenge

For my UX capstone project, I decided to design a rideshare app that helps otherwise-homebound older adults connect with younger, retired individuals who can offer them concierge driving services, to empower them to maintain more active and socially connected lifestyles. …

Lai-Jing Chu

Product Designer + PM → laijingchu.com / CritRoom Founder → critroom.co

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