I'm Tara Lin.

I’m a UX designer based in San Francisco. I’m currently an interaction design student at the California College of the Arts, where my research and study mostly focus on creating our relationship with others and things. I learned that great design is impactful and cautious.
I'm actually a book nerd. I spend most of my time outside of work on reading. When I'm not reading or designing, I like to drink with my friends, watch films and travel.
Feel free to reach out to me if you want to talk about books, work or films.

The Story of Design

It starts with a problem.

Every story needs a central problem to become a story. And a story almost always kicks off with a problem. The design is the same. Recognizing the problem is the beginning of a design journey.

Understand what is going on with research.

The design is the designer's assumptions. Every step along the way is a guessing game. The assumptions are based on the designer's intuition. The intuition comes from two places: the shared societal knowledge we collect when growing up, and research.
The struggles of design stories are the conflicts between what designers think people need and what people actually need. To better align with the people we are designing for, I like to use a combination of qualitative and quantitative research - a mixture of hard facts and natural understanding of people to better evaluate the design challenge. The research outcome can be system maps, how might we opportunity statements, a detailed user profile, a competitive landscape - whatever it takes to deepen understanding of the challenge.

Let users be the designers.

The journey of design is often collaborative. The collaboration is not only between designers, but designers and users. It starts by proposing a lot of concepts to solve the existing problem. Then I present the ideas (often in a storyboard format and later wireframes) to the users for feedbacks and potentially ask them to design the solutions together. It is both concept testing and participatory design. This phase has repeating iterations.

Crafting the solution.

After the exploratory design phase, I use the design and prototyping tools to craft a visually consistent and functional solution. But users will still need to be in the loop. So here comes usability testing.

And then the happily ever after.... maybe.

Sometimes design works. But more often it doesn't stand the test of reality. What happened? Maybe some technical constraints are not uncovered. Maybe the design doesn't work anymore when scaling up. Maybe the problem being solved isn't the essence of the problem being presented. Nonetheless, it starts a new journey.