About Me

I entered the field of UX design as an urban designer and planner (see my previous portfolio). For me, the design of cities has been an enduring fascination. Every time I think of my hometown, whose thousand-year-old spatial pattern still accommodates daily operations, I cannot help but appreciate the power of design to transcend place and time. My five wonderful years of studying urban design in China, combined with my master’s degree in urban planning at Columbia University, deepened my understanding of how the world works. 

During an urban planning studio trip in Madrid in 2019, I witnessed the compelling social impact that UX design cangenerate. The app was Decide Madrid, a platform launched by the city that successfully restored citizen’s trust in government by engaging people directly in decision-making. I soon started to gather information about UX design. The more I knew about this field, the more I felled for it. Compared with urban design, it has faster design cycles; it allows us to iterate before landing a product; it gives extra space to let the creative juices flow. 

Luckily, the skills and views I gained from my past experiences are applicable to UX design. I value people’s needs and desires, because they are the source of the vitality of a city. I emphasize functionality and aesthetics, as both of them are indispensable for creating fulfilling andinspiring feelings. I embrace diversity and differences with an inclusionary vision, in light of the fact that global cities thrive variously. I care about equity and accessibility, since cities should be open to anyone regardless oftheir background, ethnicity, race, and class.  

I am still learning, growing, and soaking knowledge; most importantly, I try to make progress towards a better UX designer every day. I hope my interdisciplinary skillset can blow some breeze in tackling problems with creative ideas. Ideally, these solutions will ultimately facilitate communication and foster mutual understanding among individuals who come from different cultures and value systems.  

These are my stories, and I’d love to know more about yours! If you want to connect in a more exciting way than writing emails, feel free to join me in making sushi in my kitchen, hiking along trailsat state parks, or taking photographs of the great outdoors!

Feel free to drop me an email at aurorashao94@gmail.com.