Human-Centered Design


Good design at its core is about understanding people and their needs in order to create the best possible tools for them. I’m drawn to design for a lot of the same reasons that I’m drawn to management—it feels like a deeply human endeavor to empower others.

Julie Zhou The Making of a Manager
A classroom at Olin College
Olin College, where I attended and mentor.

Encourage engagement

  • Logo of the Nielsen Norman Group
    Nielsen Norman Group: UI Heuristics
    Ground your design critiques in constructive, clear language.
  • Book Cover image of The Design of Everyday Things
    The Design of Everday Things
    Make inuitive interfaces.
  • Book Cover of The Inmates are Running the Asylum
    The Inmates are Running the Asylum
    Recognize all problems come from the product.
  • Photo of Lynn Andrea Stein, professor of cognitive science at Olin College
    Human-Computer Interaction
    Coursework you should look for if you're interested in being an expert (Olin, Universities, and Coursera).

  • Motivate users

  • Book cover of Reality is Broken
    Reality is Broken
    Help users persevere through the challenges in their "jobs to be done."
  • Image of Behavioral Psychology
    Behavioral Psychology
    Build a user's motivation.
  • Book cover of Hooked
    Hooked
    Make it easy for users to take their vitamins. Learn how to build a virtuous cycle. Checkout Noom & Fitbod for excellent examples.

  • Understand customers

  • Google Sheets Logo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
    Design Exercises
    Get inspired from IDEO, Olin, and Google Ventures design books.
  • IDEO method cards
    IDEO Method Cards
    Experiment with users.
  • Olin College Logo
    Full Programs
    Enroll in the best design programs (i.e., Olin College of Engineering (my program), the Stanford D-School, and Carnegie Mellon's HCI program).
  • Book cover: The Lean Startup
    The Lean Startup
    Validate your experiments.

  • Lead teams

  • Book cover: Creative Confidence
    Creative Confidence
    Facilitate ideation sessions with your nacent team.
  • Book Cover: Change by Design
    Change by Design
    Build a holistic process.
  • Book Cover: Design Sprint
    Design Sprint
    Introduce your team to creative product development.
  • Article title for Project Aristotle report in the NYTimes
    Psychological Safety
    Build psychological safety on remote teams (+re:work).
  • Inspire

  • jwq1 Pinterest profile
    Pinterest
    Lots of inspiration (e.g., Architects, Web Design, and Product Design boards)
  • Podcast logo for 99% Invisible
    99% Invisible
    How designers create the world around us.
  • Podcast logo for Design Matters
    Design Matters
    Interviews with some of the world's best designers.
  • John's sketches
    Sketch
    Communicate complicated concepts by learning how to sketch.