My Design Values

Sustainability: Designing for long-term solutions and thinking for the future 

Inclusiveness: Respecting cultures and providing accessibility to everyone

Beauty: Producing visually pleasuring and elegant designs

Creativity: Thinking outside of the box and looking for innovative solutions

Efficiency: Improving productivity in our daily life

Why I Choose HCDE/UX

At first, I chose Human Centered Design and Engineering simply for “an engineering major that has something to do with design”. Later, as I got to know more and more about this major, I realized that HCDE is so much more than the phrase above, and I am forever grateful for my decision to study in this unique discipline.


First and foremost, HCDE is about the People. As my understanding of the major grew, I learned that HCDE is different than traditional engineering majors as it targets social issues and practices by bridging gaps through design, research, writing, etc. It focuses on resolving popular societal issues as well as problems that often go unmentioned. HCDE teaches me to look beyond the surface, beyond the rigid science and terminologies, and go deep into the core of issue to recognize implied meanings and connotations.  For example, we learn to think about the privileged and the disadvantaged groups, and how we might help alleviate stress in the gaps of social inequality and make a difference in people‘s lives with the help of design and technology.


Additionally, I believe what I am studying is helping bringing peace to the world. With a focus on human beings, HCDE teaches me to resolve conflicts by finding brilliant, win-win solutions. It encourages people to try to understand one another by teaching them to think from multiple perspectives. In HCDE, we practice thinking from the user’s perspective and solve problems through the user-centered lens. What I've come to realize is that the society we live in (and the general categories that we fail into) shapes our particular life experiences, expectations and satisfactions. We learn to understand people with different backgrounds and cater to the different needs of user groups to help them achieve goals and make peace within our busy, fast-paced world.


The best part about HCDE is that it introduced me to the field of UX design. UX brings a unique perspective on people and technology. The field explores what the relationship between humans and technology might look like and how might we interact with technologies. Whether it is simple user interfaces or complex systems, UX examines the reasons we are designing and what we are designing for. When designing products, we are compelled to think: should we really be doing this? Is this the only solution to the problem? UX designers are like the rebels that challenge the status quo, break up assumptions, call up uncertainties, question accepted notions and think outside of the box for solving any problem. We are trained to be more detail oriented and keen in understanding how people are and how the world works.

Lastly, UX provides me a platform to practice and grow my skill sets, as well as enabling me to do the things I enjoy, such as sketching, designing, being creative, etc. I am constantly inspired by people in the UX field and I can’t wait to meet more people with a similar interest in making this world a better place. :)

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©2018 by Ruotong Melody Xu

Seattle, WA | Portland, OR

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