EnergyHome: A Mobile Application to Motivate Sustainable Behavior

UX Research, UX Design, Mobile Technology | 2014-Present

EnergyHome is an iOS mobile application designed to motivate families or housemates to conserve household energy collectively and collaboratively. The two key features, personal energy goal-tracking and group energy goal-tracking, allow users to keep track of energy-saving tasks both individually and collaboratively.

This is my current research project, advised by Sue Fussell. Based on psychology theories and persuasive theories, I designed the user experience and user interfaces of the application. Currently, I am conducting user studies to evaluate the application and analyzing collected user data.

EnergyHome My Challenges Page EnergyHome Family Challenge Details

SafeSense: A Wearable Armband for Field Workers

UX Research, UX Design, Wearable Technology | Summer, 2014

SafeSense is a wearable armband to alert field workers about the ambient states (e.g., high noise, high temperature) of their working environment. Field workers often preform manual labors in adverse environments. For example, data center technicians often work in a loud environment (e.g., data center). Field workers may underestimate the risks brought by such environment or easily forget about them once they get used to work in adverse environments.

SafeSense is designed to remind field workers to put on personal protection equipment. Based on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, it will vibrate and its LEDs will flash once it detects a high noise or a high temperature.

This is a research and design project that I did when I was interning in IBM, advised by Justin Weisz. After spending some time on learning wearable technology, I designed and built SafeSense with LilyPad. In this project, I also drafted research questions, designed user study protocols (interviews and surveys), recruited users, conducted and analyzed the user study with field workers to evaluate SafeSense.


Mobile Design, Sensor, Prototype | Summer, 2014

HealthSense is an iOS mobile application that collects environmental data (e.g., temperature, humidity) from TI SensorTag and displays such information in a visual way.

This is a design prototype that I made. I was exploring how an iPhone collects data from a sensor. And I designed and built this prototype.

HealthSense HealthSense

Safe City: A Mobile Application Monitoring the Places You Care

Interaction Design, UI Design | Winter, 2012

SafeCity is an Android mobile application. It helps people keep track of disaster(s) (e.g., flood, fire, and hurricane) in user-defined important places. In the application, people can choose the places where they want to monitor, such as home, workplace, parent’s house, etc. An alert and its severity level will show up if any disaster takes place in any of the locations.

I was responsible for designing the information architecture, user interfaces, and other visual elements of SafeCity.

Safe City Safe City

Wandoujia: A Chinese Android Mobile Application

Interaction Design, UI Design | Summer, 2011

Wandoujia is an interactive application designed for Android smartphones. It provides users a platform to search mobile applications, organize digital files (mobile apps, music, images, and videos) on Android smartphones, and simplifies the process of installing an app from a personal computer to an Android smartphone.

I was responsible for designing and analyzing use cases, sketching, making wireframes, prototyping, and designing user interfaces of the very first version of Wandoujia Android App.

You can find the latest Wandoujia app here (website in Chinese).


Bus Hero: A Mobile Application to Track Real-Time Traffic on A Bus

Interaction Design, UI Design | Fall, 2011

Bus Hero is an interactive mobile application for both iPhones and Android phones. Bus Hero is designed to deal with the problem that buses are always crowded in major cities of China. Those who are on a bus can report the status of the bus (e.g., whether the bus is crowded). Those who are waiting at the bus stop receive the reports and decide whether to take it or not. People who report the bus condition(s) are called a hero.

I was responsible for designing the flows, the information architecture, user interfaces, and other visual elements of Bus Hero. My teammates in this hackathon are awesome engineers from Wandoujia.

Bus Hero

musicWALK - Tunes from Your Walking Experience

Design Research, Design Concept, Prototype | 2009-2010

Walking, as a fundamental part in our daily life, needs to be promoted. musicWALK is an iPhone application that uses music as an incentive to encourage people to walk. It enables people to generate music while walking and the generated music is based on people’s walking pattern, weather, and location.

I was responsible for designing and conducting user research (e.g., ethnographic observations, focus groups, and interviews), developing design concepts, making prototypes, creating high-fidelity prototypes of the final design concept, and conducting user tests.

My teammates in this project are: Chit Meng, Ammar, and Varun.

Time Album

Time Album: Your Past, Current and Future

Design Concept, Prototype | 2010

Time witnesses a person’s path of growing and developing. It tells us stories about life. The idea of Time Album aims to connect the notion of time with memories and dreams–not letting memories fade away, and fulfilling people’s dreams of seeing their possible future.

Made up of digital paper, the cover of the album displays the current date and time while the album contents show us two different pictures–one is memories and the other is dreams. Memories represent the past experiences, and dreams represent the possible future scenes. When a person wants to look back to the past, he or she can simply find the past date and time in the tab on the edge of each page and can open that page. The memories are displayed in dynamic photos and videos.

Formulated according to the memories stored in the album, a person can see his or her possible future scene as an illustrative picture or a video. Pages of the Time Album are removable. People can easily remove the page, arrange the order, give it to others, or share it with families and friends.


iFoodCard: Designing for Urban Sustainability and Healthy Living in Guangzhou, China

Design Research, Interaction Design | 2010-2012

This design project uses food as a lens to rethink the role of HCI, which aims at understanding the relations between citizens and food safety issues in the city of Guangzhou, China and informing a healthier urban environment. Food facts become more and more important in Cantonese’s daily life, especially to those who concern about their health. Based on the user study, I found out that a majority of Guangzhou citizens were eager to get more information of food but failed to get access to such facts. One of the major reasons was that they were not able to learn about food related information or updated news in time. Another important reason was the nonstandard and vague food labels.

iFoodCard is an interactive design concept that provides most up-to-date food information to people when they place the card on top of the food. iFoodCard immediately recognizes the food item and searches for relevant information associated with the item. People can easily carry iFoodCard when they go shopping. They can know about food related news at the time when they are shopping for food or grocery.

Dream Kitchen: Sharing Cooking Experience through Different Cultures

Design Research, Design Concept | 2010

The project explores the barriers of cooking sharing among different cultures. One of the biggest barriers is miscommunication. The design of dream kitchen aims to provide an in-situ collaborative cooking experience and encourages social interactions through various cultures.

dream kitchen

Communication Wall

Interaction Design, Design Concept | 2010

Music can convey meanings through cultures, languages, and ages. It is a tool to inform communication. The idea of Communication Wall is based on this assumption, which aims to use music to be responsive and communicative to people’s emotion. It is an ambient wall that can communicate with people. It responds to people’s emotion or feeling with ambient music and picture.

Communication Wall

PuzzleHunt: Revitalize the Winter Pool into a Social Practice between International Students and Local Community

Interaction Design, Prototype | 2010

PuzzleHunt is a collaborative game designed for the international students in Bloomington, Indiana, which aims to inform a better social interaction in the local community. It stimulates the exciting experience of treasure hunt and puzzle solving by revitalizing an unused space—swimming pool in the winter.

More details of our design process can be found on our blog Designingdude.

My teammates in this project are: Chit Meng and Dan.

e-board: expressive, emotive, electronic

Interaction Design, Design Concept | 2009

Nowadays, many people have trouble finding time to be with their families. For some people, this comes from the time constraints placed on a family in which all the members have separate, and demanding, schedules. For other people, the constraint is geographic and monetary that they can’t be expected to regularly visit their families without suffering significant financial burden. e-board is an internet-based bulletin board that facilitates families communications despite geographic or chronological constraints. It aims to provide an emotionally fulfilling, immediate communication medium that could utilize a wide array of communication styles, without putting serious time constraints on the users.

My teammates in this project are: Matt, Chris, and Anjana.

Communication Wall