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Blair Shen - It's NOT just BS...

My background in literature, humanities, social science, along with 5+ years practical experience allows me to solve problems through translating research data into empathetic and logical design solutions. My lifetime goal is to narrow the gap among genders, classes, and ethnicities via design.

During my free time you can find me prepping for my next UX YouTube video, giving pro bono portfolio reviews, or trying my best to annoy my 3 kitties, Pippin, Pumpkin, and Cortana.

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Why UX design?

Because I believe better design in tech products empowers people. Coming from a family where no one works in the tech field, I experienced the digital divide since childhood. My parents used to work in the automobile industry during the 80s and 90s. However, after the prevalence of computing, they were replaced by technology. Both of my parents do manual work to support the family. During one of my undergraduate courses, I learned about the famous article “Do Artifacts Have Politics?” by Langdon Winner. It dawned on me that one of the keys to democratize technologies is through design. After studying sociology theories and human-computer interaction in my grad schools, I decided to be a designer to mitigate the difference between the tech-deprived and the tech-savvy.


Why am I unique?

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Here’s a story about how a girl can be the agenda setter and make a powerful change. I launched a free-hugs campaign a few years ago after the Taipei subway stabbing spree (see Wikipedia reference here). Right after the attack happened, I saw an emerging problem: people were angry, hateful, and distrusting of each other. No one wanted to walk within 2 feet of anyone else on the streets. The news media went crazy for sensational coverage. That moment, I decided to launch a free hug event with my friends at the location where the attack happened. Everyone told me it was too dangerous since the attacker was still on the run. The fear didn’t stop me. My purpose was, first, to stop news media from badgering the family members of the deceased, and second, to make people warm and positive again. The experience was mutually rewarding to me, my friends, and everyone who participated. The result was powerful. After that event, the news media stopped focusing on sensational content and more people joined our event to spread love and peace in society ( see the news coverages here, here, and here). So… why am I telling you this? It shows that I’m not afraid of experimenting on crazy ideas. I'm never satisfied with the status quo and always try to make a difference - every great thing is nothing but a lot of little ones.


Interested?

Shoot me a message if you want to know more about me or be a guest speaker on my channel! ;D