I am a freelance UX designer who loves to conceive and craft digital experiences that empower, connect, and delight people.
I believe great products find the sweet spot of business viability, technical feasibility, and enjoyable human experience.
I strive to be an expert from the experience angle, while keeping the business and technology in the context at all times.
I believe great design is grounded in insights about the problem and the people it touches.
I apply various research and design methods to collect, synthesize, and distill insights that will inspire design ideas that work for the particular problem.
I believe a good direction or an idea is a start, but the execution is what determines the outcome.
I utilize the full range of human-centered design approaches, with many rounds of sketching, wireframing, prototyping, and testing to evolve an idea to a solid product.
I believe digital products should go beyond just being usable or looking good. They should strive for emotional delight and connection.
I empathize with users through out the design process, explore deeper emotional needs, and strive for providing emotional delight through the design.
We are living in a connected world with multiple touch points to the web. Every day people’s use of the web reaches unprecedented leves of diversity and intricacy. I will design your application or website in a way that serves your users well in the connected world.
Mobile and touch devices bring new challenges to traditional interaction design, while providing infinite potential for seamless experiences between humans and devices. I will design your product to fully embrace the unique qualities of mobile and touch for stellar user experience.
Each project is unique. I create a design plan that is tailored to your specific needs, budget, and timeline.
I care about your long-term vision and strategy. I make sure the design I deliver is scalable enough for the future growth of your business.
I value my partnership with clients. I make sure you are always in the loop and on the same page with clear, honest, and frequent communication.
I would love to hear about you and your product, and let’s work together to make something exciting and amazing. I keep a blog called No Product Too Small to document my practice and thoughts on making small-scale digital products. You are welcome to visit and comments are appreciated!
I am based in Chicago Illinois, and I am available for local and remote clients.
Don't like forms? You can email me at yujia [at] yujiazhao.com
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Lychee is an iPhone app for women to record menstrual cycles. Instead of a do-it-all app with every feature, we wanted to bring cleanness, simplicity, elegance, and focus to a menstrual tracking app, serving women who simply want to keep a record so that they can see any trend, discuss with doctors, and predict future periods.
The design is minimalistic and clean in every aspect: feature, interaction, and visual style. We produced tappable prototypes and tested with users, which confirmed our product concept and main features.
Aug 2013 – Present
With online media overload, finding the most relevant content becomes the common goal of consumers and content editors. This project is to design an in-player video recommendation and discovery experience, that engages the video consumers with more relevant content.
The design carefully considers different ways people discover and consume content with different types of content and in various context, accounts for both lean-back and lean-forward video watching modes, and also operates within the back-end algorithm constraints.
Dec 2012 – Feb 2013
OTS stands for Ooyala Transcoding Service, which takes a source video as input, and generates multiple streams of videos for various bandwidth and devices. The speed, consistency, and error rate are core measurements of OTS performance. This dashboard is an internal tool for the team to monitor and retrieve the system performance data.
Ooyala’s video analytics is the competitive advantage of their offering, and this project is to stay even ahead of the curve and revamp the analytics product to be more scalable, easy to use, and customizable.
The challenges are to support vastly different needs of various job functions, to present data in a way conducive for interpretation, to have the UI architecture scalable for future features and data types.
For a project of this nature and scope, I focused on fully explore divergent architecture options based on 5 primary and secondary personas, and tested often with users.
May 2012 – Dec 2012
Adobe Audience Research was a web platform where media planners and advertisers can look up, compare, and research traffic data of various publishers certified by Adobe, and publishers can sign up to be audited and certified and publish their data on the site.
The goals are two folds. One is to provide the easiest ways for advertisers to find and research data whether they have a specific publisher in mind or just browsing, two is to get more publishers to sign up the service by clearly explaining the benefit, process, and what is involved, and to allow them to manage their data easily.
This product was sunset in 2012.
May 2012 – Dec 2012
This project was to redesign a better survey creating experience from initial draft to launching online.
I started by conducting user interviews, to find out their current complaints, and more importantly what is their survey creation process and context like beyond using the tool. Do they need to share the draft and get approval? Do they collaborate? The contextual information like these were crucial to come up with designs that really serve in context.
Unlike an informational website, the survey editing tool is very rich in user interaction. Prototyping was crucial to test and communicate the interaction. I tested design with users using clickable wireframe prototypes, and the feedback was invaluable for the final iteration.
The release was very successful, and one customer claimed that “This is a huge step forward for Adobe Survey.” in a press release.
This product was sunset in 2011.
May 2012 – Dec 2012