In Conversation with Tutu
UX + UI Designer at Vianai
Seed Sheets, a pop-up project that teaches kids the life cycle of food through making paper with seeds, food scraps, and archived restaurant menus. (The project was done in collaboration with Sida Li.)
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I have always enjoyed crafts and arts and finding creative ways to solve complex problems. This year I’ve been honing my watercolor and drawing skills. Recently, I also started designing custom T-shirts with vinyl graphics. I love crafting and during the July 4th weekend, when our dog, Goma, was agitated by the noise of fireworks, my husband and I prototyped a noise-reducing bunker, using existing Home Depot moving boxes and insulation pads.
Casa de Goma, the bunker built for my dog, Goma; and a vinyl t-shirt inspired by Goma.
“Customers enjoy working with us because of our collaborative approach and the fact that we fall in love with their problems.”
I am also very passionate about food education and exploring how design can address questions about our food system and help to shape a better and more equitable future. I’ve exhibited several speculative design works that imagine alternative food futures, and built educational, interactive installations to engage the public.
In The Balance, an interactive installation that engages people to learn the carbon footprints of the major ingredients we eat every day, and encourages them to reimagine their diet. (The project was done in collaboration with the Perennial restaurant, Weichung Joong, John Wegner, and Sida Li.)
What is your role at Vianai?
As a UX designer focusing on user research and design, I think it’s critical to capture the user needs/ use cases and then rapidly prototype the concepts. Then, our team has a tangible interface for conversation and iteration. Prototypes help explain our ideas and help the team align the vision in a more efficient way.
My work on the Vian Platform includes design exploration, leveraging research insights, for collaboration, creativity, and innovation in our problem-solving. My role is to balance the needs of the user (internal and external) and the needs of the business
In addition to the product design work, I also designed some fun assets for storytelling and marketing purposes. It’s a fun and beautiful journey of exploring the idea of “Human-Centered AI” and “the world full of life and intelligence” with my colleagues. In 2020, when learning about the changes around us since the pandemic began, I visualized and animated the story Beyond the Pandemic. After that, I used the same style and designed our new website, to share our philosophy and aesthetics with more audiences.
Samples of my drawing iterations, to brainstorm how tools (AI) empower humans to explore the world, and how people play different instruments (AI) harmoniously
What are you working on these days?
My work focuses on our Vian Platform UX design collaborations; the goal of my practice is to help the users better interpret and monitor the model performance. I also am always exploring with our clients the design tools that are powered by AI, to predict and track risks for better decision-making.
What is the most exciting part about the work you are doing, and how does it relate to Human-Centered AI?
As a person with a non-engineering background, being able to understand how AI works behind the scenes is very fascinating. When I joined Vianai, I discovered that the reality of AI is different from what I saw in science fiction and movies, from the stage of AI development to the challenges people have with AI adoption. Learning all of this allows me to see the “diversity” of AI capabilities or limitations so we can design trust between AI and users.
It’s been exciting to be involved in the process of designing and building tools, like our Vian Platform for training, deploying, and monitoring models, which will shape the future and perception of AI.
Working with the UX team, applying Human-Centered Design methodologies to identify users and their problems, and using the discoveries to guide our design work. This ensures we are not only training AI to learn about human reality but also enhancing the connection between AI and ourselves, so people can better understand and trust these technologies, such as improving the explainability and interpretability of AI models.
What do you think customers appreciate most about working with us?
Customers enjoy working with us because of our collaborative approach and the fact that we fall in love with their problems. We are constantly challenging ourselves to see beyond current problems and to imagine how those problems could evolve along with transformative solutions. We learn from our clients, and they learn from us, forming a positive cycle that keeps us thinking ahead and preparing for exciting future scenarios.