Hello and welcome!

My name is Kristin Au (pronounced like ow) and I'm a product designer at Quora.

If you would like a copy of my professional resume, please e-mail me.

Who I Am

Previously, I designed mobile interfaces for The Walt Disney Company in Japan. I graduated from MIT in 2014 with a degree in Architecture Computation, where I studied topics ranging from computer graphics to building software tools for architecture. As a product designer, I focus on user experience and interaction design, but I also do visual design, illustration, and occasionally animations.

Outside of design, you can find me practicing my Japanese, attempting to learn (yet another) language, or taking contemporary dance classes around the Bay Area.

On Design

I care a lot about the big picture. Before diving into the weeds, I think about whether or not the problem we’re trying to solve is the right problem to solve. Good design takes usability and aesthetics into account, but great design will also take into account business goals and technical constraints. My design process goes something like this:

  1. Learn from everybody and everything
  2. User empathy paints part of the picture, but talking to stakeholders and engineers will eliminate surprises down the road.

  3. Process the learnings
  4. Distill learnings into something visual, like sketches, a mind map or wireframes, so everyone is on the same page.

  5. Take what you have and go back to Step 1
  6. Running with your head down might be faster, but it comes at the risk of going the wrong direction. The product of Step 2 should be taken back to Step 1 for re-evaluation via user testing or gathering more data.

Just as user empathy in a design is important, so is empathy for project collaborators. Every project is different and a design process should be flexible enough to accommodate a given situation.