• Jay Liu


My Background

I started out developing software applications.

I transitioned to user experience design because I realized I liked thinking about what to build rather than how to build it.

I also find designing digital tools for people to be a fulfilling way to serve them.

How being a former dev can help make a better designer

  • More empathy for developers
  • Enhanced collaboration with developers
  • Expanded awareness of the technology stack
  • Clearer bug reporting
  • Create tooling to empower designers
  • Add value across more stages of the product lifecycle
  • Apply best software principles to design, like modular thinking
I wrote more on this topic
Blessings and Curses: How our backgrounds affect our ability to design

A reflection on my own experience transitioning from software development to illustrate how our backgrounds help or harm our designs.

My Design Philosophy

Creating well-designed, effective tools is a form of service

I want digital tools to be a way to enhance our short lives. I love to see technology augment human capability and performance.

Make ideas concrete

I strive to make ideas concrete, that is, put ideas down on paper or pixels. It frees up cognitive load and helps everyone evaluate and test the idea.

Save development costs

If developers are road pavers, my analogous role is to discover where the desire path  will end up.

Or, in YouTube comment form,

Me: Nail it
Devs: Scale it

About This Site

Dang, why so much content?!

On this site, you’ll find a lot of content for a typical portfolio, which I understand goes against the general wisdom that certain things should be saved for the interview.

I went against that advice because

  1. It could save us both valuable time. I hope to give you a clearer picture of how I think to help you better evaluate my fit on your team.
  2. I do believe in documenting and publishing because it helps me process thoughts. And, I find it enjoyable.

With all that said, I hope I’ve laid things out in a way to let you can get what you need quickly.

My Interests

I’m interested in

  • ALL sorts of design (game, graphic, print, industrial, product, behavioral, interior, urban, etc.)
  • communication (especially visual and symbolic)
  • collaboration (human-to-human, human-to-robot)
  • creativity, cognitive and behavioral psychology, sociology
  • digital art (3D, 2D, illustration, photography, etc.)

Other interests and endeavors include being a dad, husband, mechanical keyboard enthusiast, crafter and user of sketchbooks (as seen on the Folio Forge project page), web tech tinkerer, podcast and audiobook consumer, reader , and a practicing member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


The type is set in beautiful Work Sans .

Persona images are from Artbreeder .

This site was hand-crafted using Gatsby , a host of open-source plugins , and some lost hair.