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Meet Ian Liao of ianthecreator

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ian Liao.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ian. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
My understanding of product design began as a teenager, while my father was battling cancer. Not being able to sit up straight, I would try to help him drink water without choking. A seemingly simple task became a challenge, and I started thinking about how I could create designs that would make an impact on people’s lives.

My desire and determination for helping others have only grown. I love solving problems and coming up with new concepts. I want to find that click, that magic moment, where I can see the possibilities and opportunities for the smarter design. A well-designed product not only elevates form and function but connects on a much deeper level.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road on my design career, after learning basic skills on my first two terms at ArtCenter College of Design, I started to think about what type of designer that I want to be in the future. Being a designer does not just mean a way to make off living for me, I also want to use my design knowledge to influence society, and create an awareness of something that people often neglect and disregard.

However, figuring this path out wasn’t easy, in order to realize it, I needed to reutilize and complicate the knowledge that I learned from my courses. Sadly, I did not know how to apply these skills and knowledge into my designs, and this drew me into the deepest hole that I had never been. I got lost and did not know which direction should I go.

However, in such a hard time, I met my mentor Jeff Higashi who shares the same vision as me toward design, he strengthened my design thinking and skills. Through his guidance, I finally rebuilt my confidence, found the right direction on my career path, and changed to a much more mature designer than I was before.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about ianthecreator – what should we know?
I position myself as an user-center designer who has strength in health awareness, medical design, and user experience design.

In 2016, I led a team of medical professionals in the UCLA Inventathon competition, the goal of the competition was to design a product that helps patients functionally monitor their micro-biome at home, and receive clinical recommendations for disease prevention promptly. My team won the First Place through excellent collaboration with each other, and we all committed to the shared goal of human-centered solutions. My design is not just visually pleasing, but it also conceptualizes how humans interact with it.

I’m most proud of the project is HP Campfire, the project sponsored by HP. Campfire is a smart product for the user to record sounds and organize meetings and alters so professionals can focus on creative brainstorming and problem solving rather than taking notes. This design provides users to interact with each other without worrying they might neglect any minor detail.

Campfire is not like other normal technology devices which cut away the physical interaction between the user and other people, HP Campfire pushes the user to the forefront and draws itself back in the background. This kind of design feature is what I proud of because in this era people are too dependent on technology, and almost forget how to interact with people. With the HP Campfire, it brings back the quality of collaboration that we once had.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Able to self-taught and consistent on learning new knowledge gives me the strengths of constantly changing design tools, thoughts, and approaches which allow me to face various different challenges even outside of design worlds.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
33 North Studio, Yixuan Liu, Shu-Wei Chu

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