Hello, I'm Tom Dai

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  • I am a UX designer and app developer.

    Currently, I'm working on my master's degree in human-computer interaction while crafting some design projects.
    List of projects

    In the past, I worked on cloud computing products at Blockless and commercialization features for a live streaming app at Tencent.

    A portrait of Tom Dai

    My design principles

    Identify the first principles. When starting a new project, I go back to the first principles to identify the core purpose and goals. Do we want cars or “faster horses”? It’s essential to understand what the user and the project truly need.

    Form follows function. The “look and feel” of a design are important, but the functionality is crucial. I try to validate my design decisions with a solid rationale and research evidence, ensuring that they are effective and meet the needs.

    Work with the context. A key aspect of a design is to into its context. That’s why I always take into account the environment the user's habits to create designs that are not only visually appealing but also functional and intuitive to the user.

    Systematize. I believe in the power of systems to ensure consistency in my designs, from visual elements to interactions. A unified design system gives users a sense of confidence and control in their interactions.

    “People aren't trying to use computers – they're trying to get their jobs done.” (Apple Computer, Inc., 1987)

    My journey

    My journey in tech began at a turning point for the web. It was 2011. I was twelve. The surging adoption of HTML5/CSS3 and Steve Jobs’s “Thoughts on Flash” made it much easier for a kid who barely knew English to build on the web. Building has fascinated me since then.

    At some point, I decided to either be a software engineer, a product manager, or a designer, because either would be a career of building in tech. My undergrad major was a good fit for a product manager, so I tried it first. However, I discovered I had more passion for designing, so here I am.

    “Faster horses”
    Henry Ford allegedly said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” This quote is often used to illustrate the importance of understanding the problem before jumping to a solution.
    “Look and feel”
    “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Steve Jobs.