Source: Krista Krumina (partial) from 99designs

In many areas of our lives — be it academic, personal or professional — we encounter encouragement to always try something new without being overly focused on the endpoint. We are inspired to take risks, spiritually buoyed by sayings like:

  • Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
  • If you never try, you’ll never know.
  • “I never fail. I win or learn.” (Attributed to Nelson Mandela)

The same is true in tech, with the startup battlecry “Fail fast, fail often” urging burgeoning companies to lean into failure, learn from it, make pivots and try new things, and press forward until they reach success.


Neanderthal DNA is why I ❤ ❤ ❤ meat

Source: 23andMe email header image

In a very unexpected twist in my relationship with at-home ancestry kits, I recently received an email letting me know that I am part Neanderthal. Or more specifically, that I have more Neanderthal DNA than 97% of the company’s customers.

I found this intriguing, so after finishing my afternoon hunt, I lit a fire and settled onto my woolly mammoth fur rug to more deeply ponder this revelation. Having read Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, I know that contrary to popular understanding, Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens did not exist in serial…

Being Asian in California is all the personal protection I need

Source: Smithsonian Magazine

My coworker was recently telling me about a podcast she had been listening to called Relative Unknown, detailing a woman’s life in the witness protection program after her father testified against fellow Hell’s Angel gang members. Her family was uprooted and sent to a rundown town in Montana.

As a person of Asian descent, I know that this would never happen to me and my family. If we were ever to testify against a band of powerful people and then be shuttled off for our protection, we could never…

Unpacking the true perils of the much-envied Asian metabolism

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

I recently had a discussion with an acquaintance regarding extreme diets, including the benefits of intermittent fasting. A keto devotee, she commits to a no sugar, no carb, organic, non-GMO diet while also participating in intermittent fasting to maintain her goal weight.

Now, I’m not personally a believer in super restrictive diets. Perhaps ignorant — because I’m a child of the ’80s when cheese came in pressurized cans and slumber parties always entailed the offer of eating raw cookie dough or frosting right out of the container (both of which I…

Every Asian’s disappointment with at-home ancestry kits

I’m obsessed with at-home ancestry kit commercials. Featured in every commercial is a Caucasian person, eyes blazing as they recount the excitement from discovering that their great-great-great-grandfather was a poor fisherman in [insert European country] who dreamed of a better life and found a path to the land of milk and honey. …

Image courtesy of Dr. Seuss / MGM

Masterminding the best marketing campaign of my career, all to benefit those most in need

Some years ago, I was working at a small tech company in the Bay Area and right around this time of year (November), they announced our participation in a food donation drive for a local charity.

More than a week later, the donation barrel remained empty. …

“Does it spark joy?”

This guiding question at the heart of Marie Kondo’s radically simple KonMari method may offer more than just advice on tidying your home. While many people associate Kondo’s methods with cleaning and organizing, it’s really about being present and discarding items that lack value. And this philosophy applies to more than just material possessions in the home.

We’ve all experienced websites that are too complex, too cluttered, too time consuming, or just plain un-easy on the eyes. Sometimes, you grin and bear it for products or sites you’re fond of and that you’ve grown attached to. …

Understand your customers’ experiences by putting yourself in their shoes… or perhaps their lipstick shades…

Source: Korea Joongang Daily (image use only, not connected to customer in story)

It was a typical Thursday morning at work. I was attending the bi-weekly engineering meeting where team members demonstrate the progress they’ve made on their assigned projects.

Our UX Researcher was sharing videos from one of our customers, a major makeup brand. The company wanted feedback on their mobile app, which uses Augmented Reality (AR) to overlay makeup on the user’s face, much like a filter. No longer would a user have to wonder: How would that shade look on me? Or, can I pull this off? …

Image source: Tidy Casa, “The Five Secrets of the KonMari Method”

By now, I’m sure that you’ve heard of the KonMari method. The international bestseller — now a popular Netflix series — champions a distinct methodology for tidying one’s home. In the effort to decide what in one’s surroundings stays and what goes, a person must ask a single, seemingly innocuous, question:

“Does this spark joy?”

Skeptics may scoff, but the KonMari method — brainchild and namesake of Marie Kondo, a former Shinto shrine attendant turned organizing guru — is credited with inspiring people across the globe to purge their homes of unneeded items in an effort to enjoy a happier…

Courtesy: Dr. Seuss

An ode about UX a la Dr. Seuss


Today you’re in luck.

You’re launching great products

That’ll earn you a buck…

… or two or three

Or four or more!

There’s simply no counting

The ROI that you’ll score!

You have ideas in your head

And hypotheses to test

So you gather customer feedback

To ensure they’re the best.

In just a few hours, you’ll review the replies.

The customer experience will be revealed — right before your eyes!

With your team full of insights, and your stakeholders agreed

You’ll make data-driven decisions and then you’ll proceed.



Stephanie Kong

Product marketer living and working in San Francisco. These thoughts and ideas are all my own.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store