Viewing Google Maps icons through the perspective of ancient maps

Alaska (Prince of Wales Island), Copper Mountain and vicinity, 1909, by Sargent, R. H.

The smell of aged parchment and centuries-dried ink, the slight sound of large sheets rustling and flat drawers rolling open, the soft feel of worn atlas bindings on my fingertips as I walk down rows of bookshelves—my senses were greeted with remnants of history each time I entered the John R. Borchert Map Library for my evening shifts during my junior year of college. I cannot recall whether my interest in geography was motivated by the hours I spent sorting and befriending these maps, or if my part-time position encouraged me to pursue a geography minor. …

A case study on Co–Star, one of the most popular astrology apps

Image from Co–Star Astrology

Today, I received a notification from Co–Star telling me, “Do your laundry today. Fold it immediately.”

Co–Star is an astrology app, most known for its quippy and conversation-inspiring “day at a glance” notifications, clean interface, and ease of use—folks who are new to astrology and seasoned experts alike appreciate the way that the app eases the user into learning about the stars. While I and many of my friends understood basic astrological terms (mostly pertaining to our own individual sun signs), once Co–Star entered our lives last year, we dove headfirst into the astrology rabbit hole. …

Taking a closer look at InterVu through the lens of usability heuristics

InterVu by Focus Vision, a platform for digital focus groups

I work in market research, which means my team often went to interview consumers in-person, whether they were ethnographies in their own homes, focus groups in a facility, or shop-alongs within stores. Of course, this was all pre-pandemic — once quarantine began, we had to rapidly shift our project methodologies to phone and video interviews, something I did not have very much familiarity with. …

The answer is yes, but only because of one key factor.

Image by Geeky Shots on Unsplash

My family is a loyal Nintendo family.

The possession I cherished the most when I was a child was a Nintendo DS Lite (pink colored, of course). I recall chilly winter mornings where I would take care of my virtual pets (a dog named Snow) or jump on mushroom monsters to collect gold coins (Super Mario style). My younger sister had a matching white one and we liked to PictoChat with each other until our mom called us for dinner (remember PictoChat, everyone?).

Years later, my brother was born and soon grew old enough to be my video game right…

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Why do some tools—ones that are meant to solve problems—end up making you feel more burdened? And what do plants have to do with budgets?

As a market research strategist, I spend my days answering research objectives for a variety of companies, helping interview consumers, and translating those findings into actionable insights. …

Amanda Nguyen

A research strategist passionate about design, patiently waiting until it’s time to water her plants

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