I was a mathlete in middle school--a true nerd from my earliest days. That time spent on problem sets and competitions taught me problem-solving with a method and toolkit. Where there were multiple ways to get to the answer, the goal was to find the most efficient path.

I went on to get an education in the liberal arts, where I added skills in communication, expression, and creativity. For years I balanced my interest in the sciences and arts, working as a psychology textbook editor.

Then I stumbled on UX. Where those math problems were abstract, with limited practical applications, and where scholarly books had limited audiences, real-world digital design touches potential billions of people. Design at its finest is a science and an art, and further, a way to connect people with ideas. Now, I utilize my passion for constant learning, improving, and connecting to help make peoples’ experiences more intuitive and joyful.




UX Researcher (contract)

Microsoft, Bellevue

Summer 2019—current

Generative problem-finding and evaluative problem-solving research partnering with dozens of product teams for a leading cloud-based AI machine learning platform across all lifecycle stages; UX advocacy and stakeholder education; study presentations and publications; honing internal team processes and research meta-analysis

Lead UX Research Consultant (capstone)

University of California, Irvine and Technolutions, remote

Spring 2020—fall 2020

Research strategy and implementation leading a 5-person team for a customized university admissions portal and underlying vendor technology; planning short- and long-term roadmap of changes for developer team

Data Collection Researcher II (contract)

Amazon, Seattle

Spring 2019—Summer 2019

UX recruiting and participant management, large-volume data analysis and reporting, mobile lab operations and logistics, communications strategy, user research and targeting, and usability and heuristic consulting for an innovative confidential machine learning project iterating on a hardware-software prototype design

UX Consultant (freelance)

Seattle and NYC

Spring 2018—fall 2019

Collaborated with various clients on anything from design thinking education to usability testing scenarios

UX Researcher/Designer

A+E Networks, NYC

Summer 2018—Winter 2018

Founded qualitative and quantitative UX research practices for 2 video streaming apps using suite of new tools; established usability lab and testing protocol; added or redesigned features of 2 apps across 5 platforms; designed 2 entire apps for 1 new platform; codified team UX process; presented demos to stakeholders

Co-founder and Lead Product Designer

LocalVote, NYC

Spring 2018—fall 2018

All things design and strategy for a seed-stage startup to increase voter turnout in local elections through an app that curates events and news; led user research and synthesis, rapidly prototyped hi-fi design, led usability testing, iterated on design and managed developer handoff; facilitated user growth and funding initiatives

UX Designer

Young Audiences New York, NYC

Spring 2018

Designed responsive web and mobile site for digital media students, teachers, and mentors to upload artwork of varying formats, view and share portfolios, conduct online critiques, browse and socially share work, log in and control privacy; specialized in UX research and usability testing; 3 iterations, hi-fi prototype, handover

Managing Editor (psychology, research methods, statistics)

Routledge Psychology (Taylor & Francis), NYC

Summer 2016—Spring 2018

Editorial Assistant (psychology, research methods, statistics)

Routledge Psychology (Taylor & Francis), NYC

Fall 2014—Summer 2016





Master of Human-Computer Interaction and Design

University of California, Irvine

Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Science, Department of Informatics (low-residency program)

Focus in user research and usability

Class of 2020

User Experience Research and Design Specialization Certificate

University of Michigan (via Coursera)

Spring 2019—summer 2019

Human-Computer Interaction for User Experience Design Certificate

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

Fall 2018

Visual Design Certificate

General Assembly NYC

Summer 2018

User Experience Design Immersive Certificate

General Assembly NYC

Spring 2018

Data Analytics Certificate

General Assembly NYC

Fall 2017

Post-Graduate Research Fellowship

École Normale Supérieure de Lyon

Fall 2011–Summer 2012

Bachelor of Arts

Kalamazoo College

Double major; graduated cum laude; Dean’s List; merit scholarships; senior thesis honors

Class of 2010



UX research: Interviewing, ethnographic study, contextual inquiry, focus groups, diary study, surveying, card sorting, eye tracking, comparative/competitive analysis, heuristic evaluation, cognitive walkthroughs, concept testing, usability testing, A/B testing, tree testing; planning, recruiting, moderating, communicating, documenting, teaching UXR

UX process: affinity mapping, feature prioritization, user archetypes, personas, segmenting, user journey maps, task/user flows, sitemaps, wireframing, prototyping; hypothesis-driven framework, jobs to be done, Moneyball, business model canvas, scrum, agile, lean, sprint planning, project planning, iterative UX, responsive web

UX tools: UserTesting, Optimal Workshop, Qualtrics, Respondent; Figma, Sketch, InVision, Marvel, Zeplin

Technical Skills: advanced Excel, VBA, SQL, Tableau, HTML, CSS, Adobe Creative Suite fundamentals, Google Analytics

Languages: advanced French (CEFR C1–2 certified), intermediate Chinese, beginning German



Wikipedian, Wikipedia (copyediting, fact-checking, article flagging, translation)

Dragon boat racing

Vipassana meditation

Writing and blogging    




Best Prototype, UX Mini Hackathon for Boostmyschool

Social Impact Award, Startup Weekend

© 2020 by XIAN GU, UX professional