chieri_wada.jpg
 

Chieri Wada

Part designer,
part observer of humans.

 
 
 
 

From Japan, to design

Soka’s graduating class of 2014 :)

Pencils in hand and drawing anthropomorphic dogs like nobody’s business. From there, I upgraded to making cooler and more *important* things like Xanga layouts and class T-shirts.

Living in Japan inspired me to follow my dreams of becoming a graphic designer. At first, freelancing felt so right - designing logos and flyers for local organizations. But eventually, I felt unsatisfied with the scope of my work. I found myself asking,

What kind of impact am I making?

 

Struggles as an immigrant

My queen about to see the queen — Beyoncé.

My queen about to see the queen — Beyoncé.

Growing up in an immigrant family, I witnessed first-hand the difficulties a non-English speaker faces in America through my mom. “Convenient” features like automated telephone services haunted her because of her accent. They didn’t just keep her from completing a task; they made her feel taunted and unwelcome in her home. I never understood why they weren’t designed for edge cases like her. Something was inherently wrong.

Design wasn’t inclusive.

These experiences made me realize that I want to do more than just make things look pretty. I craved more of a human element. I wanted to use my design skills to help the everyday person, to do more than design cool aesthetic but improve lives in some shape or form. Most importantly, I wanted my design to help people feel included, like this was designed for them.

 

The lightbulb moment

In my favorite city, Tokyo!

In my favorite city, Tokyo!

After some soul searching (and Google searching), I found UX design and fell in love. User-centric design was the answer I was looking for:

To craft visually engaging designs that are usable and enjoyable!

I’ve spent the last year and a half molding my visual design and anthropology backgrounds into a strong UX/UI design skill set. As a UX product designer, I take pride in my work that I did my best to make a slice of the world function better than it did before.