Hey there! My name is Grace Lihn.
I'm a user experience (UX)/product designer and solutions design consultant. I work closely with mission-driven organizations, startups, and entrepreneurs to create thoughtful, human-centered product experiences. My projects range from responsive websites to mobile apps to research and UX strategy. In some cases, I also provide systems architecture support, since my clients' websites often need to be connected to ecommerce, POS, marketing, and/or other tools. You could say that I'm a blend between designer and product manager – always knowing when to empathize with customers and when to be decisive.
I have an interdisciplinary background in food systems, urban planning, education, and cooperative business. As a "systems thinker," I view the world as an interconnected ecosystem and the challenges we face today as problems embedded within complex networks and relationships. I'm passionate about building systems and processes (I probably spend at least 40% of my time experimenting in Airtable) and developing best practices for inclusive, humane, anti-oppressive product design.
What I'm trailblazing
As someone who's lived in Silicon Valley for over 25 years, I’m well-acquainted with technology’s potential and its impact. I’ve witnessed the way products are often designed with good intentions, but still have a negative impact on people or the planet. I believe it's time to rethink the way we design products and technologies, to make a more concerted effort to design with impact in mind.
Through a more inclusive and mindful design process, we can uncover solutions that are more meaningful, impactful (for both the business and users), and empowering. As a designer, I strive to not just build better product experiences, but also pave the way for improved processes and frameworks.
My dream is to change the way we approach product development lifecycles, so that our products are more consentful and humanizing.
My approach to design
My design framework is influenced by humxn-centered design principles, Frank Chimero's ideas in Shape of Design, Liberatory Design, Design Justice Network Principles, and Participatory Action Research (PAR). I believe that the people most deeply impacted by a problem should be centered as decision-makers during the design process. I also understand that it's challenging to do so, that it's a continual work in progress to achieve this. I'm inspired by projects like the Consentful Tech Project and the Center for Humane Technology, as well as the work of Greater Good Studio.
Before becoming a designer, I worked on several equity and inclusion projects – one of which was leading an equity audit within a community grocery cooperative in Berkeley, CA. It was through this work that I found my passion in working collaboratively with people to rethink our processes for addressing complex challenges faced by our communities. Read more about the project here.
I'm skilled at:
- User experience (UX) design
- Research (quantitative and qualitative)
- Research synthesis
- Sketching, wireframing, prototyping
- Interaction design
- Visual design, UI design
- Responsive web design (incl. ecommerce)
- Mobile app design
- Product roadmapping
- Communicating with product managers and engineers
- Solutions architecture (integrating websites/products to work with other business tools)
Some of the software tools I use:
- Design: Sketch, Affinity Designer, Adobe CC
- Prototyping: InVision, Marvel, UXPin
- Architecture: Airtable, Draw.io, Whimsical
- Other: Webflow, WordPress
- Bachelor of Science, UC Berkeley
- UX Design Certificate, Designlab
- Product Management, LinkedIn Learning