Planting Potential in Pixels
It’s been less than a year since Kuan Luo, the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Carol Lipson Outstanding Major Award, graduated with degrees in Graphic Design and Writing and Rhetoric. But in that time she has certainly been busy, and she recently took some time to share her accomplishments and reflect on her work in the Writing Program.
Kuan is currently employed as a Mobile Designer at The Washington Post, where she works on iPhone and iPad app interface design for the paper, as well as the mobile version of the site design. In addition to the design itself, Kuan is also responsible for wireframing, information architecture, and other behind-the-scenes work.
Though Kuan is now working primarily with mobile design, she says that there are clear connections between that work and the kind of thinking that she did as a Writing & Rhetoric major:
“The ideal outcome is almost like reading a good essay, which engages us so much and creates an experience that allows us to forget that we're decoding words—a rather mechanical process. I think the phrase can go the other way as well, that a good designer has to be a good writer because the ability to communicate using visual tools is transferable to verbal communications . . . .
“There's no doubt that our society is digitizing, and at the moment of change, mobile experience needs to lead the way to demonstrate that we're moving forward—things can be better. That's what fascinates and challenges me about my work at The Washington Post. In the end, I design for humans, and that's the most compelling aspect of design, in my opinion.
“In the Writing Program, I was fascinated by the discoveries of author's intent, uncovered by closely reading the text. Word choices, sentence breaks, usages of pronouns and many other details, usually left unnoticed until I started analyzing the texts, became crucial evidences of the arguments—the building bricks of certain grand promises. I learned at the WP the skill to flag those cues, and now I am planting those potentials in pixels.”