How to submit a rating

During the second year of my time in New York, a new carpooling service came out, "Via." Carpooling at a low rate within the New York City Manhattan area (now expanded to some more areas), at fixed rates between $4 to $7, despite the distance you travel as a long as it's within Manhattan. 


Lately, I have been having troubles submitting a rating (and comment). Similar to Uber, when I open the app, it would prompt me to rate for the previous ride experience. 

The problem is, as soon as I click on the star on the far right (to give it a five-star rating), my keyboard pops up and lays over the SUBMIT button. I tried to click the white space to write a comment an see if the submit button would show, but it didn't work. 

I then wrote a message to the via team and hope they could work on it soon.

Designing the Record Button

A few days earlier, Erik, one of my students at the 2nd year Chinese course at Columbia University, invited me to do an interview for his final class project. Before and after the interview, we had several comments about making sure the record button is pressed. This anecdote reminded me of an episode of The Big Bang Theory. I decided to mix our interview clips with The Big Bang Theory moments into this following short clip. 


Later, I decided to look into literature about designing a record button. I found a paper by McKnight and Read on using children's understanding of icons in designing an interface. 

Any insights? 

Good Time with the Tech Support Team

I enjoy communicating with support teams. During the communication, I practice communication skills: asking a question, explaining a question, testing solves, and more.

If we can't fix something on the spot, I'll keep exploring the problem, and then RETURN to the support team and tell them about what I found out. 

The support team at Squarespace is the best!

Text Color vs. Highlight Color on Google Docs

I spend a lot of time on Google Docs everyday. One thing that I stumble upon a lot is that when I am I on the color-editing panel, I constantly hesitate and spend time thinking about if I am on the text color mode or the highlight mode. A lot of times, I still did the opposite things after serious thinking.

E.g., I ended up turning texts into something like


I started to wonder if this happen to other users too. I tested with several friends with this picture, but they seem to respond ok with this indicating that they are on the text editing mode. ( <-- maybe I should conduct better user-testing here, by observation, not through a survey).

So here is the current view:



Below is a quick prototype from me:

first prototype

Also, how about INSTANT FEEDBACK ? Something like, as the mouse hovers over the color palette, maybe the screen could show the change?



two items / one photo

Mr. Wang is the professor of the Chinese class I am TAing for. The day I joined the department as his teaching assistant, he asked me if I felt comfortable about office technology. “Yes. I enjoy walking through technologies for my friends, and most importantly, I enjoy figuring out things that I don’t know the answer to.

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