I am a researcher, designer, and author whose interests include service design, strategic design, and studying daily life and behaviors. I’m interested in designing better products, services, and experiences, and am currently doing this as a Design Strategist at EPAM Continuum for companies including IKEA China, Starbucks Japan, Southwest Airlines, Samsung, Burberry, LVMH, and others. To date I’ve been fortunate enough to work on projects across China, Myanmar/Burma, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Jordan, Italy, Viet Nam, Thailand, India, Denmark, England, and the US, and my research has supported the design of both products and services around smart homes, healthcare, hospitality, transportation, microfinance, and education. I have written for and presented previous work to IDEO and frog design, guest-lectured and run workshops at the Stanford d.school and MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and received a Fulbright to research resource-constrained creativity in China.

Above is a short video of me presenting about one aspect of my Fulbright research at the 2019 Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference. I’ve also presented at UXSTRAT, MidwestUX, and other conferences. My work has appeared in City Lab/The AtlanticFast Company, Core77Danwei/The Financial Times, and Touchpoint – the Journal of Service Design.

Still curious? You can see how I see the world, check out the books I’ve written, or see how I look on paper: here’s my CV.


Diamonds to Pearls: Strategic Design for APAC’s Diversity
Presentation + Q & A, UX STRAT Conference Asia
November 2020, Singapore (virtual)

Out to Dry: Change and Agency Across Urban China
Pecha Kucha + Q & A, Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference
November 2019, Providence, Rhode Island

Prototyping at the Ideal Fidelity to Advance Innovation
Case study presentation + Q & A, Forrester CX Conference
August 2019, Singapore

A Conversation with Maggie Peng and Zach Hyman
Presentation + Q & A, IxDA Singapore
August 2019, Singapore

Mattresses and Moneyboxes: Cultural Affordances for Microfinance 
Case study & Presentation, Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference
October 2018, Hawaii
Case study (requires free membership) and video (requires paid membership)

Communicating Research, Data and User Stories for Organizational Impact
Workshop, UX STRAT USA,
October 2018, Providence, Rhode Island

Adapting UX & Design Research Methods for Unfamiliar Contexts
Presentation, UX STRAT Europe
June 2017, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Mechanical Magic: vehicle mods & the future of informal mobility in China
Presentation, Creative Mornings
October 2016, Boston, Massachusetts

Methods & Frameworks: tools for better understanding the world
Design for Social Innovation Massachusetts College of Art and Design Guest lecture, October 2016 Slides (Google Drive) 

Design for Extreme Affordability
Guest lecture, Stanford d.school
May 2016

Designing for Service in Emerging Markets
Guest Lecture, Carnegie Mellon School of Design
March 2016

Team Mesh Egress
Audience Choice Award, Second Place Overall, MIT Mobility Hackathon
October 2015, Boston, Massachusetts

Rehumanizing Rehab: UX of tomorrow’s in-home rehabilitation system
Presentation, Midwest UX 2015
October, 2015, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
note: this video only captures “stills” of my animated slides, causing some odd overlaps of type/graphics. Feel free to play around with my Keynote file (complete with my notes) here: mwux-pres-09_22_15_compressed

China Over/Under (password: hymanEPIC2014)
Presentation, Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference
September 2014, New York City

Mobile Metis: China in Motion
Pecha Kucha Night, Hong Kong #12
October 2012, Hong Kong

Rapping Comically in Burmese (3:00-3:15)
Southeast Asia Summer Studies Institute
August 2009, Madison, Wisconsin


“Service Design and Customer Experience: Distinctions without Differences? A Comparison of Contexts, Cultures, and Customers”
Touchpoint: The Journal of Service Design
(Co-written with Toby Bottorf)

Bank, Real Estate broker or 7-Eleven? 7-Eleven and localised urban service design
Touchpoint: The Journal of Service Design 

The Case for Slow Innovation
EPAM Continuum’s “How We Think” Blog
(Co-written with Jon Campbell)

Strategy without Ethnography
EPIC – Perspectives

“China’s Electric Bike Charging Culture” 
frog design’s Design Mind

“Mei Banfa Engineering” 

“Contested: Subway Station Cat and Mouse Games” 
MIT Community Innovators Lab 

“Exploring Dynamics of Craftsmanship and Resource Constraint: Vehicle Covers in Guizhou, China”

“Exploring Dynamics of Craftsmanship and Resource Constraint: Identification Cards”

Corner store consumption: profiles of small Chinese convenience stores
Originally for Danwei, reposted on Medium 

“Fresh Eye Friday: Moto-Mail”
MIT Community Innovators Lab

“Mobile Creativity: how China’s rural machinery also adapts to urban life”
The Global Urbanist 

“Fresh Eye Friday: Moto-mail” 
MIT Community Innovators Lab  

“Inside the World of Low-tech, Resource-constrained Creativity in China [Fieldnote Update]”
Ethnography Matters

“A Day in the Life: 3-wheeled Vehicle-based Fruit Vendor”
Ethnography Matter

“Letter from China: Destruction in Two Keys”
MIT Community Innovators Lab

“Repurposed Yangon”
Reboot’s “IDEAS” blog

“Informal Vendors of Yangon”
The Global Urbanist

“The Mystery of the Hledan Junction Overpass”
MIT Community Innovators Lab

“Market Access for Urban and Periurban Farmers in Yangon”
Urban Agriculture Magazine