Wellbeing and impact in our most meaningful interactions
Kleiner Perkins Product Fellow Application: What impact do you want to have on the world and why?
As our human interactions become more digital, how do we ensure we’re designing products that have positive impact? Products sometimes get designed for the purpose of getting a user addicted to a behavior, doing more harm than good.
My undergraduate degree from Stanford is in Symbolic Systems, which combines Computer Science, Psychology, and Philosophy, while my Master’s is in Communication. People often look at my diversity of experiences and ask, “why?”
This interdisciplinary range represents somethings I am passionate about: the intersection of human interaction and technology. In Symbolic Systems, I concentrated in Human-Computer Interaction, which focuses on product design. I adored building products that help people solve problems in their lives, but I found that the “Human” part of HCI was often a second thought. HCI asked, “How do we build products to solve this problem for this user persona?” rather than “How do we build products for this person, who happens to be our user?”
This question led me to Communication, where I am studying how personality traits are influenced by online behaviors. I hope to combine my two areas of study to approach the product space more holistically, prioritizing the wellbeing of the people we are building for. My curiosity is not just with products and not just with people, but rather how people interact with products, especially as our meaningful interactions—from classroom Zooms to virtual healthcare—go online. Ultimately, I am hopeful that this holistic approach will lead to a healthier and safer technological future.