Haiyan Zhang

Haiyan Zhang is an interaction designer, technologist and maker of things.

She is currently Innovation Director, at Lift London a Microsoft Studio, innovating new play experiences.

Haiyan was formerly Co-Founder and Design Lead for the innovation platform, OpenIDEO. With over 50,000 users worldwide solving public challenges for social good and used as the enterprise innovation engine for organisations such as British Airways, Deutsche Bank, Harvard Business School.

Working at the design consultancy, IDEO, she has created innovative new digital experiences for community building, entertainment, and financial services. She has also worked with leading videogame makers on research and game concepts for new play experiences. Clients Haiyan has worked with include Mattel, Electronic Arts, HBO, France Telecom, Alcatel, Cisco, and AT&T.

Haiyan believes in a holistic approach to design. Starting from user research and insights, she leverages her design skills to create prototypes, interfaces, sketches, scenarios, advertisements to reflect the user’s experience as a journey beyond a single product moment.

Haiyan’s work is informed by her previous profession as a software engineer and user interface designer creating applications for the biomedical and data-mining industries. For example, as part of a team of software developers from Excel Tech in Canada, she created an electroencephalograph (EEG) visualization tool for intra-operative monitoring which is currently being used in hospitals across North America.

A scholar of both technology and design, she graduated in 2006 with distinction in a Masters degree in Interaction Design from the renowned Interaction Design Institute in Ivrea, and has a Bachelor of Computer Science (First-Class Honours) from Monash University, Australia.

Haiyan has lived in China, Australia, Toronto, Italy, San Francisco and now resides in London.

Haiyan was a featured designer in the UK edition of Wired magazine (June 2009).