My name is Shufan Wen. Some friends call me Susan.

Photo of Shufan snowshoeing

I work as UX engineer at T-Mobile. I am very fortunate to do what I love to do — help improve applications to make our users happy.

My personal goal is to bring happiness to people! I thought by studying anthropology can help me to achieve this goal.

After I received my PhD degree, I met the Deputy Mayor of Bellevue, who was my great friend and also a wise man. I proudly told him I graduated and was ready to serve the society. He laughed and said, “Then what? How will you help people by publishing? Do people care what you published?”

I pondered on his words for a long time. Then I realized that my contribution in anthropology will not bring happiness to people instantly.

To do so, I should apply my expertise from anthropology to UX research and design. At T-Mobile, I use research methods (mainly participant observation, ethnography, and communication skills) from anthropology, usibility testing and design skills from HCDE to design/iterate designs. I love it when T-Mobile representatives tell me how efficient can the system help them finish serving customers fast.

In order to delivery happiness to users efficiently right away, I work on interaction design, prototyping, and research when needed for fast iterations.

Sometimes I act like a project manager to ensure the project has every component needed to move on. I enjoy talking to people to gather information, then make changes to happen for users’ joy.

Other than UX work, the most challenging project management work I am doing is to rebuilt an old house for my parents. Knowing how to communicate/negotiate with different kinds of people (from people in upper management, software developers, construction workers to pan-handlers) is what I learned from my decades of training in anthropology.

My publications in Anthropology:



Return Migration and Economic Turmoil: Experiences of Repatriated Chinese Professionals in Shanghai, China. Dialectical Anthropology, November 2013, Springer LLC. New York



The Journey of Seagulls and Sea Turtles: Chinese Professionals’ Experience in Suburban Metropolitan Philadelphia and Shanghai, China. 2012, Lambert Academic Publishing, 368 pp.