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Featured on Jul 29, 2011

Grace Ng

"Live your dream and wear your passion"


Grace is Co-Founder and UX Lead of Lean Startup Machine, in which she's helped thousands of entrepreneurs successfully launch new businesses, and has developed an innovative Lean Product Management tool, Validation Board, to accelerate that process.

Grace is a frequent speaker on Lean UX and is an entrepreneurship instructor for Barnard College and Wharton UPenn.

  • Title: Co-Founder, UX Lead
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Midtown
  • Contact: @uxceo

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned having survived through a startup failure and being able to revive another startup? Were you ever discouraged from working again with a startup?

Learn from your mistakes and do it again.

It was a pretty devastating experience when my startup fell through and I spent a while after feeling very angry over what had happened and what could've been done differently or avoided. But there's no use crying over the past and what's really important is to just make a list of what went wrong and figure out how you can approach each situation differently next time. Then I took a brief vacation to clear my mind, came back, and restarted. I was pretty eager to either join a startup or work on my own startup again.

Although painful, I'm really glad I've experienced failure because it makes you take a step back, look at everything from a different perspective, and walk away with knowledge that you wouldn't have known if everything had gone smoothly.

Just think of failure as a blessing and know that you'll be stronger and do better next time because of what you've learned from falling.

What things inspire your designs? What kind of brainstorming process do you have when you’re posed with a new design problem?

People inspire my designs.

I really enjoy creating experiences for people. I started off in ad agencies where I realized the most impactful campaigns were the ones that reached out and connected with people on an emotional level. So I strive to create for human emotion in a lot of the work I do. And since I'm really into usability, nothing inspires me to design better than watching users fumble around with my design. It's really humbling.

Other than that, I get really inspired by other people's creative solutions to problems. Whether that is in architecture, advertising, startups, industrial design, or fashion, I just really enjoy great examples of creative problem solving.

The first question I'd ask is "What goal are you trying to achieve?" and it is really important to know from the start. I have to understand the context and what we're working towards in order to understand how to approach it. Then after finding out more about the users, the brand, and doing some research, I use what I've learned to create wireframes to outline what the structure of the redesign should be before moving into visual design.

Where did your handle “uxceo” come from?

As a designer turned entrepreneur, I am constantly exploring the intersection of creative production and impactful creation. I blog my thoughts at

Web Designer, User Experience Designer, Founder, CEO, Designer