I'm Nathan Young,
a UX Researcher and Designer.

As a tech geek and an extrovert, I was born to thrive at the intersection between people and technology.  As a researcher, I serve as a liaison between the design team and our users. I love collaborating with a team to conduct empathic design through user research, iterate towards effective design solutions, and learn from my peers. I recently graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Human Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE), and joined the UX team at Essential as the primary UX Researcher. 



My Projects

My unique combination of HCDE and Entrepreneurship courses have cultivated a strong desire and ability to identify problems through extensive user research before diving headfirst into designing a solution. Included below are three research-based projects and two technical projects I've worked on in my courses at the University of Washington.



Capitol Hill Light Rail Station

From ethnographic field observations to paper prototyping & beyond.

A conceptual public space re-design that takes advantage of a thorough user-centered design process via ethnographic field observations, rapid paper prototype evaluations, and more.



testing a product concept with multiple prototyping and testing methods.

Using a combination of prototyping, user testing, and surveying, I evaluated the desirability and usability of Gamechat, a chat-based alternative to the Xbox Games store.

King County Trip Planner

evaluating the usability of a website and providing design recommendations

Extensive usability testing via heuristic evaluation, cognitive walkthrough, and user testing.



Physical Computing

Exploring the Arduino Uno’s vast capabilities via a novel, futuristic product concept.

By using wireless communication, a plant, and some emojis, my group and I aimed to connect an astronaut with a loved one on Earth. Intrigued? You should be!

Web Development

a website development process with Python and Google App Engine

As an avid soccer fan who wanted to stay up-to-date with Europe’s top leagues, I find myself constantly googling league standings and team details. So I built a website that could save me a google search.



My Work

At Essential, I'm responsible for designing, conducting, and analyzing extensive usability tests to help understand user behavior and improve our end products. As the only dedicated UX Researcher on the team, I serve as the liaison between the UX team and our users. I’ve gained experience presenting research findings and resulting design decisions to large groups of stakeholders within the company while also conducting more thorough presentations to the UX team. So far my research has included usability testing product prototypes, conducting diary studies to understand natural behaviors, and exploring exciting fields such as voice design. Stay tuned for more!


My Courses

Not all of my coursework is represented in my project pages.  It may be helpful to review a list of the courses I've completed during my collegiate career to get a better understanding of my academic experience. The courses are categorized and listed below in the order they were completed:

HCDE Major

HCDE 308- Visual Communication and Design
HCDE 318- Intro to User Centered Design
HCDE 310- Interactive Systems Design & Technology
HCDE 300- Foundations of HCDE
HCDE 321- Portfolio
HCDE 322- Organizational Teamwork
HCDE 231- Intro to Technical Communication
HCDE 313- User Research
HCDE 439- Physical Computing
HCDE 417- Usability Research
HCDE 301- Advanced Communication
HCDE 411- Info Visualization
HCDE 451- UX Prototyping Techniques
HCDE 492- Capstone Planning
HCDE 496- Directed Research



Quantitative Methods 201- Statistical Methods
Accounting 219- Accounting Essentials
Economics 200- Intro to Microeconomics
Entre 370- Intro to Entrepreneurship
Entre 372- Social Challenges in Entrepreneurship
Entre 459- Venture Investing
Entre 472/3- Creating a Company I & II


Misc. electives

English 111- Composition
Earth & Space Sciences 106 - Living with Volcanoes
Math 126- Calculus III
Geography 258- Digital Geography
Mechanical Engineering 123- Visualizations and CAD
Atmospheric Sciences 211- Climate Change
Computer Science 142- Programming I
Philosophy 120- Intro to Logic
Astronomy 211- Universe and Change
Psychology 210- Human Sexuality
Music 120- Survey of Music
Near East 201- Ancient Near East