Design Talk 54. Rachel Liu, Lead Service Designer, Pearson; Lifelong learning

Rachel Liu traces her path as a service designer to an early interest in making and a degree in computer science. She talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about the evolution of her career, including the nuances of conducting complex user research in countries like China. The conversation touches on the way education in China has changed since Rachel’s earlier talk at the MEX/16 conference and goes on to explore skills Rachel is honing in herself and others to progress the practice of service design. Get in touch with feedback and questions @mexfeed on Twitter or email

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On this edition

"As a UX facilitator, if I show some vulnerability, it demonstrates I'm open and honest…it welcomes people into participating." Rachel Liu, Lead Service Designer, Pearson Episode 54, MEX Design Talk podcast


  • Our next MEX dining club events are in Barcelona on 26th February (alongside Mobile World Congress) and in London on 26th March. Get in touch if you’d like an invite – it’s a relaxed dinner talking about experience design with fellow pioneers.
  • The Symbian Foundation, where Rachel worked as an intern in 2006/7, getting an introduction to programming resource-constrained mobile devices.
  • Rachel’s MEX/16 talk, where she shared insights from user research conducted into the Chinese education market.
  • Wall Street English, one of the educational brands owned by Pearson in China.
  • Culture Map by Erin Meyer, a book recommended by Rachel, which helped her understand working across global scenarios.
  • Patrizia Bertini’s Lego Serious Play session at MEX/15, discussed by Marek as an example of how playfulness and fun can unlock participation in research session.
  • Episode 34 of MEX Design Talk, where Josh Shabtai of Lowe’s Innovation Labs talks about different ways of engaging stakeholders in user-centred design, including the use of comic book narratives.
  • Education First, where Rachel worked.

"If we want better user experiences we have to find ways to break have those awkward conversations with other departments & find ways to work together." Rachel Liu, Lead Service Designer, Pearson Episode 54, MEX Design Talk podcast

About MEX Design Talk & how to get in touch

The podcast for the MEX community, interviewing UX pioneers, exploring emerging technologies, user behaviour and how to design better digital experiences.


  • Jukedeck, for the artificial intelligence engine which provided the music

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