Angela Li

It is not what skills you’re equipped with that define who you are but rather what you choose to do with them.


I am a creative creature at heart with a mind in culture and politics. I believe that the magic is always in the details but I love developing big ideas.

What was the most intense deadline you’ve had to make?

Once in third year, I took a 3D design course and I completely forgot about a 40% project that was due that day. So instead of admitting that I had forgotten, I showed up to class and built a chair in under an hour to present. I ended up acing the class.

What is the most useful piece of design advice that you have received?

“I’ve realized that design is never done. You just run out of time.” Which, to me, means that design is adaptable, ever-changing, and can always be improved upon.

What do your parents think you do?

My mom and my grandparents both think I’m studying fine arts. Sometimes they will give me pointers on how to paint better, or reference photos for sketches that they think would be interesting. It’s actually quite adorable.

How would you describe the colour yellow to someone who has never seen it?

If you’ve ever heard “Yellow” by Coldplay, they pretty much cover the gist of it.

Design Interests

Branding and Identity Design
UI/UX Design
Motion Design
Information Design

Common App

Common is a mobile application designed to guarantee satisfaction in agreeing upon plans and locations between users to promote connectivity through similar interests in local communities.

The Problem

When I was visiting a friend earlier in the semester, we were trying to decide on a place to have coffee; it soon became this awkward dance where we both scrambled to decide on one particular location. Eventually, she pulled out a list of places that she compiled from recommendations, Instagram food bloggers, and Yelp reviews that she stored on her notes app. This is when it became apparent to me that there was a lack of location specific apps that also had a social component.

Not only is it hard to decide on places to go with people you’re already familiar with already; it’s even harder to find locations to visit with people that you don’t know too well. Often, parties will need to compromise on a space rather than try to figure out a location they have equal interest in.

The Solution

I created Common to be a social hub of location wishlists and recommendations. Common enables users to location browse, save, and share. The app is built to consider the interests of the user individual from others in order to accurately connect them to locations and people that are fulfilling. To provide ownership to the user, we encourage that they create a personalized profile of locations that genuinely interest them, and allow users to compare profiles with other members of their community.

During the onboarding process, users are prompted to choose areas of interest in order to personalize their suggestions and recommendations to other profiles. When they’re finished selecting areas of interest, they’re asked to connect their social media to incorporate friends, family, and acquaintances to the network.

On the home feed, at the top of the page are suggestions based on places that are nearby your current location and places on your lists; you’re able to scroll through these cards for quick recommendations. When you’ve selected a location that you like, you’re able to open the card to reveal more information about the location and their amenities such as WIFI, seating, and outlets.

When scrolling down the home feed, you’re able to see places that the people you follow have liked and added to their lists. When you’ve found a place you’re interested, you’re able to also see other people you follow that have liked the same place. This allows the user to select friends based on the location, knowing that they will also be interested in visiting that space.

Additionally, when browsing someone’s profile, there is the Common Places call to action at the bottom of the page. The Common Places feature allows for users to see which places that both parties have saved when visiting a specific profile. This will show users a list of places organized into categories that each user has deemed as an interesting place to visit. This will enable the users to quickly decide on places to visit, and find people who have similar interests in visiting a particular place.

See more of my work at the graduate showcase