top of page



In today's age of ubiquitous computing, our online self-representation and perception are increasingly shaped by algorithms. But who decides what self-image we present to the public, and to what extent are our behaviors and thoughts manipulated by technology? This thesis aims to explore these questions by examining the paradox between our true selves and online representations, with the goal of reevaluating our relationship with technology. Through a proposed "Persona Lab," visitors can experience a fully AI-built personalized experience to reflect on and critique the influence of online personas on our self-belief systems and social relations. As we become more aware of the commodification of identity and the impact of algorithmic decision-making, it is crucial to initiate a conversation about personal autonomy and its implications for our digital identities.


The Persona Lab speculates a persona building and taster experience, where visitors try out and reflect on their new virtual identities through a persona-customized digital interaction dictated by the algorithm. Visitors will acquire a receipt of their avatar’s data before leaving and rethink how far personal autonomy goes in their relationships with algorithm-generated identities. After all, could it be that everyone has been living freely in the unfree…

The Experience



Time frame:

Feb--Apr, 2022

My role:

I collaborated with a senior designer and design director to bring the new visual direction to life. My roles include wireframe brainstorming, designing new features and components easy to adapt for different devices and maximize user engagement, , overseeing all screen design across different breakpoints as well as ensuring the design meet WCAG compliances.


The vending machine entrance alludes to the idea that the AI in control is trying to sell new personas to all visitors. Here, they can learn about the context of this experience, and retrieve a pair of glasses to log new personas when entering the lab later.


Entrance: Vending Machine


vending machine.png

Learn more about the lab experience and avatar creation. Complete a personality test and face+body scan to acquire a customized digital avatar calculated by the algorithm. The avatar that encompasses the visitor’s personality dictates what they see, analyzes their interactions and produces feedback on their glasses in real time. Visitors see in the perspective of their new avatars from now on.


Station one: Persona Building


persona 界面.png

Visitors can now experience a highly customized digital experience that resembles online surfing (the interface displays an online auction experience). All interactions are calculated and manipulated by the algorithm in real-time, which are designed to "perfectly" match the avatar’s settings/preferences.


Station two: Persona Testing



Enter the final station, also the "backstage" of the lab that reveals how algorithms speculate and dictate the entire persona taster experience. Visitor places the glasses on a smart counter connected to the AI that runs the lab, and acquire a printed persona receipt with a summary of the components that make up the digital avatar they can take home with. If preferred, they can access the full features of their avatar online to be installed on other applications, then congratulations! The persona has taken over their host.


Station three: Persona Takeaway




“The Truman Show” discusses the parallel between reality and illusion in a media-saturated society, to what extent is our life dictated and “branded” by external forces, such as social media without knowing? 

Studies that go behind "building" the lab: define+discover
Screen Shot 2021-12-18 at 11.39.28 PM.png
Group 1221.png

“The presentation of self in everyday life”

When the public has become the “observer” who influences how someone acts at the “front”, this performer is likely to put on a “mask”, i.e. a “persona”. 

"The age of surveillance capitalism”

 self-identity no longer reflects how “I” feel, but mirrors the audience’s opinions. Thus ubiquitous computing has made the persona-performance analogy a never-ending show

Group 1223.png
Image 137.png

In a spectacular society, “social relations between among people mediated by images”. Spectacle focuses on appearance, and appearance is governing our life and society.

--Society of Spectacles

My senior thesis investigated the relationships between the physical body and virtual persona in the age of ubiquitous computing. I proposed a persona-building and tasting experience that gives people an opportunity to re-evaluate their new virtual identities in a future context.

My role:

Speculative Design

Literature Review


3D Modeling

UI Design

Time frame:


The Persona Lab

A speculative experimental lab on persona building

bottom of page