Bo Zou

photo: Bo Zou

Author’s Bio

Bo Zou is a Toronto-based digital veteran, a brand expert, and user experience (UX) specialist. Applying his expertise in user experience and brand communication, Bo Zou has been in charge of helping some major financial brands establish, retain and leverage their key competitiveness as digital transformation ushers in an era of profound change.

A long-term resident of Toronto, Canada, Bo Zou received part of his formal education in the far east, capped by postgraduate degrees at London universities (University of London and City University London) in the United Kingdoms, where he earned two separate master’s degrees. One degree focused on human-computer interaction with ergonomics, and the second emphasized visual arts and arts criticism.

User experience design and strategy deal with how one’s interactions with a brand, its products, system or services are orchestrated. Done right, Bo explains, UX surprises and delights and ultimately creates and solidifies a user’s relationship with a brand, thereby adding to that brand’s equity and long-term competitiveness. A devoted conviction in developing the most personal and optimized brand experience, especially in the increasingly digital world, is what aspires Bo in today's fast-moving business landscape.

The digital revolution, he says, has expanded the possibilities with more channels, touch-points, Big Data and even artificial intelligence-fueled insights that enable higher levels of personalization than ever before. But Bo’s approach to UX tempers the disruption of technology with the harmonizing effects of tradition – specifically by bringing the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui into the equation. In particular, Bo has been a front-runner in bringing the concept of 'harmonious design' into the business world, through the application of ancient Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui, helping to bring a sense of harmony into today's super charged, chaotic world.

Feng shui, Bo says, is called by some a philosophy, some, an art and some a science. It’s a worldview, one that holds that everything has qi, or positive energy, and everything that has qi also has the positive and negative forces of yin and yang.

“Feng shui is all about harmonizing people with their surroundings,” he says. “By leveraging
technology to provide a sustainable sense of harmony and delight, a brand can be transformed to be truly human-centric.”

For the last 15 years, Bo has been developing and executing user experience strategy and design through all digital channels for companies like HeathWallace (a JWT-owned agency) in Asia, and Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Canada, along with his own experience design studio in Toronto.

Bo has led UX design and strategy work in engagements with such companies as Citibank, Scotiabank, Manulife, Fidelity, AMEX, Nissan/Infiniti, Molson Coors, Ikea, Toshiba, Microsoft, Unilever, Best Buy and Pfizer. His goal is to provide all clients with the best guidance and solutions for creating usable and desirable user experiences across the entire ecosystem (mobile, tablet, desktop, Kiosk/ATM, etc.) and increasingly non-digital and emerging channels, such as wearables and phygital interactions.

Considering himself a global citizen, when Bo Zou is not pursuing UX assignments and interests, he creates experiences for himself, traveling and enjoying fine dining in the cities of

Toronto, Hong Kong and Singapore. However, his favorite destination to visit is Japan because of the unique nature and success at combining ancient traditions with ultra modernity – making it both familiar and comfortable to his UX sensibilities.

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