My thoughts on design, running, and life.


Running goals for 2019

I’m finally ready to share my running goals for the year. It’s become an annual tradition of mine to write an article about on this topic as soon as the new year starts (see 2017, 2018). But this time, I waited because I needed to reset and think about what running truly means to me at this point of my life. Now, I’m mentally ready to push myself again and solidify my determination to becoming a stronger, faster, tougher athlete. (more…)


A look back on 2018

Every year, I reflect on accomplishments and highlights. I spent many days of 2018 running for miles on end and have used many, many of them to reflect on my life. It turned into a year full of dark days, but also incredible breakthroughs and it would be unfair not to share them. I have a feeling that 2019 will be epic, especially since I turn 30 in less than two months. Let’s take a look back on the highlights and my accomplishments of 2018.  (more…)


Empathy Jam 2018

Creating something that has a lasting impact on other peoples’ lives is truly a privilege. This year, I returned to the Empathy Jam as a co-producer, alongside Shannon and Ariella, to encourage our design community to practice empathy with one another and create solutions around problems that affect us all. The Empathy Jam is an annual user-centered design and research hackathon for NYC residents to collaborate and feel connected. On Saturday, November 17th, the third installment of this event was held.


TCS New York City Marathon 2018, take two!

I have a unique relationship with the expression, “Life is a marathon, not a sprint.” In college, I was a 200 meter sprinter. Speedy races were my favorite! And as of last year, I also became a marathoner. Then, on Sunday, November 4th, 2018, I ran the TCS New York City Marathon with 52,696 other athletes for the second time. My second attempt at this distance on this particular course humbled me in many ways I didn’t expect. Here’s that story.  (more…)


How running inspires my work in UX design

Running is a very personal endeavor, yet teaches me the most about design and solving problems for others. The day-to-day challenges that I face in my training and understanding the nuances of the sport are constantly inspiring my work as a designer. I always say that running makes me a better UX designer. In this piece, I’m going to talk about how the lessons I’ve learned as a runner translate to the way I approach UX design.  (more…)


How I learned to trust myself during marathon training

In less than 40 days, I’ll be back at the starting line in Staten Island for the TCS New York City Marathon! When I was training last year, I simply wanted to (1) finish and (2) have a great time. This year, my determination is to break four hours. With a little over a month left, I’ve been on a tumultuous physical and emotional roller-coaster journey that has constantly tested my trust in this process.  (more…)


I’m Riri Nagao, a UX writer based in New York City with a background in user research and strategy. I co-produce the Empathy Jam, a collaborative design event. I’ve written for Smashing Magazine and UX Booth. I run for fun. Full bio.

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