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Irene Au
Works at Avalon Art and Yoga Center
Attended University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Lives in Palo Alto, CA
46,678 followers|3,179,785 views
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Irene Au

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A new adventure... I am joining Khosla Ventures!
"It all manifests in the user interface," says the well-known Silicon Valley product design exec.
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Good luck!

Irene Au

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Baby birds waiting for food
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Irene Au

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I love +Marcin Wichary's close attention to detail when it comes to designing how underlined links look on Medium. https://medium.com/p/7c03a9274f9 
How hard could it be to draw a horizontal line on the screen? It seems wrangling a few pixels together to stand in a fil…
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I don't use many beauty products, but I've discovered 6 of these products on my own and can attest that they really are fantastic -- this list has some cred.  Will have to try out some of these other products!
That paycheck didn't really mean that much to you, anyway, right?
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Irene Au

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Great advice on how to give a good presentation. In summary:

- Run a Bar Test: Spend as little as 15 minutes with someone unfamiliar with the content of the presentation to see if they understand the point of the presentation. Force it to be succinct.

- Build your skeleton: It takes three elements to make a great story: Your through-line (the point of the story), “Put me in the room” anecdotes (to give a tactile sense of experience), and Moments of reflection (telling your audience how you feel)

- Craft your story: Less words, more visuals

- Tell your story: Practice, practice, practice. There is no such thing as a natural-born presenter.
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Irene Au

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Evidence shows that women are less self-assured than men—and that to succeed, confidence matters as much as competence. Here's why, and what to do about it.
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Studying jazz musicians' ability to improvise gives us some insight into creativity in the brain.  Cultivate creativity by having unprogrammed time and turning off the thinking mind.  The creating brain looks a lot like the dreaming brain, one associated with unconsciousness and meditation. 
Research on what’s happening in the brain when jazz musicians improvise is helping shed light on the neuroscience behind creativity.
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Thanks for sharing!  The mind is fascinating, as is the creation of music.

Irene Au

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So proud of my former teammates +Nadya Direkova +Jon Wiley +Jonah Jones +Sian Townsend.  Little details make a huge difference.  Watch them talk about their design endeavors at Google and view/submit your questions for Google designers here:  https://www.google.com/moderator/#15/e=20ef82&t=20ef82.40
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I love these stories!

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Concrete, specific goals of benevolence -- like making someone smile or increasing recycling -- instead of following similar but more abstract goals -- like making someone happy or saving the environment are more effective at cultivating happiness.
The concept of maximizing happiness has been explored by researchers, who have found that pursuing concrete 'giving' goals rather than abstract ones leads to greater satisfaction. One path to happiness is through concrete, specific goals of benevolence -- like making someone smile or increasing recycling -- instead of following similar but more abstract goals -- like making someone happy or saving the environment.
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This talk from David Brooks was my favorite short talk at TED this year.
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I like it too. : )
People
Have her in circles
46,678 people
Work
Occupation
UX Design, Yoga instructor
Employment
  • Avalon Art and Yoga Center
    Yoga Teacher, 2012 - present
  • Udacity
    VP Product Design, 2012 - 2013
  • Google
    Head of User Experience, 2006 - 2012
  • Yahoo
    VP User Experience and Design, 1998 - 2006
  • Netscape
    Interaction Designer, 1996 - 1998
  • Trinity Ventures
    Entrepreneur In Residence, 2012 - 2012
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Palo Alto, CA
Previously
Columbia, SC - Durham, NC - Urbana, IL - Santa Clara, CA
Story
Tagline
Designer, mother, yogini, group exercise addict
Introduction
I help companies make their design and UX great. I build high performing teams, establish design practices, mentor and grow the next generation of great designers, and design interfaces and experiences. I drive strategic discussions at the highest levels of companies, focusing first on user needs to inspire product innovation.

As former head of the design teams for Google and Yahoo, I have been one of the biggest employers of UX talent. I have led design and user experience at Google, Yahoo, Netscape, and Udacity.

An avid advocate of Montessori education, I co-chair the Board of Trustees at Bowman International School, a private K-8 school in Palo Alto, CA.

I was first introduced to yoga at the age of 16 and recommitted to my practice when my hectic career and passion for group exercise and fitness led me to pursue yoga for its many benefits. I am certified in two teacher training programs: PURE yoga at Equinox, which included a variety of styles including Iyengar, Anusara, and Jivamukti, and Avalon Art and Yoga Center, which specializes in yoga therapy. I draw on many styles of yoga, combining choreographed flow sequences with proper alignment to make yoga accessible yet challenging. My sequences are well-rounded, with a focus on safety, joining movement with breath, and having fun.

I passionately believe in yoga's ability to make the mind, body, and spirit healthy, and I love to share my love for yoga. I hope to see you in class sometime!
Education
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of South Carolina
Basic Information
Gender
Female
Relationship
Married
Apparently, they can take a reservation, but they can't keep one. I made a reservation 3-4 weeks before my trip. I was guaranteed for a late arrival. When I arrived at midnight, I was told that I had been "bumped" to the Hamilton Crowne Plaza, a dumpier hotel that was further away from my meetings. The hotel management was apologetic but only offered free breakfast, late checkout, and cabfare to the Crowne Plaza as a consolation -- all things I was supposed to have anyway through my AmEx Platinum reservation. It was terribly disappointing. The one consolation is that, after some complaining the next day, the manager did redeem themselves by compensating me for the hassle. But I would be hard pressed to justify an attempt at another stay there after this experience.
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Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
Great view from the room, but aside from that, nothing particularly spectacular stands out about this hotel. The bed was too soft; my husband and I had trouble sleeping on it, so both nights of sleep were fitful. That alone makes me inclined to give it a max rating of 3 stars!!! At breakfast, our waiter came back 40 minutes after taking our order and cited a "computer problem" as the reason why we didn't get our food (never mind the fact that all the other diners around us were getting their meals). He tried to make it up to us by bringing two scones per person and fruit salad for each of us. We told him it was too much food and sent it back. We really just wanted our breakfast. Next time we go to Chicago, we'll stay at the Peninsula or the Park Hyatt.
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Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
This hotel is among the best when it comes to customer experience and design. The hotel itself was originally a bank, built in 1901. It then became a music school and was rennovated (by architect Piero Lissoni) just last year to become this amazing hotel. The courtyard is closed off by glass so there is an interesting indoor-outdoor connection. Every design detail was thoughtfully planned, from the room numbers carved into the granite thresholds to the contrast of modern and old architecture. We were greeted by a "Host" who served us apple-mango juice upon check-in. Our room came stocked with fruit, 9 chocolate truffles, and hand wash and lotion from L'Occitane. The room features radiant heat in the bathroom and state of the art entertainment systems. The Brasserie is a restaurant that attracts hotel guests and locals alike. We enjoyed the halibut and sole entrees and were extremely pleased. The hotel breakfast, which is complimentary with the room, is delicious, with a variety of traditional European-style breakfast meats, cheeses, and fruit, and made-to-order hot breakfast items. The hotel has an enormous gym in the basement, spa with an extensive menu of types of massages offered, and a yoga room and a meditation room. With the weather below freezing and us getting sick, we opted to stay in for most of the day and enjoy the delightful hotel experience. Loved this place and will definitely come back!
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Quality: ExcellentFacilities: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Food was great, service was slow. We each ordered something different, and everyone raved about their food. Having grown up in the south, I have eaten a lot of fried chicken, and CreoLa's fried chicken is among the better finds in the Bay Area in California. The fried okra and hush puppy appetizers were good too -- not too oily, perfectly fried with fresh oil. For dessert, we tried the beignets which were also satisfying. My only complaint, aside from the service being very slow, is the decor/ambiance. The restaurant needs a makeover, as it is clearly old and old-fashioned. It feels gross to have carpet in a restaurant.
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Food: Very goodDecor: GoodService: Good
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
19 reviews
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This is not an honest business. I held all my insurance policies with them and cancelled all of them last year. Unbeknownst to me, they continued to draw premiums from my account, claiming I still had a life insurance policy. Since I requested the cancellation by phone, the agency claims they have no record of my cancellation *even though all the other policies were cancelled*. Since reconfirming my cancellation of the policy in writing via postal mail AND email, I continue to receive invoices for premiums for a policy I no longer hold. Repeated attempts to reclaim my money and have confirmation that my policy has been cancelled have been ignored. Do not do business with this agent.
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Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Joanie's is a favorite neighborhood destination. It's a great place to go for a basic bacon and eggs breakfast, but they also have terrific breakfast specials, omelets and scrambles, and oatmeal. If you have the choice between toast or muffin, try the muffin, they are delicious, baked daily with fresh fruit. Yum!
Food: Very goodDecor: Very goodService: Very good
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
This place is worth the trek across town. I came here twice during a recent stay while visiting from California. I sought out this studio because of Elena's reputation as a powerful and inspiring teacher. Elena is *amazing*. She has a great calming presence and energy and brings that to the studio. As a result, the studio attracts a very nice crowd and I could tell there is a strong community amongst the folks that come to this place. If you come to her class, make sure you come early as her class gets packed no matter what time of day it is. The studio itself is clean; the staff members are friendly. Don't expect the kinds of assists or music you might get in a Jivamukti class, nor is it going to require the physical strength power yoga classes require; these classes are of a different breed. The sequences are thoughtful, with a strong physical and spiritual intention. I left each class I took feeling better than when I came in, mentally, spiritually, and physically. And isn't that what yoga is all about...?
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Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago