Japanese Pottery Handbook

An app wireframe design based on the existing publication Japanese Pottery Handbook, edited by Simpson, Penny, Kanji Sodeoka, and Lucy Kitto. It is an introductory manual to Japanese pottery that aims to create awareness and deeper appreciation within the US community. 


japanese pottery handbook

UI/UX | Tablet


the challenge

Edited by Simpson, Penny, Kanji Sodeoka, and Lucy Kitto, the Japanese Pottery Handbook is an introductory manual to Japanese pottery that aims to create awareness and deeper appreciation within the US community.

The mission of this project is to re-design the book as a digital publication, which involved conducting researches on potential users, re-organizing the original content according to research results, developing new features, and defining the interface aesthetic.

After careful analysis of user personas, my other team member and I focused the designs on bridging the communication gap between Japanese and English users in terms of specialized pottery terms.


my role

I was responsible for the experience strategy and art direction, and design of the iOS app. The work including research, reorganization of content, scenario development, illustration, and prototype construction, was split between me and one other team member. Both of us developed the UX work and produced a series of interactive wireframes within the span of 2 months.


persona & background scenario

Based on the contents and research on the book, we determined the potential user groups for this app and narrowed them down to two user personas, which assisted us in understanding and coming up with what users would look for in this app.


Meet Mitski—a Japanese American girl studying her Fine Arts degree. Growing up in the US, she has had limited contact with traditional Japanese culture and the language. Mitski's grandfather, on the other hand, used to be a professional potter in Japan and now lives with the family in the US. However, he does not speak much English. Struggling to connect with her grandfather due to the language barrier, Mitski comes across the Japanese Pottery Handbook App online. Knowing her grandfather's background and their common interest in the Arts, Mitski downloaded this app as a way to start a conversation and interaction with her grandfather.


our approach


The content of the book revolves around professional vocabularies as well as step-by-step tutorials of introductory techniques.

Our strategy of structuring this dictionary of Japanese pottery is to present it in the form of a virtual studio space, where the user would be immersed in the traditional pottery-making environment as they learn.

And by educating the users in history relevant to pottery styles and techniques, it may also be used to familiarize oneself to the context of the pottery studio, tools, and equipments.


organizing content

Before we set out to design for the aesthetic of the app, we had to reorganize the publication's contents. Going through rounds of edits and concept review, we decided that we would organize the studio space based on the 4 main processes to Japanese Pottery, throwing, forming, decorating and the kiln. Consider the floorplan below a summarized content list for the app:



The dictionary feature allows the user to browse through contents within each section as well as translations in Japanese.


Guides to introductory techniques such as throwing, glazing, and firing can be activated and controlled with voice while the users are working with their hands for convenience.


wireframe user-testing video

As part of the curriculum requirements, this is a wireframe prototype of the app built using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) designed in collaboration with Hannah Lin.


For reference, the following 2 scenarios are the ones demonstrated in the video.