Hu Ying


Hu Ying is  a professor and doctoral supervisor at the School of Design, Hunan University. Prior to that, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, Hunan University. She was also an academic visitor at the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary, University of London, UK. Ying's ambitions are centred on the fundamental role that cognitive intelligence can play in investigating and influencing future societal shifts and design education. Her recent work is motivated by a belief that we can empower the creativity of AI by exploring and analyzing the cognitive mechanism of creative thinking, which is the key vision she shared on her speech at the 2020 Global Service Design Conference. Five invention patents have been handed over for the relevant contributions, and over twenty articles have been published in the top journals and conferences in the fields of Design, Psychology, Education, and Engineering. Scholars in thses domains all over the world have cited their research articles, expanding the reach of brain-based theory of design thinking.
Ying has been involved as PI and Co-I in several education reform and research projects that have been generously sponsored by various federal departments. She was also selected to the Yuelu Scholar list and the shortlist of Hunan Province's talents supporting plan in recognition of her contributions to education.
(Funding lists: NSSFC , National Society and Science Fund Committee; the National Key Research and Development Program of China Project; Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province)
She also serves as a paper reviewer for several journals, including  Thinking Skills and Creativity (SSCI), the International Journal of Technology and Design Education (SCI &SSCI), the Design Journal (A&HCI), the International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR).
During her teaching career, she developed the Service Design Heuristic Cards Kit (SDHCs) to simplify design thinking and encouraged students to compete in domestic and international design competitions (Dubai Global Grad Show, DIA, etc.) where they won over 10 honors. Her course, "Service Design and Business Model," was recognized a Provincial Excellent Course, while another, "Service Design Heuristics and Strategy," was added to the "Service Design Talent Qualification System," which has been rated as the national first-class course by China's Ministry of National Education.
Hu Ying is seeking master's, doctoral, and postdoctoral candidates who have a cross-disciplinary background, such as design thinking, computer science, psychology, or biology, and have a strong interest in the direction of industrial design.

Fields of research:

Her research interests are service design, design thinking, and digital and technology innovation, and she has published over 20 papers as the primary or corresponding author in the top design journals and conferences in related fields.
Key words: Service Design, New Technology Application and Business Prototype, Design Thinking and Strategy, User Research, Interactive Concept Design

Main Course: 

Srevice design and Business Model; User Experience and Service Design.

Main Projects:

  • Research: ran the Smart Bed Design Project which is featured in the 2022 Winter Olympics.

  • Reserch: Capture, Cognition and Interpretation of Design Thinking, sponsored by NSSFC (National Society and Science Fund Committee),2022/10-2025/10

  • Reserch: Creative Service Design Technology and Platform for Intelligent Interactive Products,which is a sub-class research of National Key Research and Development Program of China, 2021/12—2024/11

  • Reserch: Study on The Brain-like Mechanism of Artistic Imagination in Adults and Children,sponsored by Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province(General), 2022/5-2025/5

  • Teaching: “Design+”- Research on the Cultivation of Innovative Practical Ability in Postgraduate Courses, which is key project of The Chinese Society of Academic Degrees and Graduate Education, CSADGE, 2021/11—2023/10

  • Teaching: Research on The Cultivation Mode of π Practical Ability of Design + Technology Under The New Perspective of Liberal Arts Education, which is related to Ministry of Education's industry-university cooperative education programme, 2021/09-2022/09

  • Teaching: Research on the teaching model of hybrid course "Service Design and Business Model", which is key project of Research on Teaching Reform in Higher Education in Hunan Province, 2021/09-2024/09

  • Reserch: Research on The Tnnovative Mechanism of Endogenous Public Cultural Services in Rural Communities,sponsored by Philosophy Social Science Foundation of Hunan Province 2019/12-2022/12

  • Teaching: Service Design Heuristics and Strategies, Hunan Provincial Department of Education, Hunan Provincial Postgraduate Teaching Platform Project (total funding 30,000 yuan), 2019/10-2022/12

  • Research: Research on "Design+" Interdisciplinary Advancement of Graduate Students' Frontier Design Supported by the Cooperation of Leading Internet Enterprises, , Research Project on Reform of Graduate Education in Hunan Province, 2019/09-2021/09


2004 BA Hons, Industrial Design, School of Design, Hunan University, China
2007 MA, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University, China
2014 PhD, School of Design, Hunan University, China


2007 Tutor, School of Design, Hunan University, China
2009 Visiting Researcher, Nokia Research Centre, China
2015 Academic Visitor, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary, University of London, UK
2018 Postdoctoral Fellowship, School of Information Science and Engineering, Hunan University, China
2018 Associate Professor, School of Design, Hunan University, China
2022 Professor, School of Design, Hunan University, China

Publications and published papers(selected):

  • Zhou, Z., He, R., Hu, Y*., Du, X.,and Bai, Y.(2023) Compass for the Voyage of Ideation:Unlocking the Stimulation Potential of Service Design Heuristics, in De Sainz, D., Galluzzo, L., Rizzo, F., Spallazzo, D. (eds.), IASDR 2023: Life-Changing Design, 9-13 October, Milan, Italy. https://doi.org/10.21606/iasdr.2023.364

  • Zhou, Z., He, R., Hu, Y*., Bai, Y., Du, X.,and Wang, Q.(2023) Unleashing a creative explosion: channeling expert strategy into Service Design Heuristic Cards, in De Sainz, D., Galluzzo, L., Rizzo, F., Spallazzo, D. (eds.), IASDR 2023: Life-Changing Design, 9-13 October, Milan, Italy. https://doi.org/10.21606/iasdr.2023.241

  • Duoyi Chen, Fang Liu, Ying Hu*, Xing Du, Yiming Bai, Zhenzhen Ren, Lan Lan, Wenyan Yu, Service design from the perspective of “six thinking hats”: A comparison of storytelling strategies of experts and novices,Thinking Skills and Creativity,Volume 47,2023,101219,ISSN 1871-1871, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2022.101219.;https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871187122002206

  • Du, X., Ji, T., Hu, Y*., Wang, H., Wang, Q. (2022). How Thinking Patterns and Strategies Drive Idea Generation: From Novices to Experts in Service Design. In: Bruyns, G., Wei, H. (eds) [ ] With Design: Reinventing Design Modes. IASDR 2021. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-4472-7_207

  • Hu Y, Ouyang J, Wang H, Zhang J, Liu A, Min X and Du X (2022) Design Meets Neuroscience: An Electroencephalogram Study of Design Thinking in Concept Generation Phase. Front. Psychol. 13:832194. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.832194

  • Ying Hu, Zhenzhen Ren, Xing Du, Lan Lan, Wenyan Yu, Shirao Yang, The shifting patterns based on six thinking hats and its relationship with design creativity, Thinking Skills and Creativity, Volume 42, 2021, 100946, ISSN 1871-1871, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2021.100946.(https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871187121001619)

  • Ying Hu, Wenyan Yu, Zhenzhen Ren, Xing Du, Lan Lan, Qin Wang, Tie Ji, Yinman Guo, Coordinating role of six-hat thinking technique in design team during idea-generation phase of service design,Thinking Skills and Creativity,Volume 39,2021,100764, ISSN 1871-1871, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2020.100764. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871187120302388)

    Xing Du, Tie Ji & Ying Hu *(2020) How to Cooperate in Collaborative Design: A Study of Interactive Behaviours at Different Design Capability Levels, The Design Journal, 23:3, 347-369, DOI: 10.1080/14606925.2020.1746610

  • Hu, Y., Du, X., Bryan-Kinns, N. et al. Identifying divergent design thinking through the observable behavior of service design novices, Int J Technol Des Educ (2019) 29: 1179. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10798-018-9479-7

    Hu Y., Li Y., Du X. (2017) Thinking in Interdisciplinary Design Teams Based on Workshop. In: Marcus A., Wang W. (eds) Design, User Experience, and Usability: Theory, Methodology, and Management. DUXU 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 10288. Springer, Cham

  • Ying HU*, Yinman GUO and Renke HE, "Mutual Trigger Effects in Team-Based Ideation", The 3rd International Conference for Design Education Researchers, Chicago, USA, 28-30 June, 2015, ISBN 978-952-60-0069-5 (vol. 1–4), Volume 1 DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.1200.7520, PP214-229

    HU Ying, HE Renke, JI Tie, GUO Yinman and Francesco GALLI, "Design Pattern and Strategy in Ideation", 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference Design Management in an Era of Disruption, London, 2–4 September 2014. ISBN 978-0-615-99152-8. pp2991-3009.(Best Paper Reward)


    L.Li,Y.Hu and F.Galli,"AN IMPROVEMENT IN METHOD: FROM USER STUDY FIRST TO FAST CONCEPT DESIGN FIRST",The 2nd International Conference on Design Creativity,2012.9,Glasgow,Scotland,UK.ISBN: 978-1-904670-40-7(EI Compendex)

  • Ying Hu,Tie Ji,Lu Li,"Social Networking Service Design:from User Cluster to Service Cluster",Proceeding 2009 IEEE 10th International Conference on Computer-Aided  Industrial Design Conceptual Design, 2009.11(EI Compendex)


  • Hu Ying, Ouyang Jieqian, Systems and Methods for Identifying Design Thinking in the Concept Derivation Phase with Convolutional Neural Networks, CN202111544926.3, 2021.12.16

  • Hu Ying, Ouyang Jieqian, Systems and Methods for Identifying Design Thinking in the Concept Derivation Phase with Residual Network Identification, CN202111547266.4, 2021.12.16

  • Hu Ying, Service Design heuristic card, 2021-A-00089391, Original Acquisition, All rights reserved, 2021.04.21

  • Hu Ying, Design heuristic card tool system, 2020SR1086895,Original Acquisition, All rights reserved, 2020.09.11

  • Hu Ying, Du Lin, International Invention Patent, Gesture-based Interaction Method, Interaction Device and User Equipment, Open No. CN106293051A, Application No. CN201510519874.2, Open Day: 2017.01.04, Inventor Ranking: 1

Academic Activities:  

  • 2023.09: Dr. Hu Ying was invited as as a guest speaker at the China Industrial Design Conference.

  • 2022.10 to present: "Thinking Skills and Creativity" reviewer

  • 2022.09 to present: fellow of the Dragon Design Foundation Accreditation Committee of Service Designers and Service Design Organizations

  • 2021.12: Dr. Hu Ying was invited as a guest speaker to participate in The 2nd China Design Research Forum-Designing Design Research, and delivered a lecture on the topic "Design Self-awareness - Design Walk the Talk: Research on Service Design Thinking".

  • 2021.08: IASDR reviewer

  • 2021.02.03: Invited as Presenting Author to speak at the Regional Forum of the Global Service Design 2020 Conference (organized online in Australia). Topic: The Tao of service design in facing pluralities in China, https://servdes2020.org/events/35-the-tao-of-service-design-in-facing-pluralities-in-china

  • 2020.11 to present: "the Design Journal" reviewer

  • 2020.08 to present: Member of Intelligent Service Professional Committee of Chinese Association for Artificial Intelligence

  • 2019.12: Organizing the 1st China Design Research Forum "The Realistic Context of Design Research" and the 10th Doctoral Forum on Design Research (Hunan University) http://design.hnu.edu.cn/info/1032/5655.htm

  • 2019to present: "International Journal of Technology and Design Education" reviewer

  • 2016.04: Organizing "Design Research: Factual and Theoretical Basis"- 3rd Doctoral Forum on Design Research (Hunan University)