ShaoLan Hsueh was born in 1971 and raised in Taiwan by a ceramicist father, Hsueh RuiFang, and a calligrapher mother, Lin FangZi. She has two children, MuLan and MuAn.
She received a Master of Business Administration from National Chengchi University in the 1990s, before moving to the United Kingdom where she obtained a MPhil from Newnham College, University of Cambridge.
Her method to teach Chinese is a visual-based learning system called Chineasy.
After a TED talk in 2013 ("Learn to read Chinese … with ease! ") and crowdfunding though Kickstarter, she published the book Chineasy: The New Way to Read Chinese in March 2014, with the graphic artist Noma Bar.
ShaoLan Hsueh had the idea while trying to teach Chinese to her two children; she uses a simplifying system based on key "building blocks" which can be combined to create more complex characters and sentences. She also uses simple illustrations to help learners to recognise the "building blocks" easily. The books contains about 400 characters based on 64 "building blocks".
On June 8, 2016, TED released a new talk by ShaoLan called "". ShaoLan created a and mobile tool at the same time to help users understand their own Chinese Zodiac signs.
Awards & Recognition
- Winner--Wallpaper (magazine)’s 2014 Design Award for “Life-Enhancer of the year”
- Winner-- Best Design of the Year 2014 Visitor Vote, Design Museum
- Wood Pencil Winner — D&AD Award 2015 in ‘Branding/Brand Expression in Print’
- Wood Pencil Winner — D&AD Award 2015 in and ‘Book Design’.
- FastCompany—The World’ Top 10 Most Innovative Companies Backed by Kickstarter in 2015
- Wired Japan— Top 25 Design Projects in the world WXD 2015 (Wired by Design)
As of February 2015, Chineasy is translated in eleven languages: Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Russian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Finnish and Swedish.