Christina Wodtke

Christina Wodtke is an itinerant instigator and maker of things to happen. She is currently on sabbatical, advising start-ups and gardening. Most recently she led new product development and reinvention as a general manager of Zynga.com at Zynga, was general manager of Social at Myspace, principal product manager at Linkedin, and senior director of design at Yahoo! back when Yahoo! was pretty neat. As well, she likes founding things: She founded a startup where she developed the collaborative blogging tool PublicSquare; founded Boxes and Arrows, an on-line magazine of design; and co-founded the Information Architecture Institute. She may found again.

Stories by Christina Wodtke

It’s true: even simple projects get messy. Christina Wodtke comes clean on Swiss Army knives, the writing on the wall, and the untidy glory of the Boxes and Arrows redesign contest.

Where do we look for standards and guidelines that we can incorporate into our design work? In addition to the canon of trusted advisors, Wodtke reminds us of a teacher and student who created a series of uncommon guidelines that have a lot to teach about web design.

For a while we at B&A have been feeling unsatisfied with our software and website. It was perfect when we were young turks, but now that we have a larger body of articles, increasingly richer material, and a growing audience, we know we need something different, something that will tell the world we are a magazine on the rise.

Little Boxia has just turned two. Look how proud she stands, barely wobbling at all! See how she toddles around, smearing food on the walls! So independent, so curious and wait… did she just say “no!”? No, no, no! Here they come… the terrible twos.

A common view of vision is that it’s something handed down by a leader to the troops. When a redesign goes awry, the troops complain, “There was no vision.” But the problem goes deeper than either scenario; the problem is that there was no shared vision.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOXES AND ARROWS! On this, Boxes and Arrows’ one year anniversary, Christina Wodtke muses about our original goals, some of our accomplishments, and even shares a few tidbits from behind the scenes at B&A.

We stand poised to dive into the new year. What will 2003 hold for the profession known as “what we do” and its children, information architecture, usability, interaction design, interface design, and graphic design? We asked our authors to hazard a guess.

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