Big Ideas

Why are you in UX? It probably isn’t to get rich. Yes, there is plenty of money in being a UX professional today. If you’re competent, you should be enjoying a very nice lifestyle. But we do this not for money–being on the business side would be far better at achieving that goal. We do…

I can draw. I went to art school. I studied painting until I fell out with the abstract expressionists and switched to photography. But I can draw. What I cannot do is diagram. I always wanted to. I have models in my head all the time of how things work. But when it comes time…

April 15th, 2014

Reorgs: Rocky or Righteous?

Designing the experience of company transition

As designers, we grapple every day with challenging projects. This of course is part of what keeps us coming back. Some challenges, although not directly related to project work, can still be looked at through a UX lens. In this case, I’m talking about a phenomenon you’re likely familiar with: company reorganization. If you’ve been…

March 18th, 2014

Ending the UX Designer Drought

Part 1: A New Apprenticeship Architecture

The user experience design field is booming. We’re making an impact, our community is vibrant, and everyone has a job. And that’s the problem. A quick search for “user experience” on indeed.com reveals over 5,000 jobs posted in the last 15 days (as of March 15, 2014) in the United States alone! Simple math turns…

February 25th, 2014

Siri, Chess, and Prostheses

A story about a game, a bit of magic, and human thought.

Intelligent machines. There was a time when the mere mention of artificial intelligence was wrapped in constant debate and triggered images of Hollywood-crafted products, like Hal 9000. The concept itself is quite controversial; it challenges human thought as Darwin once challenged human origins. But we moved on, and now we carry these intelligent machines in…

The following is a composite of experiences I’ve had in the last year when talking with startups. Some dialog is paraphrased, some is verbatim, but I’ve tried to keep it as true as possible and not skew it towards anyone’s advantage or disadvantage. As professionals in the user-centered design world, we are trained and inclined…

Dear Project Managers, It has been a very enjoyable experience working with everyone over the last couple of months and sharing our ideas on UX design. The various discussions about user interface, product usability, and user engagement have been an enlightening experience for me as well, and it is very positive to see that everyone…

October 22nd, 2013

Clicking Fast and Slow

Heuristics, bias, and deliberation in interaction design

Through social psychology and cognitive science, we now know a great deal about our own frailties in the way that we seek, use, and understand information and data. On the web, user interface design may work to either exacerbate or counteract these biases. This article will give a brief overview of the science then look…

This past June, I stood on the brink of achieving a major professional goal. The UX apprenticeship program I’d been working so hard on was going to begin on Monday. It was Thursday. On my desk lay a curious stack of paper labeled “Manager’s Onboarding Kit.” Of all the things I’d planned for and anticipated…

September 17th, 2013

UX One-liners

The UX of UX

A little background to start: I’ve had the honor of working as a designer-in-residence for General Assembly’s User Experience Design Immersive Pilot Program (UXDI) from June through July. Our team built, launched, and taught a UX course 5-days a week, 8-hours a day, for 8-weeks straight.  It was quite the challenging, yet rewarding experience. However,…

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