Big Ideas

Douglas Adams, in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, tells the story of the Golgafrinchians. The people of planet Golgafrincham, the story goes, figured out how to get rid of an entire useless third of their population by duping them into thinking the planet was doomed and that they were eligible for the…

May 31st, 2016

The War on Information

A time to muster our UX practitioners

The world as we know it today is rich in information. At whim, we can usually find (without much delay) an information source that answers a question, suggests nearby restaurants, tells us how to travel, or provides us with data for the paper we are writing. The internet, as well as the technological innovations that…

June 23rd, 2015

Ending the UX Designer Drought

Part 2 - Laying the Foundation

The first article in this series, “A New Apprenticeship Architecture,” laid out a high-level framework for using the ancient model of apprenticeship to solve the modern problem of the UX talent drought. In this article, I get into details. Specifically, I discuss how to make the business case for apprenticeship and what to look for…

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…

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