All eight talks from UX Thursday, each distilled into 100(ish) words based on the notes I took.
We are surrounded by machines and tools that we take for granted, incredible technologies that have become so commonplace that they've lost the ability to amaze us. But every now and then, it’s important to pause and marvel.
Limiting a person’s checkout time isn’t the norm for most ecommerce sites, but in the ticketing world we’ve come to expect it. Sellers want to create urgency. As buyers, we want fairness.
But how much time? And how can designers of such experiences make sure they’re being fair to users while still meeting the requirement for urgency?
The first time I heard somebody refer to UX work as “change management,” I comprehended but didn't really understand. Only now do I get it, after a recent client meeting in which a stakeholder said these words, referring to the organization’s users:
“We need to get them using our terminology.”
Best pro tip I took away from this: To test your full color designs and find out how effectively they convey contrast, switch them over to black and white and see what happens.
"It is not how much empty space there is, but rather how it is used. It is not how much information there is, but rather how effectively it is arranged."
~ Edward Tufte, "Envisioning Information"
I’m not surprised that something called a codefest or hackathon would draw mostly coders, programmers and developers, leaving UX architects or designers few and far between. But I feel like that’s a shame.
Ever since I decided to pursue a career in UX, I’ve struggled to explain to the world at large exactly what I’m doing with my life. It’s happened with friends, with family, with new acquaintances who invariably ask, “So what do you do?” What I've done is freeze, trying to think up creative ways to answer.
To say this past month has been a whirlwind would be an understatement. A collection of thoughts, observations, and lessons learned from the last 30 days or so.
And now for something completely different.
When I started blogging here, the point was to give myself a space where I could think through issues specifically related to information, design, and technology. But to paraphrase Ben Folds, today I have the urge to get on the microphone and talk about some shit that’s been on my mind … and it has nothing to do with UX.
In UX today, it's well understood that empathy is important to user-centered design, but I also sense the word is overused to the point of banality. I wondered what the difference was between “empathic” and “empathetic" (if there was one), and I began to consider what UXers mean in the first place when we talk about empathy as a skill.
If you need me, I'll be curled up with these and a pot of coffee.
Adventures from the front lines of being a user, both on the web and beyond it. I could fill a whole blog with just these types of episodes, but I’d never get anything else done. So, here are three stray observations for this inaugural edition of “UX Encounters”:
Last night, I delivered my final presentation in my final class on my final day of graduate school. My idea of a celebration will be to hunker down today and intensify my search for a job, and try not to dwell so much on how I could complete a master’s degree with feeling like a master of so little.
A simple exercise picks apart homepages and reveals some not-so-simple questions about the nature of what's good for users. Pixels are precious real estate, and too many sites waste them.