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Salaries come up a lot in the Nashville UX Slack. We get a lot of people new to the field and new to the area. It’s an important question: “how much should I reasonably expect to be making?” In one of the most recent bouts of this conversation, it was suggested that we put together a salary survey. What a great idea!

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In fact, it’s such a great idea that it turns out the Nashville Ladies Wine and Design group had already started one and kindly shared it with us.

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A bunch of us from the UX community jumped in to contribute and started looking at the data. …

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For people who knew me and redpepper, the news was likely a bit surprising. redpepper was (and in many ways still is) a dream gig: a rare breed of creative agency that got it. Independent and wild, doing things very differently from the churn-and-burn agency norm combined with a freedom to experiment and deep seated focus on personal and professional growth. …

These ideas are not yet perfect, but they are what I currently strive to practice. This is where I begin my work.

0: Good design does no harm

We live in a designed world. Design affects the way we live, often invisibly. Design has tremendous power to persuade, to dictate, form, shape, create, and even destroy. The first responsibility of design is to understand — as fully as one can — the possibilities for harm, and to reduce — to the absolute best of abilities — that potential: for the sake of the individual, the environment, and all parties. …

Following this coursing structure provides some really wonderful opportunities to serve amazing food that will make sure everyone has something to enjoy.

So, without further ado, my take on the Italian meal structure.


The aperitivo opens a meal, and it is similar to an appetizer. Most people gather around standing up and have alcoholic/non-alcoholic drinks such as wine, prosecco, spritz, vermouth, gingerino. …

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Here’s how it works:

1. Add a book

Members can list books they’re willing to lend. This is done by filling out an Airtable form and submitting it. A link to this form is pinned in our Slack team. Any submissions go into a table and I get an email.

1a. Books get listed

I clean up any details, add a cover image and an Open Library page when possible, and copy the submissions over to the public books table. I also set up a “member” record for anyone who’s never submitted a book before: for now, just a quick Slack conversation to make sure they agree to be a good sport about the loose nature of the “program” and confirm their display name. …

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How do you know when you’ve been paid what you’re due?

What a powerful and sobering question, developed during a research prep workshop I facilitated yesterday. This isn’t a question most us have to think about very often.

Not only is wage theft a real part of daily life for millions — potentially billions — of people globally, but many of the victims have very little, if any, record of what they’re owed, forced to trust their bosses. This public benefit company I’m working with is looking to change lives of construction workers, one of the groups most impacted by wage theft.

If you’re interested in learning more about wage theft, Interfaith Worker Justice has a tremendous amount of resources on the topic.

We’re gearing up for a round-the-clock sprint. Hundreds of applications were sifted to pick a handful of causes we could help make an impact with. I’m here to work on one.

CreateAthon is one of the most important things I do all year. 2017 makes the fourth time I’ve participated, and it was extra special. I left redpepper for another opportunity over the summer, but they welcomed me back to work with some of my favorite people for two days. …

Our latest design jam posed an ethical problem of can versus should.

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The September Nashville UX meetup kicked off our third and final theme: Ethics in UX. For this important topic, we wanted to start with a approachable exercise that anyone could take into their day-to-day work.

I had recently read about an anti-problem exercise on UX for the Masses. I love to use anti-problems and reverse thinking in my work, but this post summed the process up in a fun exercise called “World’s Worst.”

It’s the perfect exercise for a hands-on design jam, and with a little twist it promised to create the ethical problems we needed for a robust introduction to our theme. …

Now that it’s the daytime, I felt like I should elaborate a bit. So without further ado, I made a thing 🎏🎉

What is it?

Book Opener is a bot that listens for URLs posted in your Slack team. If any links to books are posted (right now it only works with Amazon links), it checks and helpfully (obnoxiously?) posts a link if the book has a page in the public catalog.

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Because Amazon is a place that sells books but isn’t really concerned with availability of information, yet the ol’ Amazon link is the most common (and typically the easiest) way of sharing books online. …

While much has been made of this, net neutrality, availability and cost, open data, privacy and ownership of personal information, tech and information literacy, one piece of the landscape feels un — or at least under — discussed: ownership of infrastructure.

Metaphors are often problematic in a situation like this, imposing an existing mental model onto something distinctly new. However, given that caveat, a metaphor does appear useful here. If internet access is the roadway of digital society, allowing free flow of goods and ideas, and if bandwidth is the size, capacity, and quality of those roads, it follows that the things connect to those roadways — the “servers” and connected devices, or nodes to use a better term term — are something like real estate and property. …


Justin Threlkeld ⚡️

Nashville UX co-organizer, Slack team collector, internet explorer. Designing things that inspire, empower, and encourage us to all do better.

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