Staring at the eye-popping phone bill for our shared account, my partner asked me with a tone of concern: “Have you called Turkey?” Of course I hadn’t. I only FaceTimed my mom back home. I did so regularly to catch up during the pandemic and show her my little son. We did both audio and video calls regularly.
My partner and I have cross-checked the bill for specific dates of my so-called outgoing calls to Turkey and the list of recent calls registered on my phone. I had to acknowledge that I had indeed done "regular" calls to Turkey. …
Much is said about diversity and design to seek awareness of factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual identity, ability/disability and location in the design industry. For gender in particular, initiatives like Ladies That UX focused on the experiences of women across the world that worked within our sector.
Yet, the experiences of UX professionals that are mothers — a minority within a minority — are not talked about.
With little to no sector-specific resources to help, and almost no examples in upper management to follow, we the women in the UX…
It's been 28 years since Don Norman coined the term UX (User Experience). Still, the confusion about what it entails, and distinctions amongst its subspecialties remain: Some believe that UX is UI (User Interface), others think that UX competes with PM (Product Management), and quite a few companies still leave limited budget only for a single UX Designer who also does research.
And all the while, UX-related job titles grow.
In this context, having to explain our mission as UX Researchers and justifying the need to hire more UX Researchers can be tiring.
But on the bright side, the constant…
As famously reported, thick data has changed Netflix. Grant McCracken, a cultural anthropologist, was hired by the company to use ethnography as a way of understanding users. It worked; McCracken reported extensive contextual data that led to innovation. He discovered, among other things, that users liked "binge-watching" series. And, instead of feeling bad about it, they loved it! Acting on this insight, Netflix started to release whole seasons at once, instead of showcasing a chapter per week.
Now, as we all know, binge-watching is the new normal.
McCracken's work is well-praised within the community of UX professionals. But little do…
My son is almost 6 months old and he hasn't even met his maternal grandparents. God knows when we'll get to travel abroad because of COVID-19. And my maternity leave will soon be over before having gone out much.
Shi**y situation, huh?
It's saddening that so many people fall victim to COVID-19 to this day. Still, there are perks to becoming a mom during a pandemic. I cannot deny it.
So this goes to all new parents out there, or those that are preparing to become one. Your experience shouldn't be worse than that of parenting in "normal times". …
In 2016, Google Maps made headlines for removing the Palestine label from its service. While the tech giant disagreed that it was ever drawn in the first place, they admitted “West Bank” and “Gaza Strip” were removed due to a bug. It was corrected afterwards.
Last month, I became a naturalized Spanish citizen, and with it intensified my curiosity towards what makes someone or something uniquely Spanish.
While I continue to think that nationality — just as race and religion — are social constructs that constantly evolve, I detect that there are seemingly unchanging ways to think and feel Spanish.
More precisely, two phrases capture what it means to be from the land of Don Quijote:
You hear this phrase a lot. It means "nothing happens", or "there is nothing amiss". …
At the core of UX Research lies understanding users' needs, wants, frustrations, emotions, and everything in between. To do solid research, UX Researchers need to be sophisticated communicators who use language effectively both when engaging with participants, sharing insights, and making recommendations.
This raises the following…
After a honeymoon phase, the very things that you initially liked in a new country could become annoying or even overwhelming. While you transition from feeling like a tourist to being a local, you'll need to do many things (e.g. learn a new language, find a job, get a place to live). But above and beyond these practical concerns, you'll need to be asking smart questions and building your network.
Back when I was doing my bachelor's at the University of Chicago, where the motto goes “the life of the mind”, I discovered two ugly secrets about earning a graduate degree. The first one is that approximately 50% of students drop out. The second one is that there’s a dangerously high unemployment rate amongst those who survive years of training.
It's not surprising that UX appeals to graduate students, especially in social sciences, as an alternative career path to teaching or writing papers. Especially, I'm referring to research-oriented roles within the field. To further encourage this trend, big tech companies…