Birds on a wire

If you want to have fun, just log on to Twitter and ask, “Ok, what are we fighting over today, Design Twitter?” It could be anything from whether designers need to learn to code, to whether UX/UI is a single job, to the ethics of design, to does UX have/need a seat at the table, to does UX even exist??? And so on. We love to analyze, we are particular about words and we constantly fight among ourselves as well as “outsiders” about all of these topics.

Defending a practice that is growing and changing is difficult. And there’s a…

Team of people fist-bumping

I’ve been lucky to work on dozens of projects throughout my career and there is one thing I’ve learned which has affected every single one of those projects:

In most cases, not enough attention is paid to onboarding team members.

Now I’m not talking about solution rollout or customer adoption of the project. No, I am referring to onboarding the actual members of the project team, the people responsible to develop and implement the solution.

In fact, the biggest, most spectacular failures I’ve been on were the ones when there was no onboarding strategy for project team members at all…

Woman with coffee, at computer

I was chatting with a close friend recently about our our work lives and she mentioned difficulty finding satisfaction with her work given her lack of control in her work situation. I had come to some realizations about my own sphere of influence and happiness within it, and put together a thread on Twitter.

Here’s what I’ve come to realize about work recently:

My work philosophy has changed over the years, especially recently. I’ve become a lot more self-assured & clear about what I want to do.

I have had the “Why am I even” crisis many times over the…

This is the second in what will inevitably be a series of AI-related posts. See my first post, Artificial Intelligence, UX and the Future of Findability.

Source: Pixabay

Every organization has dirty jobs that it should be doing, but that no one wants to do. Work that is so big and daunting and tedious, that it gets shelved for a rainy day, or started dozens of times but never finished, or worse that keeps getting re-invented into yet another un-scalable pilot project.

In our organization, we have a lot of dirty jobs related to Information Management: classifying documents, cleaning the metadata on…

Credit: spydergrrl

Here’s a conversation I’ve had on multiple occasions:

Them: “We’re going to run a hackathon.”
Me: “Why?”
Them: “What do you mean, why?”
Me: “What are your goals? Who are you inviting? What kind of experience would you like them to have? What outcomes are you looking for? When you award a prize, what happens to the rest of the solutions the other participants created? What happens post-event?”

And then I usually get un-invited from future meetings.

True story. And more than once.

After having run several design jams, mentored and supported a number of hackathons, designed and led countless…

Credit: Martin Grandjean [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

I’m completely obsessed with the idea of using artificial intelligence, search patterns and information architecture to improve the findability of content. OBSESSED. It seems like we’re on the cusp of doing amazing things with chatbots and data mining, which can augment manual information architecture work and result in a better user experience overall.

How AI + UX = Better Findability

Let’s say you have a service that includes a search component. Right now your users might be running searches and using manual filters to sort through the results, as search users are wont to do.

How do you know if they are finding what they need? You…

Image by Intersection Consulting, CCBY2.0

I am a Business Analyst. I know, I know. We suck.

Business Analysis is all about useless documentation and templates, right? BAs are sticklers for detail and overloading process onto projects. And did I mention all. the. documents? I mean, who has time to read those? Projects could be so much more agile if we just skipped having a BA on the project. Amiright?

Let's face it: BAs get a lot of flack for being inflexible document masters and scope mistresses. But we don't have to be. Nor should we be.

I think BAs get a bad rap because it's really easy to be a bad BA.

Thankfully, it's also just…

So, you’re an extrovert. Congratulations. Go tell someone else all about it.

Because I’m exhausted just thinking about it. All the people-ing. And worse, I’m afraid that you’re about to tell me all about how great extroversion is, and how you get all of your energy by interacting with people and isn’t that amazing and I want you to stop talking before you even get started.

I know you might have trouble understanding how exhausting I find people, so in order to make both of our lives easier (ok, mine), I’ve got a couple of tips for you about chatting…

We suck at working with remote workers, so we’re designing inclusive interactions for them.

Credit: Vanessa Miemis on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

I work with a bunch of tech-savvy nerds who can work from anywhere. And yet we suck at working remotely.

Actually, we suck at working with people who are working remotely.

When people go off-site, our team immediately stops communicating with them. Off-site workers either fall out of mind or assumptions are made about reaching out to them: “I don’t want to bother them” or “someone else can help me” or “it can wait until they get back”.

It’s a cultural deficiency in our organization: When…

I just wrapped up the 4th edition of the Homemade Lego Advent Calendar and I have to say that I am pretty darned happy to get my evenings back. Actually, this is a really fun ritual which the Dude proposed a few years ago (see below for more info). I’ve been posting my builds daily on my Twitter account (@spydergrrl) but for those of you who might have missed some or want to take a look at the entire collection, here is the full recap of my 2016 builds. Enjoy!

The story behind the Homemade Lego Advent Calendar

We opted not to buy the Dude a Lego Advent…


UX-er. founder & co-chair @CanUXConf. wife to Hubby, mom to The Dude. she/her/they. lives with anxiety. runs on espresso & star wars.

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