Once every three months, someone on Twitter makes a comment about how all speakers at UX Conferences should get paid. It’s usually around submission time, as they’re sending off proposals to UX Australia, UXConvey, and UX Garden Grove — which I presented at.
Beginners should get paid. Experts should get paid. Everyone should get paid. We should be more inclusive of different groups because we’re inclusive.
And get paid.
They’re running business, and people should be rewarded for putting in the effort for helping someone else make money. Right?
Not so fast.
Conferences aren’t altruistic events. They cost money —someone…
I teach at General Assembly in Seattle as a Part Time UX Instructor. One task that pained me early on was watching students scour the Internet for templates they could use to do user research, create site maps, and record usability tests — especially documents that were free using collaborative tools. So I created my own. All of them use free tools like Google Docs or Draw.io as the platform, and I’m releasing them to the wild.
As a designer you should never create anything from scratch.
I may have “borrowed” some of these templates from other people. Additionally, some…
We can talk about Design Thinking: Stanford’s DSchool’s Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test for the uninformed. The reality is that design is more framework and less process. It’s guideposts, so you have a pretty good idea of where you are going, and adjust when it happens in asynchronous order.
How many times have you gotten to Test and realized you’re solving the wrong problem? It’s called learning. That’s why design thinking it’s is there so that you can back up and start again.
The gates help you have informed point of view, whether it is a start-up project or something…
You’ve heard all the nightmares: it rains all the time, the traffic is bad, Microsoft and Amazon dominate the job market, the male to female ratio is so bad the dating scene isn’t, yadda yadda. However, if you’re one of the California natives that can work through some of these, read on.
Seattle is a great place to find your next User Experience position, at a place with work-life balance and you can work on products focused on business value instead of the me-too economy.
This was originally posted at Usability Counts.
It’s easy to criticize the user experience of an application or website, because we’re all end users.
But sometimes we use it once, while many have to use it day after day as a part of their job. We talk about how we like using some sites, but there’s always the “I wish it was this way.”
We are our own worst enemies.
We constantly pick at sites and snipe on Twitter how certain missing features are UX 101, but we don’t offer constructive feedback. We don’t understand that some decisions are based…
This was originally posted at Usability Counts on January 16, 2012.
If you’re in User Experience, there’s no other place like the Bay Area.
There are thousands and thousands of jobs and, seemingly, that many job openings. All the great product stuff gets done here — which means you won’t have to do silly micro sites or get as many stupid questions like, “Hey, can you write code too?” The Bay Area is a manageable size, more so than a Los Angeles or New York.
That’s read: If I have never have to sit on the 405 at Manchester Avenue…
This was originally posted at Usability Counts on October 28, 2011.
Some User Experience designers think they are entitled to great jobs out of the gate.
They think that just going to college and getting the degree is enough. That presenting the wireframes from a college project represents a portfolio. That it’s okay to ask for $100 per hour when you really have nothing to show except for a few prototypes. That just showing up gets you a one percent raise every year, if it gets you a job at all.
For those people that think that, I don’t want…
This was originally posted at Usability Counts on January 29, 2014.
When you’ve reached the phone screen or the in-person interview step, you’ve gotten past the hard part: you have demonstrated that you have the qualifications to work at the company. You’re now being judged on whether you have the soft skills and culture fit.
While going through the process and after holding previous talks at The Seattle UX Meetup group, I’m reminded that many interview expectations are unstated. Most companies don’t understand how to interview.
The standard chaos presents incredible opportunities where you as designers can take control of…
“So who are we designing for?”
That should be the first question of every single project.
It should be followed by, “What are their motivations?” or “What are their goals?” If you don’t know who you’re designing for, wireframing is a waste of time. I was once at fault: I would start projects without doing user research because I never thought there was time. After a few failed projects and wasted hours, I started every new project with at least some research so I could understand the target audience.
There is always time. Understanding your audience is essential to building…
When I speak at events, I’m always surprised what I get asked after the presentation. I put the deck online (that’s usually the first request), but much of the information I disseminate is of the spoken variety. I’m kind of like Michael Stipe, who is famous for forgetting lyrics. Every time I do the presentation, I might say something different because I don’t have a script.
The people I love helping show an effort at getting to know me. They also ask great questions that go beyond the standard, “How do I write a resume.”
At the last few events…