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The application window for this internship opening has closed. We are grateful to everyone who applied, and wish everyone the best of luck!

Last year, I had the honor of supervising our first UX Research Intern in NPR’s Design department in Digital Media. Eleni Andris was a gracious participant in our exploration of how an apprentice-style internship fit amid our division’s agile work on NPR’s software for the web, mobile devices, wearables, cars, and more.

This winter, we’re continuing the exploration with another UX Research Internship. Here are the logistical details:

If you …

  • Can work full-time from a quiet place with internet access in the United…

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Update: The application deadline for this internship is past. We are maintaining this post as a record, and have made minimal updates to reduce any confusion over its status. Thank you to everyone who applied and to everyone who spread the word!

A decade ago, I didn’t hear the term “user experience” until I had already graduated with an art degree from a liberal arts school and gotten a job as a front-end web developer. It took years to shift my career from coding to UX design to full-time research.

NPR’s Design team hopes that, for one student this fall, a UX research internship will provide an earlier starting point. …


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As a person who tends to think while I speak, I try to notice how I’m treating the people around me who think and then speak.

“Thinking out loud” is a fairly neutral action. Keep it up until my peers lose interest, however, and it becomes “rambling.” Keep going long enough and talk over enough people, and folks will start calling it what it is: “steamrolling.”

If you have a tendency to think out loud, too, this piece is for you: Two tactics and one strategy for taming your steamrolling skills.

Tactic: Embrace the pause

The way to allow others to participate in conversations is simple: Pause. …


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When I walked downstairs and opened the door, I was still amazed. Thanks to my scrum master in Washington, D.C., I now stood on my Saint Louis porch holding four gourmet cupcakes.

We were celebrating the success of the 2016 Tiny Desk Contest and the contributions we’d made to its digital coordination. Our music colleagues so appreciated our work that they treated the team to cheesecake, and our scrum master, McCaul, enthusiastically accepted their offer to also send treats to the two of us who live outside of DC.

Finding deliverable cupcakes turned out to be a complicated task—taking 90 minutes research in one case! Though I was amazed that McCaul pushed through it, I shouldn’t have been. It was one of many ways he and our colleagues have included us in the team and its work. …


My favorite podcast constantly reminds me of the importance of self-care. (Thank you, Heben and Tracy.) And lately, I’ve noticed that an important part of my self-care routine also happens to be activism. Here’s what I do:

Edit Wikipedia.

I make a lot of different types of Wikipedia edits, but I nearly always choose edits that increase the representation of the under-represented. The way we each look at the world is influenced by the way our surroundings represent it: the people we talk to, the movies we watch, and the information we read. And people with Internet access read Wikipedia.

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Though editing Wikipedia doesn’t lift my spirits in the same way that watching a Vine of a dog that looks like it’s wearing a dog costume does, I find that making these edits gives me a lasting feeling of relief. …


Each year, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI) hosts a conference for news directors, producers, and reporters. Session and workshop presenters help folks make their journalism even more awesome, from podcasting to creating tight copy to retaining a diverse newsroom.

The #PRNDI16 conference was this past weekend in St. Louis, MO, where I am based as a researcher and designer on NPR’s Digital Media team. I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to hang out with a bunch of public radio folks and learn some neat news-related things in the process.

As has now become my habit, I took sketchnotes at each session I attended. …


This Wednesday, our team presented at a meetup in NPR’s Studio 1 for a joining of two groups: ONADC, the DC Area Online News Association Meetup Group, and SNDDC, the Society for News Designs’ annual SND Workshop held in Washington, DC this weekend. Matt Mansfield, the cohost of ONADC, also organized the SND workshop, so the meetup was a logical mashup.

When John Stefany, Matt’s contact at NPR, asked Liz to present on behalf of Digital Media Design, she quickly thought to include her team. Since getting all eight of us to speak in a meetup-friendly format was a bit unwieldy, we narrowed the group to two representative stories: Scott’s experience listening deeply in music, life, and the NPR Music redesign, and my experience listening broadly to people, opportunities, and the Morning Edition book club. …


Last month, NPR staff celebrated Black History Month through a variety of events. There was music, food, books, a movie, and lots of discussion. Each day we recognized a different trailblazer through features in the internal NPR newsletter, each one illustrated by Justin Lucas.

Our Black History Month Edit-a-thon

We used that same list of trailblazers for another event: a Black History Month Wikipedia edit-a-thon.

Somewhere on the edge of your mind, you may be aware that people — anyone — can edit Wikipedia. At edit-a-thons, people get together to edit articles on Wikipedia that center on a theme.

Like many edit-a-thons, our event focused on improving portions of the encyclopedia with low coverage due to its systemic bias. We also aimed to enable new editors to make their first Wikipedia edit in a short period of time. As you can see from our event page, we succeeded in each goal. …


Last week was the 35th anniversary of Morning Edition, NPR’s two-hour morning program full of the latest news and in-depth features. To celebrate, Executive Producer Tracy Wahl organized a series of four events here at headquarters: three discussions and one celebratory breakfast.

Conveniently, last week was also my first week as Senior Interaction Designer here at NPR. Though I missed the first event, great moments from Morning Edition with producers Jim Wildman, Neva Grant and Barry Gordemer, I attended all three of the following events, and took a few sketchnotes while I was at it.

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Davia Nelson reflected on her and Nikki Silva’s collaborations with NPR. If you don’t recognize their moniker, The Kitchen Sisters, you’ll recognize their distinct style — the juiciest bits of “tape” are layered with music and sounds indigenous to the story subject. …

About

Veronica Erb

Designs, researches, illustrates, and writes code. Plays ukulele and edits Wikipedia. Works at @NPR from STL. Loves being dyslexic.

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