A discussion against the rigidity of a User Experience support team.

Software and tech companies are realizing more and more how critical User Experience is to the livelihood of their products but are still torn on the best approach for utilizing UX professionals to their full potential. Companies recognize that User Experience is needed to make products that people can actually use and ones they really want but they may struggle in the application. This is, in part, a role that UX engineers must help define.

The challenge is two-fold: many companies see UX as an after-thought to development and may stretch UX engineers too thin over many tools. This lends itself to creating a support team mentality where a group works outside of the development teams to provide support ad hoc. …

I love movies. I love quoting movies. I also love UX. What do these things have in common?

I am not speaking of UX lessons learned from working in Hollywood or on a film, rather, what lines in films inspire my every day work. Here are five quotes that help me when I design, make decisions, interact with people, and navigate through the ever present interoffice politics.

  1. Jurassic Park
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You were so preoccupied with whether or not you could you didn’t stop to think if you should.

I have this image hanging up in my cubicle because it is so relevant in the world of software development. How many times have we worked on a feature that was never used because we could but we never stopped to ask if we should? The technology is there but will be people use it? Will it be helpful for their workflow? Is it something they need? Are we providing everything they do need before we develop something they do not necessarily require? As UX, it is critical that we stop to ask these types of questions before we jump into design. …

As User Experience engineers, we are always analyzing the world around us, and concepts that we employ for software are not solely limited to the designs we create. We may unconsciously apply our techniques to what we see and do on a daily basis. I like to call this “Everyday Usability”. After all, the definition of “usability” is “the degree to which something is able or fit to be used” (source) and does not need to be limited to tools or interfaces.

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Picture this: Today is Monday. Your alarm just went off for the third time and you roll out of your soft, warm bed into the cold of a February morning. You practically trip over a pile of clothes you tossed on the floor the night before. Groggy and dazed, you unconsciously waddle through the dark house and into your kitchen. The green glow from your microwave tells you it’s 5:45 am and while you are running a few minutes behind, your morning coffee is an essential start to your day. …



Trained illustrator and professional UX Engineer with a passion for creating visceral web experiences.

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