Stop Saying User Experience

“It’s a great time to be a UX Designer” is how Jared Spool opens his trademark talk. And he’s right. 15 years ago it was important to be online, embracing the technological changes that captured our attention with the internet. 10 years ago being innovative was all the rage. Everyone had to find a new way to do the things that had all been dully doing by hand in the real world. About 5 years ago or so, the UX “revolution” really picked up steam. We started celebrating each others’ successes as a community. We extolled the benefits of good…

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Midwest UX 2013 – Grand Rapids is Amazing

I write this still sitting in Michigan, just outside of Grand Rapids (so alas, no brunch for me) at a hotel near the airport. This year was my third year at Midwest UX. I’m not from the Midwest (although family members do hail from Ohio). I don’t live in the Midwest, but in 2011 a friend and co-worker at the time, Andrew Hinton said that there was this crazy, intimate little conference that’s going to happen in Columbus, OH & that I should go. Columbus? Seriously? Well, it’s inexpensive. Why not… I recall that reaction mainly because when I heard that MWUX would…

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Not Taking UX for Granted

Each time I’ve started a new project with a new client, or started at a new company, it’s been under the impression that the company was hiring me to create a better experience for a website, software, or something related.  Typically, that’s also been coupled with a different opinion of how that will be achieved.  What defines a user experience varies from organization to organization.  There’s even a difference of opinion in how to refer to it… UX, design, CD, CXD… the list goes on.  And honestly, I think that makes sense. If a group has a pre-defined opinion of…

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Creative Leadership Isn’t for Everyone… and That’s Okay

I’ve experienced three distinct types of leadership in my career; business, technology, and creative.  Most leaders are business leaders, coming from a finance or business administration background.  Business leaders are critical to the success of… well, business.  They understand finance. They understand human resources. They understand capitalism, supply & demand and finding the right products for the right consumers.  Necessary, right?  Completely. Technology leaders are the backbone of most tech-oriented companies and startups.  They keep teams of programmers, DBA’s and network admins on task and working toward a common goal.  Technology leaders are great at what they do because they…

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Hey. I want to get into UX…

Over time I’ve been asked once or twice what people should “start looking at” if they “want to get into UX.”  I’m not trying to call this list definitive or somehow say that this is the only list that would ever be helpful.  I also consider this a starting point and there’s a heavy emphasis on self-learning through this.  I highly recommend conversation with people in the field in order to get some better context on anything you read. It’s also worth noting this is a significant list because this isn’t a one-size-fits-all, take a 12 hour course, and you’re…

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