Complex or Complicated: The Importance of Developing Common Language

“While shared understanding may always be an asymptote, striving for it is the mark of designer as facilitator.” – Erik Dahl (@eadahl) “Precise language is lost if all don’t share the subtleties of meaning…” – Will Sansbury (@willsansbury) The Need for Common Language Common language has to be developed for almost any collaborative project to work. As soon as you have a team, instead of a person, communication becomes the cornerstone of everything you do. Pairing works much better once a common language is developed; without it, two people will sit together, but work independently. Once they develop a common language, a shared understanding, they…

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Finding the Zen in Giving a Shit

Warning: What follows is a rant where I repeatedly generalize about people who identify themselves with a “User Experience” or “Experience” label, but I’m typically referring to myself. I justify the generalization only by the fact that so many of the people who make up the community that is “User Experience” often share many of the same traits that I do, empathy foremost among them. One of the hardest things I find about work in User Experience is balancing it. Not the work. Not the solutions. Not the lack of humanity dying for an overtly emotionally-supportive make-over. But the lack of balance inherent…

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Why No One Has the Right Answer: UX

I don’t really know where I fall in any sort of spectrum regarding my opinion on this, but I do know what I think; how I interpret things. I have a fairly firm belief in a balance in all things creating a better whole.  As such, I expect any field I work with to have some percentage of both ends of a spectrum, and the shades of gray between them. I work in a User Experience group, but I fully believe in the idea that User Experience, by itself, isn’t *really* a discipline.  I’m of the mind that it’s a group of disciplines.…

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What I Heard (or Thought I Heard) at MidwestUX 2012

There’s a great collection of other write-ups, slide decks, hand-outs, sketch notes & notes and photos at http://lanyrd.com/2012/midwestux/ This is… wow, a lot to read. I’ll forgive you if you don’t make it all the way through.  I’m not sure I would.  This is mostly based on my tweets (and retweets I grabbed from other people who can pay attention better than me), so if you were following during Midwest UX, you can probably skip reading this altogether.  Seriously. First of all, the good people at the Midwest UX staff outdid themselves in a big and serious way.  I honestly didn’t think they could top…

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Better Without Influence? Processing the Inputs

Occasionally I’m struck by a lightning-quick thought that I was better at what I do… this whole anticipating and responding to experiences as simply and logically as i can thing… before I started overloading myself with channels upon channels of industry-specific information. I resisted for a long time; partly because I just didn’t realize how extensive our industry network had become, and partly because I was too caught up in “doing” to be able to spend much time “reading” about what i “should” do. I say occasionally, because most often I find the things that I read extremely valuable and…

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