Empathy is liberating

Stepping out from behind the walls of self and looking out through the window of another, I find empathy is liberating. A surprising benefit of studying UX is that I have gained more empathy for people in general, not only in design. Simply being in the position of learning something new can have this effect because for a short time, I’m feeling what the user may feel when presented with a new product. I quietly marvel at the positive impact this is…

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Design for a better future

In what ways are you manipulated by design?  It happens everyday…  How many times have you picked up that last minute candy bar in the checkout lane or opted for a high calorie, low nutrition meal because it was faster than cooking at home?  On the other hand, maybe you’d like to move more and you walk into a building with peers and everyone goes for the elevator and you follow them because you don’t want to be different, or seem…

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Incremental progress and real-world impact

In the last several months, I’ve learned that progress takes time, intense focus and grace! Progress happens in small increments over time to where it may be imperceptible in the moment until one day, you find yourself contributing in ways you never thought of before.  Or, you’re looking at a completed work that you never would have been able to do a short time ago. One recent example occurred at my day job.  I was invited to a meeting in the…

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Diving into User Research & Personas

Editor’s Note: View updated Task Model and User Journey Map in the MyEverest Case Study. The past few weeks have been intense!  I offer you the abridged version of my experience with these first encounters. My focus was on user research to prove or disprove the hypothesis that I will use for the basis of designing the productivity app. Hypothesis: Taskly could help motivate users to achieve success in various roles by showing how each task is linked to those roles and…

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Time + Quality ≠ Clarity

Time.  Quality.  I found the two at odds in my first few projects.  I would pour over the details of the assignment and follow the instructions to a T.  It wasn’t working so well for me, though.  I would get caught up on non-essential details and before I knew it, hours had passed.  How do you find balance when both time and quality are precious commodities? Designers must always ask this question:  How can I make the most impact with the least…

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A hero’s rescue at the pool of self-doubt

You know that feeling you get that you’re about to drown in a pool of self-doubt? It is but one of the obstacles on the road to realizing you are the hero of your own story. “Your life is a story that you create and tell yourself every day… Your successes and failures, your ups and downs. All of these become the story of you.”

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Learning UX design is like a child learning to surf

I imagine learning UX is much like learning to surf.  The mechanics are simple.  The real challenge lies in the battle of the mind between over-confident presumption and learning to take cues from the environment about changing currents and the behavior of the sea. Much like evolving technology and user personas (more on that later…). I had a big decision to make this week.  One that I would have to live with for the next six months, at least.  The UX…

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Tea of a Kind – A surprisingly delightful user experience 

Any tea fans out there?  How would you like a freshly brewed herbal or fruit iced tea on a hot summer day right off the shelf?  I was introduced to #teaofakind on my recent trip to Atlanta.  The first twist of the cap releases a tea mix into the bottle full of water.  According to the package this produces a freshly brewed effect that is better than previously brewed tea that sits on a shelf for weeks or months. I…

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Learning UX – Is there one right way?

First week of class completed!  I eagerly began my guided online study on August 8th.  Wide-eyed, I read the assignment, signed up on #slack community for collaboration with other students, and then I click on a link posted by CF to an article entitled “The UX of Learning UX is Broken“…Yeah…that’s exactly what I want to hear after signing up for an online course to learn UX. Well, the school shared this with us so they must be very confident in their approach.…

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Creative Mornings – “Love”

Bright and early on the last Friday of every month, creatives in Boston gather at the Creative Mornings lecture series to network and hear from industry leaders.  It was a sold out event! Today’s topic was LOVE.  Yes, that’s right.  Sean Devereaux is Senior Visual Effects Supervisor at Zero VFX, a visual effects company that works on popular Hollywood movies. I was extremely impressed by Sean’s humility to speak about the topic he admittedly knew the least about.  Yet, when…

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A new beginning

I’m back!  I’ll say this once and then I must press onward.  I ask everyone’s forgiveness for neglecting my blog for the past 6 months.  Not the best start, I know, but I have a clear path forward now and a new resolve.   “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish that matters most.” – Unknown In the past six months, I’ve been over-worked and over-stressed during which time a valued spiritual leader/family member passed away.  Afterward, I…

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Curiosity…intrigue…empathy…solutions!

“UX/UI Designer,” read the title  below a stranger’s name. Edgy, right?  They must do something highly specialized, I thought.  Then my friend mentioned that he thought I would be good at UX/UI design.  Really?  I was curious. A year later and more mature, I began looking into what a UX/UI* designer does.  To my delight I found it includes a combination of many skills I had developed over the years and the best of what I enjoy doing! Now fully intrigued, I’m noticing the effects…

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UX design – a learning adventure

Welcome to my personal learning adventure.  If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re either a friend or family member or like me you’re just starting out and perhaps want to come along for the ride.  User experience (UX) design is not marketing.  It’s a part of the product development process that makes things more enjoyable to use. Wikipedia defines User Experience Design (UXD) as: “The process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the…

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