Monthly Archives: July 2013

What I’m Reading this week

But far and away the best news of the week (so far) is that Kathy Sierra is blogging again!


UX gets the attention of Business (again)

The Rise of UX Leadership  is a recent post on the Harvard Business Review blog.

 Fortunately, there is a great training ground for new UX leadership: the startup market. MBAs and other aspiring professionals are seizing the opportunity to create something new, emulating start-up heroes like Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey and Dennis Crowley. Not all of these startups will succeed, but leaders who join their ranks will learn valuable lessons seeing products and ideas rejected by end-users firsthand. These new UX-minded executives will take top jobs elsewhere, seeding a new UX culture in corporate America. And they’ll certainly be looking to join companies that “get” UX.

Cliff Anderson, who I had the good fortune to work with several years ago, commented that he was disappointed that the article doesn’t mention testing–I think that’s an excellent criticism. While only a few rare geniuses have designs spring from their heads like Athena emerging from Zeus’ skull, the rest of us can make tremendous progress through gathering empirical data and iterating our designs.

I was also just alerted to this article, The Strategic & Tactical Aspects of UX Leadership  recently published in UX Magazine.

Which also reminds me–Jared Spool is working on opening a school to effectively teach & train this new wave: The Unicorn Institute. It will be exciting to see how they evolve, particularly since the state of current UX education is primarily catch as catch can.

Information Artist

A new title–Heather Dewey-Hagborg calls herself an Information Artist.

She creates portraits in the form of masks derived from DNA she collects from detritus on the street–cigarette butts, chewing gum.* She uses a 3-D printer to create her masks.

View some of the pieces from Stranger Visions.

From the article:

“If you care about privacy, you’d better do something, because we are probably the last generation that will realize what we’re losing.”

Abstract of the article here; unfortunately you must be a New Yorker subscriber for the whole.

*lollipop sticks, toothpicks–her subjects are all necessarily litter bugs, does that show up in their DNA profile? Although I suppose she could filch coffee cups from trash cans…or is that theft?

InfoGraphic: The Disciplines of User Experience Design

Interesting infographic as much for the way it can be criticized as for what it captures effectively. Needless to say, you will never be able to make everyone happy when we’re all so busy with our silos and empire building (aiming this criticism at myself as much as anyone).

Trying to figure out how to incorporate this into my Advanced IA course.

Midwest UX

Just a plug for Midwest UX, a regional conference that started a couple years ago and has been a roaring success. Strong speaker line up, reasonable registration costs.Karl has attended the last two years as a speaker, I’ll be attending for the first time this year. Looking forward to spending a few days in lovely Grand Rapids, MI.

Registration will open later this month.