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    Monday
    Sep212009

    measurable goals in design iteration

    Next step: making goals measurable
    In last week's UX Week 2009's "Be A Strategy Team of One" workshop with Henning Fischer I was reminded how important it is to have measurable goals of success that you are working against, particularly in iterating cultures.

    When working in UX goal-centric design it's a simple extension to make the worded goals extend into items that can be measured. In one of the exercises in the workshop we worked through a percentage modeling system that showed if we started with 10,000 people how many made it through to the end to accomplish the ultimate task that we set them.

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    Tuesday
    Sep152009

    goal-centric ux design

    It all began with a group of particularly cranky engineers. Showdown at the UX corral as they ran amuck in their Agile world. <cue music> My eyes narrow. I whip out a marker and write down a single word on the whiteboard.

    Goal:

    Well, my life isn't really that exciting but I certainly do work in a lot of cowboy cultures. And I work in a lot of cultures filled with stressed-out people who are pressed to their limit. Whenever I encounter these environments I'm always drawn to running simpler and easy-to-implement process.

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    Wednesday
    Sep092009

    consulting toolbox - filling competency gaps

    When you begin to look at designing relationships with your clients as a primary focus in your business, it changes what is important and encourages you to learn and develop new strategies to fill in your personal competency gaps. This is particularly important for those of us who are single-person consultancies, freelancers and/or working in large companies where our on-going development is not a primary concern.

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    Monday
    Sep072009

    consulting toolbox - designing the relationship

    As a designer myself, I find the idea of taking design thinking and expanding it to all my relationships to be deeply appealing. I love taking the ideas and learning from one context and seeing how it fits in others. In Aikido we call that "taking it off the mat." For me, designing the relationship with my clients means an investment of time and attention that are well worth the effort.

    So, what goes into designing a relationship? In my practice, I include paying attention to how you begin the relationship, how and what you negotiate in the contractual stage and how we communicate and manage throughout the project. From the UX perspective, I consider this to be the way that I develop and tweak the communication strategy for my business.

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    Friday
    Sep042009

    consulting toolbox - quietAction blog series

    When I first began teaching computers and UI design in the early 90's, I always included a little conversation in one of the last classes about how to navigate the freelance and creative world from the business side. As was so often the case, I learned enormous amounts from those conversations, including a lot of creative ideas to try in my own business. Now that I'm not in the classroom or teaching online any more, I miss having people like myself to talk through the intricacies of day-to-day working in creative, innovative, and fast-moving fields.

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    Monday
    Aug102009

    UX mundane - doors that communicate

    What do you notice about this picture? Well, to me...this is a good example of how the little things in our world fail to communicate effectively. Notice the pull sign but the handle on the door. This provides mixed signals. A handle indicates to most of us that we should pull. Even the addition of panels the same color as the handle would help communicate. But realistically, the best communication of all would be to remove the handle on this side and leave the push instructions. I'm great with not being able to make a mistake...even if it is only at the door to Starbucks.

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    Monday
    Jun152009

    being an integrator - finding the both/and

    At the beginning of every project is a massive data infusion. Not only are you getting to know the people by talking to them, but you are also exploring content, design and engineering data – written, presented and in physical form. This download requires both an abstract attention (breadth) and also focused detail analysis (depth).

    I like to think of the abstract form of attention as walking through the "informational mists" that surround a company or individual. You keep your senses open to pick up all the intricate relationships. Obtaining discernment and insight however requires that you not just swim through this ocean of interconnectivity but also put into place a process to explore and collect more specifics on the underlying frameworks that operate in a company. This architecting process of picking and choosing the data you will attend to, and also keeping an open connection to the larger whole is what I consider the "integrator" part of my job description.

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    Thursday
    Jun112009

    clarity - be kind to your customer

    One of the biggest adventures any company or individual has is winnowing down and communicating clearly what it is that they do. For me, climbing through 22 years of highly varied experience with computers required me to "eat my own dogfood" and run the same process that I use with individuals and companies. That and page after page of versions got me to my first one-paragraph description of "what I do" - ever.

    What guided me was a single thought: being clear would be kind to my audience and allow them to interact, connect, teach and hire me.

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    Friday
    Jun052009

    Zoe Keating - integrating IA and music

    This is a perfect example of how fascinating each of our stories are and how we can connect with and find "our people" in life. And companies should pay attention as well - look what happens when you recognize what you are good at, continue evolving, trying new things and speaking authentically. It's not always about doing it perfectly - often it's about showing your work. We, as your customers, appreciate that. I went and bought her music on iTunes...she might need an addition to her house or a new MacBook Pro.

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    Wednesday
    Jun032009

    Leah Buley - ux design team of one

    I really loved Leah's story about working on her own in a company and then what she learned going into a collaborative environment like Adaptive Path. She has some great methodologies and a particularly spectacular slide early on of some of the elements that go into experience design. Hope you enjoy as much as I did!

    UX Team Of One @ IA Summit 2008

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