Link Drop (Week 44)

If you can, give to the Red Cross to provide support to Hurricane Sandy victims, and help elect a president who will keep FEMA in tact.

Link Drop (Weeks 40-43)

This is a rather long link drop because I’ve been doin stuff.

Sketching Interfaces: Speaking notes and mini book

I gave a talk at Asbury Agile 2012 and have published my presentation deck and speaking notes as a zine-like mini book in a new section of this site. My friends on Instagram have seen me teasing out this talk for a few months now, and I'm happy to get the ideas out because this is something I've been thinking about ever since I started this site.

This is the perspective of someone who is starting over and taking the beginners path. Check it out.

ASIS&T Bulletin: IA Issue (Oct/Nov 2012)

The IA Issue of ASIS&T Journal is out, edited by Thomas Haller. Here’s a listing of articles in this issue.

  • Information Architecture in the Age of Complexity, by Andrea Resmini
  • The Architecture of Information, by Martyn Dade-Robertson
  • Optimizing Websites in the Post Panda World, by Marianne Sweeny
  • A Metaphor for Content Strategy, by Carrie Hane Dennison
  • How to Start Sketchnoting, by Veronica Erb
  • A Conversation with Eric Reiss, Author of Usable Usability: Simple Steps for Making Stuff Better, by Thom Haller

Get more info about this issue of the Bulletin or Download the PDF.

Link Drop (Week 36, 39)

Have been busy getting settled on the West coast, so starting back up again and a very short list of links.

Dear Brooklyn, It's not you. It's me.

I’m spending my final full week as a Brooklynite and feeling the bitter sweet pain of saying goodbye, while looking hopefully towards the next chapter of my life. After 19 years as a New Yorker, I’m heading with my family to live in Marin County, CA.

New York is a city that I’ve loved from childhood, and the only place I could see myself living as a young adult. With my head full of every cliché dream, I believed it was the place I needed to live to find myself. When I moved here I thought I would work in the art world, where I spent the first few years hustling, but I discovered my path was to lead elsewhere. I’ve thrived in this inspiring city for a long time, and drew energy from this place. It’s helped make me who I am today.

I spent a short time in the first few years living in Manhattan at Times Square and the East Village. The rest of my days were spent primarily in Brooklyn at Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Sunset Park, and in the last 9 years, Park Slope. If you know me, you know I’ve considered myself a Brooklynite more than a New Yorker. There’s an energy, creativity, diversity, and much more relaxed sense of being I’ve found in Brooklyn that is wonderful. But nothing lasts, and although I thought I’d live the rest of my days residing in Brooklyn, the pull to the outdoors became too strong. With 2 sons that need to bust out, break free from living in boxes, and restraining their boyish need to bounce and scream to be quiet for neighbors, the timing just feels right.

Many of the designers I’ve come to know, respect and admire have been my neighbors here. This town introduced me to some incredibly smart people who have influenced me, from the original group of IAs that met in Victor Lombardi’s IA Salon over 10 years ago, to the more recent impromptu gatherings Lou Rosenfeld, Yoni Knoll, and I have put together with our BK/UX peeps. I’ve had a good run, and I’ve met so many incredible people here who I hope to never lose as friends. I hope none of you hold it against me for leaving to the left coast, and I thank you for your friendship.

So it’s with a little sadness that I say goodbye to New York, and with hopeful anticipation that I’m welcomed to the Bay Area. If you’re in San Francisco, know that I plan to spend a lot of time exploring in your beautiful city, and that I’m always looking for like-minded UXers to have coffee with. I’ve owed a few people a coffee date for years now.

See you on the other side.

Link Drop (week 35 of 2012)

Upcoming 2012-2013 UX Conferences

The 2012-2013 conference calendar is lining up and I've been starting to track the upcoming events as tickets start to go on sale. I've omitted those that are already sold out. Here's what's looking interesting on my radar, listed in date order. Am sure I'm missing quite a few. This is a good start.

The tragedy of the design commons

Designers prune.

Left to its own devices, the mob will augment, accessorize, spam, degrade and noisify whatever they have access to, until it loses beauty and function and becomes something else.

It seems democratic and non-elitist to set it and forget it and let the users take over. But the tools we use (Wikipedia) and the brands we covet (Nike or Ducati) resolutely refuse to become democracies.

-Seth Godin

Note: @brennen takes issue with the Wikipedia example when it comes to feature selection, and convinced me that it’s not the best example to make. Although I think maybe the point is that Mediawiki implementation on Wikipedia is controlled, but whether or not the decisions about what is used in Wikipedia is democratic or not, I don’t know.

Link Drop (week 34 of 2012)

Light drop this week because I was out camping for most of it. Little tidbit about the Link Drop name. I like it because it reminds me of a record needle drop.

  • Keeping the goal in sight while designing component flows - (Ryan Singer) Ryan Singer looks at a product component that fails to deliver on satisfying a user’s core need, and reminds not to design and reviewing components in isolation. Every build and iteration requires review and circling back to evaluate the component in terms of the need identified in the use case scenario. Put into action, he says:
    How do we integrate the components back into a context for review? Ask the question: “What is the user trying to do here?” The job the user has in mind is the best integration point because the user’s mind doesn’t tidily follow the boundaries of implementation.
  • Why Does Interaction Design Matter? Let’s Look At The Evolving Subway Experience | Co.Design: business + innovation + design Robert Fabricant looks at the ways interaction design has had an impact on the MTA/NYC subway system from the Metrocard kiosks and turnstiles, to the signage and app ecosystem that enable better wayfinding and information use in what can be an overwhelmingly complex system to navigate. Also touches on the IXDA awards.
  • Everything in its Right Pace This is a terrific essay on considering the pace of delivery of information in web products, and how in a world of constant delivery, sometimes a slower pace, selective or scant data delivery, and better signal to noise is more appropriate and valuable in a given context.
  • Visually Reinforce Your Credit Card Fields (89% Get it Wrong) - Articles - Baymard Institute “It’s fortunately a relatively simple procedure to lift the perceived security of sensitive fields in your form – simply encapsulate the fields with a border or background and place your security badge nearby.”
  • Apple Literally Designs Its Products Around a Kitchen Table “Longtime Apple industrial designer Chris Stringer testified that the company has a small team of 15 or 16 people that fashion all of the company’s products. The group meets frequently, literally sitting around a kitchen table, to debate all products under development. “We’ll sit there with our sketch books and trade ideas,” Stringer said, appearing as the first witness in the Apple vs. Samsung trial. “That’s where the really hard, brutal honest criticism comes in.”
    From there, the group puts the sketches into a computer-aided design program and, if warranted, creates a physical model. “Our role is to imagine products that don’t exist and guide them to life,” Stringer said. There could be 50 designs for a single button, he added. “We’re a pretty maniacal group of people,” he said.”