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Three words for 2020


I’m kickstarting a new tradition to commence this new year (2020) that’s borrowed from my master’s thesis at Carnegie Mellon — nearly 20 years ago! Instead of trying to trying to massively survey anything and everything on a topic, simply select three words as the cornerstone of analysis, the intersections of which form the basis of a theme. So instead of “resolutions” per se, which...

Retro classes for “classic design skills”


Recently I commented on a LinkedIn post that maybe it’s time to bring back “retro” design classes which foster what I’d term “classic design skills”. In this era of churning out “UX Designers” through 6-week academies & online programs, there’s a vital need to fill something far more valuable then a quick easy certificate to get a UX job — a deeper understanding of...

The victims of velocity


Moving faster and faster and faster. That’s just the norm nowadays with software development cycles, most noticeably at startups but prevalent pretty much anywhere, as artificially self-induced pressures dominate — but that’s a whole other topic to explore 🙄🤔This self- imposed urgency to deliver more at a higher rate of velocity — being diligently measured, of course —...

Storyboarding out the human drama within


It’s typical in product development to write “user stories” & “use cases” based upon a self-identifying rubric meant to suggest a whiff of empathy: “As a geologist analyzing rock patterns, I need…” Of course it’s a pale shade of what true empathy means, codified into a simplistic formula to crank out at rapid pace & high volume use cases to fill up engineering backlogs...

Sketch to explore, not solve


Sketching is quite simply the essential skill for any designer at any level. This is a definitive point of fact. And yet, lately I’ve noticed an odd reluctance to sketch out ideas, particularly among candidates we have been interviewing to join our UX team, for which I serve as UX Architect. I wonder if this reluctance is due to an unfortunate prevailing presumption that “sketching =...

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