Why do I like this? Because it’s an example of how design and technology serve people’s needs (and yes, businessmen’s pockets).
Too often, my job revolves arounds trying to plan applications that seem so unrelated to what people need or are going through.
Hooray for rural America!
At least, though, Mark Zuckerberg probably gets away with wearing hoodies to work.
Steve Jobs gets away with his running shoes.
But I would love to see the day-to-day wardrobe of top women in business, even in Silicon Valley.
See, my definition of success, for a long time, has been “the privilege of getting to wear what I’m comfortable with to work, while still having people’s respect”.
I’ve always envied this man I was with in an elevator. He’s an industry bigshot, and, on that day, he was wearing jeans, and a plain white shirt which was so worn it had holes along the side. I told myself that someday, I want to be just like that – have enough achievement to and gall to credibly mock the system. As the New York Times article mentioned, similar to Zuckerberg’s and Job’s “anti-fashion statement”.
I’m slowly realizing, though, as I stay longer in my job and interact with people higher up the corporate ladder, that there isn’t much room for t-shirts, jeans and sneakers when you’re a woman who wants to command a certain level of respect in meetings with executives.
That’s even when the other executives are wearing sneakers as well. (Since I work in a broadcasting and production outfit).
But, more than that, this made me want to see how these top women presented themselves. To check whether there was hope for sneaker-wearing women to stay true to themselves when in managerial positions in corporations.
Here’s what looking at a few profiles turned up:
Granted, this was a magazine feature, so they are probably being primped and dolled up.
I know, I know, they’re just clothes, and I might be making a big deal.
Wearing “corporately-acceptable” clothes doesn’t diminish your values or convictions. It’s just that neither should casual clothes diminish competence and respectability.
I understand that these women might wear a whole different set of clothes while at work, which is why these make me happy:
And, fine, I should stop discriminating against women who wear popularly fashionable clothing, in the same way that I clamor for stopping the discrimination against casual clothes.
(Darn it, I should have been more specific and said, I would observe the first full body pictures in the Google Image stream.
Because, now it looks like a headshot-attractiveness thing.
Sorry, to all the individuals in pictures here, if this seems a bit invasive. I realized collecting the images suddenly seemed creepily voyeuristic. I’m tempted to Google myself to “even the score”.)
All in all, the conclusion is – I realized it isn’t so bad. If you stick your neck out and prove yourself, I’m guessing you can eventually get away with what you want to wear. It isn’t about the packaging really (even the boys have to play by the corporate rules, sometimes), it just all depends on the strength of character and actual skills you have to pull of the success. Cool.
Especially because I didn’t do it on purpose.
I know that it’s worlds better than having your phone stolen, or even getting it lost.
But it felt so surreal.
Seeing your same phone – same body, same housing, screen and application.
It was an empty black space with no threads of contacts and message excerpts whatsoever.
All memories you wanted to keep, and messages you wanted to save in case you ever needed written proof of anything, gone. Digital memories – of things that were sweet, touched your heart, made you laugh or angered you – disappeared.
Again, just really jarring. It was so jarring i don’t think I believed it for the first minute after it happened.
I thought maybe the screen just had a glitch or the application stalled. I kept closing and reopening the app.
But nope, gone.
These moments are so interesting. See, it could be seen as “emotional”, except is also seems trivial (lost text messages probably won’t strike anyone as catastrophic), and it’s also so final that there’s no choice but to accept.
You just bury the regret in your brain. Try to make sense of it. Make it seem philosophical — try to say that it might be some symbolism or lesson.
Of how my desire to hold onto and hoard everything kept me from easily finding what was valuable, in the din of everything I tried to save.
Or that it’s a foreshadowing of how my laziness about decluttering will ultimately bite me in the ass.
Anyway. Inbox gone. Weird sense of pain.
See, I want to be a User Experience professional. I want to be a user researcher and, hopefully, an interaction designer.
That is much more than usability. Usability only refers to the ease with which you are able to do something. Whether a task can be accomplished or not; whether people make errors and how easily they navigate through a device or interface.
A user’s experience (hence the phrase “user experience“) can’t be oversimplified into just how easy it is to do something (otherwise it would just be called “user ease”).
It has to be enjoyable to use, or give some sort of value. It’s an entire package of sensations and delivery beyond “efficiency”.
As the article points out, it’s usability + value + desirability + adoptability.
Multiple frameworks have already cropped up I know, this just seems to be the most concise and memorable one I’ve seen (so it’s easy to repeat).
2. Acknowledge that it takes a lot of humility, emotional maturity and self-restraint (not just creativity and camaraderie) to make a multi-discipline group work together
This strikes a chord because a) there’s this one particular boss in our corporation who loves using the word “silos”, in meetings, to repeatedly refer to why it’s difficult to create successful strategy.
b) Because I’ve realized that product development teams are composed of people from different educational and professional backgrounds, all required to be creative and productive together.
The really really great thing about Anderson’s entry, is that he argues for both the good and bad sides of deferring to each other’s expertise and “leaving your _____ hat at the door”. Because, that is how complex the UX design team situation is.
On one hand, you do want to respect that the designer knows design best, the developers know code best and the researchers know social sciences best. But, yes, once you’re all discussing “UX”, everybody really tries to stir the pot and get their hands in the stew.
I also like his conclusion, regarding the collaborative process centering on delivering a “good experience” to the consumer.
I sympathize with Mr….. Dirk. Despite my not having worked in or with as many start-ups. Mostly because of humility.
I am humbled by my new-ness in this field, and by the fact that, realistically, I am primarily a market researcher and a user researcher.
Meaning: As much as I badger and hammer my digital strategist teammates to refine their strategy (or actually make a sound one), since I’m the one who “knows the user”, I respect the difficulty of what they have on their plate.
Product Strategy, particularly in my team, is differentiated from…my role – user research. And, as much as, sometimes, I’d like to think I could create better strategy, it isn’t my job to and I honestly wouldn’t enjoy just doing that day-in and day-out.
I’ve always been the one checking how people respond to products or content, or finding out user needs, but it’s a whole other level of responsibility to put a product out there and your ass on the line, juggling business decisions and all. This is why I particularly dream of becoming an Interaction Designer, not a Product Manager or Brand Strategist. I’d rather work with systems, framework and evidence, more than price points and competition.
To each his own, basically. I just hope that people had as nuanced a view about work.
Again, being new in a web design team, these are phrases I kept hearing over and over and over during my first weeks of work.
It was almost funny, sometimes. People would get into lengthy discussions or arguments on what kind of method to use, when, if you really thought about it, it’s not as if they were mutually exclusive.
This article, Agile User Experience Design, communicates how “Agile” is a web development process and “User experience” is a design tenet and methodology. They can actually work together. Please read the article if you want to know more; Ms. Janet Six is much more articulate.
It’s really practical and funny at the same time. Thank you very much, Peter Hornby, for writing this.
“Worst answer—You’re kidding, right? You’re employing me as a UX designer, and you want me to code? Sure, I’ll hack something together. Perhaps we should discuss my hourly rate?”
Ideating in this day and age calls for a whole other set of creativity.
I want to bookmark some of the most relevant (to me) tweaks and ideas that people thought up to harness the stream of social media…stuff.
Responses to oversharing. No one can deny that individuals with thriving online lives experience lots of clutter.
Every day, it’s entry after entry, stream upon stream of individuals, groups, organizations sending you virtual updates.
So what can we do about it?
1. To combat the overall bombardment, Flavors.me, featured in Fast Company, collects and streamlines your different social feeds into one “page”. Fast Company writes that it’s similar to About.me, but I’m just generally happy that there are ideas like these that are trying to corral the onslaught.
2. But then, we also have Shu.ush, which works only within Twitter, featured on Co. Design. I love how it literally “tones down” the din from talkative tweeters. Just really amusing.
We’ve also got innovation ideas that make the digital Instagram stream more tangible.
I think this surprisingly makes sense, since iPhone or Apple product owners would probably frequent places of interest for global counterparts with similar purchasing power.
Damn, I talk in a really boring way now. Mental laziness.
4. Also, to make things easier to grasp for the Pinterest generation, Brazilian agency ionz creates infographics out of users’ personal informaton (likes, dislikes, favorites) to create your “digital persona” desktop wallpaper. Fun idea. via Creative Applications
And lastly, for people who just want to keep their finds to themselves:
I’ll be watching out for their work. They seem to be the first massive purely digital agency I’ve seen. The others usually seem to be under multinational umbrella agencies who started in traditional media.
I also like the navigation set-up of their portfolio – which has a secondary navigation bar showcasing: new projects, case studies, featured projects, greatest hits, lab projects and a client list.
They just made it simple to find things, with clear paths. Which is just right considering they’re in the business of interaction design.
They have an interesting blog – which both showcases their work, but also reports relevant industry-wide updates. I found this nice article on managing “content creep” – the social media content strategy of version of feature creep.