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UX and IA Leadership

I'm an outspoken and active participant in the UX and IA community. I teach an intro UX course at Seattle's School for Visual Concepts. I've given presentations at Midwest UX, Interaction, IA Summit, IUE, and Ignite. I've written articles and blog posts. I believe in strong mentorship, collaboration, and cookies. Here's some of what I have to say.

In Defense of Doing it the Hard Way

It seems as if every week I read about some paradigm-shattering new tool that promises to blow my mind, crunch all of my data by 5 o’clock, and have dinner on the table by 7. Tools like these are often pitched to us, an eager audience of open-minded, tired, bored, inexperienced, or budget-starved user-experience researchers. These promises are rarely fulfilled. Read the full article


The craft of UX: The case for apprenticeships

What do bakers, metalsmiths and user experience professionals have in common? They’re all crafts, but unlike other crafts, UX doesn't have a mentality of apprenticeship and practice. I argue that because UX requires broad knowledge across a number of disciplines, we need to better train incoming UX professionals. We should look to other fields for inspiration, especially craft guilds.


Up Your Game: 5 things information architects need to do more

Learning how to do information architecture holistically is damn hard, and standard IA conferences and books often don’t deliver so much as they repeat the same tired old saws. How’s a sophomore IA to learn and improve their practice in this echo chamber? By challenging ourselves to explore disciplines outside of IA.


Growing pains: Launching our first longitudinal study

 In our ongoing quest to discover how our users think, our UX group conducted a four-month-long study. As we would soon discover, this was no mean feat, as there was very little precedent from the UX community on the nuts and bolts of longitudinal studies. In this session, I'll present a case study of our methodology, our insights, what mistakes we made, and what you can do to make qualitative research a success in your organization. (IUE 2011 slides.)


Eye Tracking is a Rip-Off

 This is a a lightning talk I did for UPA 2011 on why I think eye-tracking is not worth my money. Hint: if you're good enough to use it, you don't need to use it. (Slideshare slides here.) This talk inspired my full-length article in ACM Interactions magazine, In Defense of Doing it the Hard Way.