Posts Tagged 'dtdd'

IxD Through Mixology, Chapter 6 Go Unnoticed

At the end of May I presented at MidwestUX in Columbus, Ohio on Interaction Design Through Mixology, and how our careers mirrors a hobby of mine. Many topics were covered and much delayed I am going into detail on many of them. Now to discuss going unnoticed.

In Mixology

A good cocktail should not reek of alcohol. Sure, there are times where the Long Island Iced Tea or Jungle Juice are served, but the majority of cocktails are intended to be enjoyed and should not be produced to turn your nose at the smell of well liquor.

It tastes like a cranberry and tonic, I love it

While all my cocktails have a different flavor profile and some are more pronounced than others, it was this quote in regards to a Blueberry Vodka Tonic that helped me realize the importance of subtly in mixology. Relaxing one Friday night, I mixed the cocktail and very quickly ran out of infused liquor as drink after drink I made more. The drink hit a chord that brought up memories of cranberry and seltzer as a kid and was a vehicle for the night’s entertainment, not something that screamed of alcohol and intoxication.

Continue reading ‘IxD Through Mixology, Chapter 6 Go Unnoticed’

IxD Through Mixology, Chapter 5 Consistency Matters

At the end of May I presented at MidwestUX in Columbus, Ohio on Interaction Design Through Mixology, and how our careers mirrors a hobby of mine. Many topics were covered and much delayed I am going into detail on many of them. Now to discuss consistency.

In Mixology

A rum and coke, vodka tonic, or mimosa. All fairly straightforward drinks. Order at one bar in New York and it tastes like one ordered in Miami. Drinks of a certain name have a consistent taste. Order something more complicated, or a house special and the cocktail might not be available globally. Return to the same bar week after week and the cocktail should taste the same. Every time. The drink should be consistent.

When bartending, I cannot make the same drink a dozen different ways – that is a dozen different drinks. Instead, a drink should be reproducible. It’s flavor’s should be predictable for return customers. This provides insight to the cocktail’s strength, flavors, and food pairings.

Continue reading ‘IxD Through Mixology, Chapter 5 Consistency Matters’

IxD Through Mixology, Chapter 4 User Validation

At the end of May I presented at MidwestUX in Columbus, Ohio on Interaction Design Through Mixology, and how our careers mirrors a hobby of mine and I have picked up the task of going into detail on each topic. Today: User Validation.

In Mixology

Have you ever spat out a cocktail because it was too strong or just tasted awful? I have. And I have thrown out more drinks that I have made than I have ever ordered. Not everything comes out right the first time. Even more, not everything that I enjoy is accepted by my friends and family. Not every cocktail is for every person.

Just because I followed a recipe or made something I like, does not mean it will be a popular drink. Remember the old design adage “The user is not like me”. It applies to design as well as mixology.

Continue reading ‘IxD Through Mixology, Chapter 4 User Validation’

IxD Through Mixology, Chapter 3 Iterate Iterate Iterate

At the end of May I presented at MidwestUX in Columbus, Ohio on Interaction Design Through Mixology, and how our careers mirrors a hobby of mine. I’ve gone into detail on Education and Process. Now let’s focus on iteration.

In Mixology

Iteration is key in mixology. Even before starting this personal journey I mixed my own cocktails. By that I mean I mixed gin and tonics, rum and cokes, and I had a jungle juice recipe that landed you flat on your ass. How hard could it be to create some custom cocktails?

I should have eaten my words then and there. All drinks, all recipes, all skills require practice, they require iteration. In mixology I relearned the hard way the value of testing my experiments in small batches. The value of failure and that ‘each hurt is a lesson’ as Arya Stark would say.

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IxD Through Mixology, Chapter 2 Process & Methods

At the end of May I presented at MidwestUX in Columbus, Ohio on Interaction Design Through Mixology, and how our careers mirrors a hobby of mine. While I initially planned on frequent posts following the presentation, I got lazy (not excuses, I forgot and got slack). Let’s get back to the topic and today discuss Process and Methods.

In Mixology

I have defined two camps of bartenders and mixologists. Those that use traditional materials and methods and those that utilize newer technology.

Traditional tools include muddling fruit and spices to extract flavors, combining liquor and ingredients in a shaker and straining over ice or into a glass. Pretty basic and straightforward combination of ingredients.

More modern methods include using liquid nitrogen to flash freeze liquid, molds to combine various ingredients, and the study of microbiology in food to combine flavors and to evolve a recipe over time.

These two camps typically don’t intermingle. Bartenders and restaurants are known for their process to make cocktails and bartenders in both camps are aware of the merits and reasons for the other’s process.

Continue reading ‘IxD Through Mixology, Chapter 2 Process & Methods’

IxD Through Mixology, Chapter 1 Education & Training

At the end of May I presented at MidwestUX in Columbus, Ohio on Interaction Design Through Mixology, and how our careers mirrors a hobby of mine. Over the next few weeks I will expand on my talk where I highlighted similarities between my hobby and my career. Today let’s discuss Education and Training.

In Mixology

When I started out in mixology, it was on a whim. I wanted to homebrew and wasn’t confident in making the financial plunge. I was concerned for the carpet in my apartment, and the fact that I had an electric range. (It is significantly easier to homebrew on gas than electric.)

I don’t remember the exact moment I decided to infuse but I remember thinking a cucumber gin and tonic and basil gin and tonic would be amazing. And that was all it took. I didn’t buy any books or fancy equipment, I didn’t even do much as far as initial research. I dove right in. It wasn’t until after I realized other people do this too and that there is A LOT to learn.

So I asked myself, where do I go to learn about mixing drinks? What are the best books to learn from? Do I need a certificate from a bartending class so people know I am not full of shit? What tools do I need in my home bar?
Continue reading ‘IxD Through Mixology, Chapter 1 Education & Training’

Interaction Design Through Mixology, Chapter 0

I recently had the opportunity to present Interaction Design Through Mixology at Midwest UX in Columbus, OH. This is very exciting for me as I presented in front of my peers on a topic that is passionate to me and not directly tied to a product or design. This was a chance to draw parallels to design while not focussing on a specific deliverable, tool, or method. As I crafted my presentation, I found there is a lot I could cover. I started with a list of 5 chapters that grew week after week. With only 20 minutes to present, I cut the list down. Over the next few weeks, I will go into each section of my talk, and those I did not include, to to continue the conversation.

For those interested, my slides from the presentation may be found here.

My plan is to release a new section every 1-2 weeks in addition to any other writing I might tackle (I know, it’s been some time since I’ve written). Please share any thoughts regarding the posts and feel free to use the #DTDD hashtag (define the damn drink) on twitter to continue the conversation.


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