Posts Tagged 'personal'

Get Out of Your Cave

Get out of the office, your den, your cave, and go work in public. You’ll enjoy it.

This is hardly an epic realization and more a self reflection. I recently went ‘mobile’ again with a purchase of a 13″ MBP and I am no longer tied to my desktop at home. And there is something to be said about working out in the open.

Continue reading ‘Get Out of Your Cave’

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Researcher’s Serenity Prayer

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot test; the option to use qualitative or quantitative methods, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I originally posted an abridged twitter version found here. I meant it more as a joke but as with most jokes, they spark from truth. This came from a recent usability test I have been engaged with and the discussion ‘would our goals benefit more from AB Testing than qualitative research?’ In this particular case, we were asked to perform qualitative research. I am not naturally a fan of AB testing, and yet in this case I wholeheartedly agreed it was the more valuable method.
Continue reading ‘Researcher’s Serenity Prayer’

My (rejected) IxD 11 Lightning Round Submission: Childhood Gaming as a Design Tool

I too was rejected by IxD11 to share a lightning round proposal. That is a great thing in the grand scheme of things. Out of over 300 submissions, less than 30 were taken. Attending the conference I will have a chance to see what truly makes a great presentation and I can hopefully iterate on my own concept or have something new to share at a future date. Taking a cue from @whitneyhess, I wanted to share my original proposal, solicit feedback, and perhaps be able to share in more detail at a local event or article.

Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts.

Childhood Gaming as a Design Tool


Ask a room full of project managers, end users and developers to define a future product and if you’re not careful, you will just get the predetermined requirements. I will share my process for breaking out of the typical lists and roundtable discussions. By relating sports, video games and board games to a particular problem space we uncover opportunities for compelling interactions rather than trying to solve a problem before understanding all the components. What if a to-do list were a game of BrickBreaker? Or your priority items a hunting game from the original Oregon Trail? Used early in the design/research process this method encourages analysts to pick up pens and draw, managers to let go of the structure imposed by a traditional development process, and all stakeholders to contribute on a more equal footing .

This session will highlight experiences and lessons learned from sketching childhood interactions as a tool for initiating design conversation early in a project’s timeline and will describe how these conversations have both led to successful interaction models and have backfired to cause ultimate confusion.


I have to give a special thanks to @strottrot who, unasked, offered to review my proposal and provided some extremely helpful feedback.

Combinatory Explosion, or Why I Hate the Beer Distributor

I would not say I am a beer sommelier, though if given the opportunity I would certainly like to be one. I do however love good beer and can describe, to a lay person at least, the differences in flavors across a given selection. When I go out, I make it my purpose to order what I haven’t had before, preferably on draft. This makes my selection very easy. I typically drop off from possibilities all American Piss Beer and am left with choosing between three and five choices. If I like the beer I ordered, second round here I come. If not, I can always try something else.
This does not work at the beer distributor though. Enter Combinatorial Explosion. I don’t have the option of a draft over bottle. Choose a beer I don’t like and I am stuck with a case so I tend to stick more with what I know. Walk to the Porters, Lagers, and Stouts, and I have too many choices. Easily over a dozen options of each, I want something new or different but I don’t want to give up my tried and trues. Making a decision is tough. Each time I decide on one beer I feel like I am letting another down. Too many choices cause indecision and its difficult to know what to take. Finally deciding on one, I always feel a yearning for another option as I, in my mind, look back with a ‘next time’ feeling in my head.
Now there are two solutions for this. The first, and ridiculous of the two, is to only sell a few beers of each make. This is of course not economically viable. Instead, I suggest distributors limit the selection the same way they do with wine. Give me a ‘chef’s choice’, even if its just the preference of the guy unloading the truck. If this rotates monthly (more often at the distributor is not my problem) I can choose the showcased porter, lager or stout and my selection of over 30 (10 each) is now brought to three. I leave happy, the distributor is happy, an my mind has been duped to making a selection.

TV’s 6 Degrees and My Muddled Mind

We all know about Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon or more commonly known as Six Degrees of Separation. I love the game and have some personal pride in being a walking IMDB of sorts being able to connect some rather obscure actors to each other. Still, when watching television and movies I like to immerse my mind in the fictional realm and I get confused when I suddenly see Lando Calrissian as Harvey Dent. This gets to be a little more confusing across television where you tend to build a relationship with characters over the course of episodes, seasons, and years.

With this in mind, something possessed me to map out the television I have followed over the last year. The initial result is below. My explanation to how I structured this after the jump.

initial map
Continue reading ‘TV’s 6 Degrees and My Muddled Mind’

The iPhone is a Gateway Drug

‘The iPhone is a gateway drug.’

‘Wait, the iPhone is, well, a phone.’

‘True, but in terms of technology and Apple, the iPhone is a gateway drug.’

This is my decision after looking at my technology recommendations to friends and family, as well as my own purchase plans.

Continue reading ‘The iPhone is a Gateway Drug’

Career fairs

I had the design job fair at Carnegie Mellon this week and attended on behalf of my employer. I definitely got as much out of going as the students hopefully get from the companies present. Learned a lot about how my perception of design has changed, grown, and fits into the bigger picture over time.


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