Interaction of Design and Equality

In taking a break from traditional work to travel, I am exploring the topic of inequality through the lens of design. My journey is an attempt to understand if and how design (visual, experience, urban planning, architecture, etc) as a discipline can/should play a role in improving the socioeconomic and racial issues we are experiencing locally and globally.

While being a nomad is not exactly conducive to scheduling interviews, my goal is to find at least three individuals who are involved in organizations that attempt to provide equal opportunity to all via design.

If the topic is of any interest to you here are a number of articles and resources that have helped to guide my journey and shape my perspective thus far: Continue reading

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Proper Story Writing for User Experience in Agile

I am purposely avoiding the debate over whether design and agile can work together and instead providing my experience should agile be deemed the project management technique of choice. Several early adopters and founders of agile are currently touring the world-begging disciples to pay less attention to process for process sake. Any good creative will tell you that the best design rarely comes from following a prescription to the letter, please keep that in mind as you proceed. The only advice that I’ve found to be universally true is that a “story” is called a “story” because it demands discussion. Continue reading

Defining UX for Sixth Grade

The Setup

A dear, passionate, and fearless friend teaches math at a majority low-income school in St. Paul, MN. This week, she invited me in to her class to explain my career and help with a few math exercises. Her first block of students are mainly Hmong, English as a Second Language (ESL) 6th graders and her second block is…rowdy. There are hours upon hours worth of social issues to discuss but the point of this blog is to share my take on explaining user experience to sixth graders.

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What to Consider When Designing a Case Management System

A multi-million dollar enterprise case management tool has consumed the past few months of my work life. Along with a team of front and backend developers, business analysts, scrum masters, and project leads two unique solutions have emerged: a Salesforce Community for customers and a Salesforce Service Console for those working the cases. As the projects progressed, I found myself saying, “Well, next time we’ll know to…” or “I wish I would have…” And so I began to document my lessons learned as we progressed through sprints.

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The Fallacy of Lean UX and Deliverables

When I first began exploring Lean UX, my largest takeaway was that Lean UX was synonymous with “no deliverables.” Professionally, I exist in the world of enterprise software, consulting, and company-endorsed agile which makes deliverables inevitably part of my reality. As I continue to work on more projects my understanding of the methodology has evolved to include a less black-and-white mantra: “smart deliverables.” When information needs to be presented out, deliverables should be tailored based on context: personality of those who we’re presenting to, fidelity needed, and which elements to include.

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