Writing

My ten most recent posts…

  • Avon Calling - We used to go here in the summer, to the Outer Banks. I have so many wonderful memories of time spent on the beach and in beach houses and at mini golf and getting ice cream and eating crabs and so many more things. One year, maybe in the early 2000s, I remember hearing on…
  • One of the laws of stress - I think about stress a lot. I learned yesterday about an interesting study conducted in 1908 related to the application of stress and the affect on productivity, a study that is still impacting how organizations view worker productivity today. Robert M. Yerkes and John Dodson conducted an experiment with a box. The box had set…
  • I’m going for an MBA - My educational history on Linkedin. Life is weird! Well, here we go. Why would a designer get an MBA? Early in my design career, I was the only interaction designer at a burgeoning ecommerce startup. I found myself pushing pixels around my computer screen after hours in the latest of a string of late nights.…
  • Building a Design System Without a Team - Update: I changed the title of this post from "Design Systems for Small Teams" to "Building a Design System Without a Team."  This is a more accurate description of the content of this post and addresses the key issues: building a design system when it is impossible to dedicate full-time resources.  When a new design…
  • A lunch for my 8 year old - The Ritz towers When it’s lunch time, it’s not uncommon for my 8yo to balk, turning up her nose at the day’s meal. She usually comes around with some cajoling, but I find the process exhausting. Today I told her I wanted to see how high we could stack up her lunch using ritz crackers.…
  • Reflections on XOXO 2019 - XOXO felt like many things. There's a feeling I get around genuinely creative people. I remember feeling it in college, surrounded by artists, photographers, actors, and designers, many of whom continue to be artists, photographers, actors, and designers. I don't get to feel that feeling very often. Sure, I may go to a design meetup…
  • XOXO Day 2 - Another great day! Conference presentations Tracy Clayton discussed her battle with depression and how online addiction helps and hurts. She reminded us all: Log off, Fam. Emma Kinema is organizing gaming industry workers, one unfair work environment at a time. Support the cause » Harry Brewis (hbomberguy) played Donkey Kong 64 for 36+ hours to…
  • XOXO Day 1 - There were opening remarks from Andy and Andy to kick things off, but I missed almost all of it because I was dealing with ATT. That made me sad.  Then I went to theTim-Tam Slam meet-up and drank coffee through a cookie and then ate the cookie and it was amazing. Then I met a…
  • XOXO Day 0 - Landed in Portland and made my way to the XOXO Festival's opening party. It's my first XOXO and of last night is any indication, it's going to be a good time. The opening party included... Jousting using VR joysticks Good Filipino food Readily-available water A churro truck Tons of friendly people Looking forward to more!
  • So, what’s your process? - The process depends on the context of the project. Here's the process I favor for an in-house product design effort: Phase 1, Discovery: Get to know the people who are likely to use the product, the scenario when they encounter the product, and what objective they're trying to achieve and clarify what problems are standing…
  • Designing with AI (some day) - A few years ago, when we first got an Alexa-bot, I wanted to do a little test. My daughters were about 9 and 5 at the time, and I wanted to see how they reacted to it. I showed them how to give the cylinder its basic commands, playing their favorite music and telling us…
  • Ethics in Design - You have seen it When I started in the design field, I had trouble finding a job that was a good match for both my entry level skill set and my hunger to do exciting design work. At that point, getting steady work took precedent and I took a job with a company that brought…
  • Engaging the Sales Team for Design Research -   When designing in enterprise and b2b environments, it's tempting to believe that the customers are easy to get to for the purposes of research, feedback, and product development. I mean, our sales and customer support teams talk to them all day! But that's not the case, not by a long shot. Connecting with business…
  • The 6-1-1 Sketching Session - What's all this then? A 6-1-1 is a structured sketching exercise. You may recognize it as a miniature version of a design studio workshop (example) or you may also see that it is very similar to some of the methods popularized through Lean UX and Design Sprints. I developed the 6-1-1 as a lightweight workshop…
  • A Sample Design Collaboration Cadence - In order to maintain a decent level of collaboration within a design team, while maintaining a productive pace, and keeping transparent about upcoming roadblocks and needs for solutions, and finding opportunities to support each others in our design practice.... I ended up with a cadence of quick and straightforward cadence of check-ins and working sessions. This…
  • A Design Practice - Over the course of my career, a framework has started to come into view for a establishing or augmenting a design practice. The framework has three key ingredients: Craft: What do you do? Infrastructure: What do you use to do it? Personal Growth: What are you getting out of it? Attention to these three areas…
  • Starting over - I let my site's hosting lapse and, as per the hosting agreement, I lost everything. Once I coughed up the dough, I put up an old backup of the site, and now here I am with this fresh placeholder blog. I haven't written a blog post, personal or professional in a long time, so it's…