UX

Drupal Site Planning: Let User Experience Guide Workflow

Too many websites start with a list of functionality, and get straight into building out wireframes and prototypes without a solid sense of who their users are and what experience they’re looking to have with your site. The result? A website that isn’t effective at reaching the audience that you need to reach, or extra work re-doing things during development once you realize that users don’t actually need it, or need something different. This presentation outlines a simple, practical approach to user experience that you can use to start a site plan on the right foot.

TrakTek Partners: Travel Site redesign

I worked with the client's design and production team for several months as a UX designer and Drupal site builder on the redesign of a major travel site. My contributions included:

[Drupalcon 2012] Session Notes: Tapping into the power of user narratives

Presenter: Michael Keara, MyPlanet

What is a user interface systems architect?

  • equal parts listener and software developer
  • Listens to users and finds pain points
  • Understands software and how to build the technology
  • Focus: how to bridge the gap between the two.

Two doors:

Why recipe sites shouldn't be in Flash

Note: This is an entry from August of 2010, but it seemed especially apt, as I've been spending most of my days this week in a frenzy of food preservation. Enjoy.

In which I vent with Leisa Reichelt, about UX and Drupal.

It was a dewy, slightly drizzly day on the Internets. I was on my third latte. 

Serenaded by the sounds of a bustling coffee shop in Prague, I chatted over Skype with Leisa Reichelt, part of the UX team that is responsible for the overhaul of both Drupal.org and Drupal 7. What follows is a rather incomplete summary of our conversation, which centered around the challenges inherent in doing, communicating and selling quality UX work. 

Usable vs. Poetic Interactions

In Thoughts on Interaction Design, author Jon Kolko talks about “poetic interactions.” The thrust of his essay was that a truly poetic interaction went well beyond simple “usability” - whether a task is easy or efficient to perform - and that too much of interaction design, especially in the digital realm, focuses on usability to the exclusion of other factors. As Kolko writes in his essay,

If your users need an instruction manual, you're doing it wrong.

On last night's Top Chef (come on, you didn't think that I wouldn't be obsessed with that show, did you?), in one of those random throwaway segments that they throw in just before or after the commercials, two of the chefs got into an argument. The argument was about whether customers should need instruction on how to eat a chef's food.

Web Design: getting down to what's important

Over the last few years, I've woken up almost every day with insane neck pain. I've tried a bunch of different solutions for this: yoga, chiropractic, massage, and so many new pillows (some quite expensive) that my fiancé Nick frequently jokes about my “pillow quiver” - the two Tempurpedic pillows that I switch through every night depending on what position I'm in.

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