I participated in the workshop “Physical, Digital, Human: Designing Experiences for Mobile and the Internet of Things” taught by Steven Hoober. It was a mixture of instruction about technology and how it is creeping in to other devices in our lives. With technologies like Nest and Smart Watches, we are accessing the internet and using technology in more and more ways. In between lectures, we broke in to smaller groups and brainstormed a concept or two about our project: integrating all house-hold devices that control some aspect in our house, like turning off the lights or adjusting the temperature. We wanted to create a central location for all of these apps to make the experience more delightful.
Demystifying the UX Team
On Wednesday, April 2, 2014 I attended the UXPALA event “Demystifying the UX Team: Who are the players?” which was the first event held by our organization this calendar year.
Did I mention that I am a Chair of Strategic Projects for UXPALA? Yes I certainly am! That means I assist with the organizations newly established website and email newsletter. I’ll post more about our organization soon.
So of now, here’s a summary of last night’s event:
Demystifying the UX Team: Who are the players?
Almost every company, be it a UX/UI firm or any industry that has a UX team – all seem to have different team structures and working methods.
UX/UI/Usability is a relatively new field, so we’re getting 5 UX Directors and Managers together from various companies to form a panel and answer UXPALA’s questions and yours.
Want to attend future events like this? Keep an eye on our Meetup page for more to come. http://www.meetup.com/UXPALA/
Though I was completely exhausted from WIAD the day before, I was energized by the opportunity to meet new people and gain new skills. We casually formed teams based on a variety of strengths and job titles. My team contained a front-end developer, a graphic artist, a web designer and seasoned marketing guru. and they were all great.
UX Hackathon took place at General Assembly in Santa Monica and was an entire day filled with UX. My team was called “Interrobang.” What is that? I did not really know either. Here’s more information on Interrobang.
The day after WIAD (World Information Architecture Day) I participated in another day-long User Experience event. This time, I was not a passive observer who had organized the event. I was a hands-on, jump-all-in User Experience designer.
We were assigned the timely topic of Healthcare, so we chose to redesign the Covered California website. We did not feel that there was a clear call to action, so we wanted to simplify the interaction of the website a bit.
We were very tight on time, so we banged through a lot of brainstorming sessions, mind mapping and creative flow to narrow down the scope of the project. Just before the deadline, the team created a few valuable assets for our 3-minute presentation. Some are shown below:
UX Hackathon was an exciting experience and I learned a lot about working in teams, working under very tight deadlines, lean UX and creating deliverables in less than a day.
About a month ago, I had the privilege to not only participate, but also help organize a global conference on a local level. It was an invaluable learning experience for me. I made new contacts, gained new skills and helped produce an event that would best be described as a success.
- Weekly meetings keep the group on track.
- Always communicate with the group so everyone is on the same page.
- If you think you are planning early enough, you probably are not. Work ahead of schedule.
- Holidays and time off make keeping things moving difficult.
- Anticipate problem and plan for them in advance.
- Secure the venue ASAP because so many other factors are determined by booking the venue.