A Civic Technologist’s Practice Guide

Excited for this new book coming up from Cyd Harrell (who’s also a good follow on Twitter, btw), especially the part about “how to show up in spaces dedicated to stewardship rather than profit.” Always happy for design conversations that aren’t about algorithmically testing the conversion rate of different shades of cornflower blue.

How do I get started in UX?

First, it’s important to know that UX is a big umbrella term that has eaten many other disciplines. Getting “into UX” could mean becoming a researcher, or writer, or designer, or animator, or even a software developer. Companies often have some sort of UX team or department, but not every job where you’d use UX…

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What is UX Writing?

UX writing is less “writing, but apps” and more “design, but words”. What I mean by that is that UX writing is primarily a UX design specialization. UX writers typically focus on interface copy and language while working collaboratively as part of a design team on a specific product or feature, rather than working solo…

Weaponized

A bit jarring to see one of the tools of my trade — customer journey maps — pop up in this article about the 737 Max and Boeing’s efforts to manage customer “anxiety” about their totally safe airplane that’s killed 346 men, women, and children. (So far.) I’ve been trying to imagine how it will…

Sometimes the box is more fun

One of the first times I presented on ecosystem mapping, an attendee shared an image of their own map they’d been inspired to create. It was interesting, colorful, and information-rich. But also? It wasn’t what I’d call an ecosystem map. At first I worried about the quality and clarity of my presentation. But others shared…

A smaller toolkit

The more you know, the less you carry. Mors Kochanski, wilderness survival expert. Writing and sketching. Card-sorting. Diagrams. Interviews. Spreadsheets. Workshops (structured ideation and synthesis). That’s my toolkit, more or less, for most design problems. The further I get into my career the more affinity I have for simple and sturdy intellectual tools that can…