Wins Weekend Edition

It doesn’t even need to be said what a horrible week this has been. I have spent most of the week on suicide watch for depressed and anxious people in my life. Design work has had to take a serious backseat.

  1. Mentor meeting with Warren went well. Biggest insight was to have a clear idea of what I wanted to get out of the focus group I was running before starting. The two questions I have decided to focus on are validation of the idea (that the group is even interested) and figuring out what the highest needs are to make the software useful. We talked about how to incorporate stickies to give everyone a voice, and the use of big poster-stickies to display and group ideas. It was good to think these things through aloud, especially since there are some technical challenges of the hosting location that will make wall space at a premium/non existent. He also recommended getting and reading a copy of 37Signal’s ‘Rework’ book.
  2. On Friday I went to the UXPA’s local UX Fair at General Assembly for a short time. I missed the keynote and the panel, and had to leave early during the small group mentoring sessions. What I did get to attend was a talk/q&a with Astrid Chow about working for enterprise companies, and about going from a design agency background to being in-house. It was really inspiring to hear her talk. Just the ability to see another fat blue-haired woman succeeding in a traditional “corporate” environment made me feel a bit more hopeful about my eventual chances for getting in the door somewhere.
  3. Someone posted on Wednesday a very interesting thread about bringing in empathy to white understanding of the messages that blacks in this country have been feeling for a long time. Since then I have been pondering how to “design think” social change. How to get into places where people are encouraged to think in empathetic ways. It is still no more than a pondering, a “how might we” question, but I think answering it will become an important part of my work over the next several years. At the moment, I know many people are already at work and have studied this question, so the first step will be to tune in to some of their research and knowledge before undertaking anything further.