My Summer Goals…

Spring break not only got me thinking, but also gave me time to think. I took that time to, it was much needed! That being said I have fully decided upon a few simple goals that I want to knock out before the end of summer.

First and foremost I am ready to invest more in this site, and plan to do so. I have purchased hunterjnelson.com and will soon be migrating over to it. It is there I plan to not only host this blog but also would like to (will) create an interface in which all of my activities can be ‘monitored’, this way myself and others can visibly see what I am doing, how, and why.

What do I mean exactly? Well, I will…

  1. Still share on my blog.
  2. Have my calendar visible, and allow others to schedule events with me through it .
  3. Import my activity on social media some how.
  4. List my goals in a big way, creating a long-term plan that is both timely and detailed.

Once in place I will layout other goals I have worked up recently, to briefly name a few…

  • #1 Services, my automated lawn care company that will be up and running shortly.
  • LuckyWings a non-profit I would like to start-up.
  • Various paragliding goals.
  • Finishing construction of my house. Finally!

Hunterjnelson.wordpress.com has given me a place to share what I am working on, and what I aspire to do. Soon it shall do so in a whole new way, in accomplishing this one goal I will bring to light all others, large and small.

 

UX Video Review

Just watched a video I would like to share that was presented by Scout Stevenson who is the creative director at ExtensionEngine, where he and his team take a strategic approach in developing creative marketing solutions that engage users visually while driving business results.

In this video he introduces user experience and as I have noted before, spent just as much time looking at whats it is as he did “selling it”.

Right off the bat he had a great was of describing what UX is, through a “math problem”. He argued that “Business Goals” + “User Goals” + “User Interface” + “Technology” = “User Experience”. I thought that his model was spot on. Not only spot on but also an amazing way of hitting UX from many perspectives with one statement. He got across the purpose and importance very nicely and in unison.

Most of the video worked through what UX is by looking at the 5 planes of UX; strategy, scope, structure, skeleton, and surface. These 5 planes represent a hierarchical manner in which the user experience is developed. The process works from “abstract to concrete” steps. It was very interesting to work from why something was going to be done all the way to the visual design which housed things like functional specs, information architecture, and navigation design which all came from previous “planes”.

CHIFOO meetup #2

speaker at meetup

Another CHOFOO meet up! As expected it was a great presentation, given by Whitney Quesenbery. Following the theme of applying storytelling to UX tonights focus was on using personas. Before diving into the surprisingly interesting topic the meeting went through its regular procedure; sharing what prizes would be given and offering a chance to perspective employers to announce job openings. Reminding me once again that I am so happy/lucky to be investing in such a thriving and fun field or “work”!

Whitney’s presentation was quite interesting to listen to… she had me listening quickly by pulling out a Norman diagram. She spoke of how data needs to be translated, which was a topic that we had not only covered in class but also something I had given great attention to. She was tying in this fact with how personas can help give proper context. That using the correct imagery you can not only give insight as to what the subject is but also connect with corresponding audience. She stated that a persona can fill the gaps in between what you do in-fact know and don’t.

While there were numerous great takeaways, I must say the true highlight for me was when she said,

Our brain creates its own reality

This is not only the singular greatest thing she could have tied in with her presentation, but also a notion that I deeply believe and care for. Applied to personas the idea rang very true, and as she noted, creating such a reality in the users mind leads to action. That was the greatest takeaway for me, that “personas embody data” and give richer understanding, involve real needs, are more persuasive, put a person in the center of the process/situation.

I’m excited to get out for the next meet up!

Issues in the UX field

The primary issue you will see in the UX field is the need for UX professionals to not only have to be skilled in UX but also in selling the need for UX. Did you notice that through out Rocket Surgery Made Easy and the “what is UX video” I posted, most of the information is orientated toward why UX is useful and should be embraced. Best stated by my UX professor, “people don’t see how important UX is to the bottom-line”.

Patrick, a classmate of mine expanded upon this by saying,

This phenomena brings about a paradox in which there is a struggle to make progress in the field because,  the very people that we have to convince that there is value in UX are the ones dictating the structure of our education. Our field its then directly influenced by them. With a system like this in place, how do you make progression in this field?

We covered this subject, among many others, today in class.

By the end of class we had a whole list of questions to answer.

  1. How do you find out more about how one can attain and utilize a UX skill set if UX is not their primary job responsibility?
  2. How would prospective employers quantify the “nonacademic attributes: intrinsic qualities” (pg. 76) they’re looking for? Other than listing your soft skills is there a recommended way to document them?
  3. The report mentions being a great communicator as a plus. What are some good methods by which a person can improve their communication skills and what kinds of communication skills are especially useful in the UX field?
  4. In the report it is stated that many times a career path in usability is not always clear.  Are career paths becoming more available?
  5. Do you foresee a day where a UX professional will be in a better position to be heading towards a management career path in a company?
  6. What steps are collegiate business programs taking to incorporate UX practices and skill sets into their programs?
  7. Are their entry level positions in UX where one is primarily involved in User testing?  And if so,  how does one train, locate and attain such a position?
  8. Only six respondents have done work in the field of robotics. Why isn’t robotics a larger field yet? Have movies like Blade Runner and I, Robot scared people away from the desire for humanoid robotics?
  9. How badly can an idiotic user screw up testing?
  10. A lot of UX jobs are self-employed if some one hires you as a UX tester what are the typical deliverables?
  11. How can I mold my work  experiences (examples from the military,  as a professional in the trades who did troubleshooting)  that may seem unrelated, appear useful and valuable to employers?
Let these questions sit in the back of your mind a while…We intend to work out answers in the near future, so stay tuned.