When you’re in a bubble it’s hard to remember that there are people outside of it. I forget sometimes that some people don’t spend their days researching new startups, reading startup blogs, and talking to new entrepreneurs. So I’m trying to share my startup discoveries with more people so they…
I checked out CNN today and was surprised to find that the site has been redesigned. The UX geek in me took over and I immediately clicked and scrolled through the site to take it all in….do I love it? hate it? prefer it over the previous design?…and have come to the conclusion that I am NOT a fan of the redesign.
Here are some of the reasons why…
Latest News- I am coming to the site to find out about the latest news, and I’m sure millions of others are looking for the same thing because it is a news site (obviously). Instead of featuring the “Latest News” section at the top of the page, it’s found mid-page under featured stories that I may or may not care to look at depending on the subject matter. I have a 13 inch Macbook, which means that I have to scroll to view the full list of “ground breaking news” - LAME. So for all the net book users out there, sucks for you, you don’t get to view latest news above the fold.
Header- Does it really need to take up that much screen real estate? Another interesting observation is that CNN has re-branded themselves by dropping the .com off there logo.
I’m sure that there are a lot of cool/ lovable features of the site that I have yet to explore, since discovering the redesign 15 minutes ago, but those are my initial thoughts, off the cuff.
During my internship in Mountain View, I had the chance to explore norcal by going on a photo walk of the Berkeley area. I captured this shot as while perusing the goods of various street vendors and boutique stores.
I took this photo at my Grandma’s house in Toronto. Like most grandmas, her old house had an eclectic collection of old furniture, outdated electronics and random decoration from decades past. I slept on the futon in the living family room and this is was my view of the front window at the break of each new day. I was mesmerized by the way the light would stream through the curtains. Good Morning.
My 10 week internship at NASA AMES Research Center ended a few weeks ago. The program that I was affiliated with organized tours to show the interns more about the what goes on around the base. Here are some pictures that I took of our learning excursions. We were given tours of various training simulators. Training simulators are designed to provide researchers with an environment where they can study how and why aviation errors occur. Their purpose is to offer researchers a suite of simulation facilities and utilities that can be used to analyze flight crew performance and to develop and improve new simulation and training tools.
This article addresses the great geek debate between smartphone competitors: iPhone vs. Blackberry by breaking down several arguments in regards to…applications, physical attritubutes, gaming, personal/business functionality….and the Chuck Noris factor =P.
When I think of networking, I have a repulsive imagery of having to elbow my way into meet-n-greets with CEOs or UX Directors of major companies. Visualize with me people…
[Begin scene] Dressed to impress, I am stiff in my black suit that I have only worn twice in my life, once for a job interview and another time for my grandfather funeral service. I am at an industry-related social function and as I enter into the hotel conference room I am immediately overcome with “lunch room anxiety”. Who do I talk to? Where should I stand? Should I join a conversation? Who is who? Is that person a somebody? a nobody? In order to resolve the inner dialogue in my head within the 10 seconds from when I first arrived- I use three survival strategies.
Strategy 1: Sniff out the UX gurus in the room by observing who has the biggest huddle of people surrounding them.
Strategy 2: Quickly glance at the “hello” name tags of people within my personal space to find someone from a network worthy organization. If both strategies fail I will resort to my emergency back-up plan -
Strategy 3: Look busy or preoccupied in order to buy time- bust out the cell phone to check for messages that don’t exist, dig through my purse to look for something special, or wander around the facility to search for the ladies restroom.
Once I have scoped out someone who I want to talk to I awkwardly try to wiggle my way into their ongoing conversation becoming a part of the huddle. In order to not be labeled as the mute one, I engage in the conversation by interjecting unintelligent one-liners to show that I am amiable. And after going to a few of these meet-n-greets during my early career, I’ll develop an annoying fake laugh that I’d use as a defense mechanism to fill the awkward silence of superficial conversation to brown nose my way into limelight prospective job opportunities. [End scene]. It’s absolutely disgusting.
What I have learned is that networking doesn’t have to be so unappealing. Within the past few weeks I have met some great people. I did not meet them interning at NASA per se, or even at a local meet ups for UX professionals. From my experience networking always occurs in the most unlikely situations. It seems to happen by accident through mutual friends, or casual conversation with a complete stranger, or by someone overhearing you go off into a “geek moment” as you mull over the good/bad/ugly of UX design. So the lesson learned is to be yourself. Have your geeky moments. Be open about your interests, talk about them, blog about them and find a great company that appreciates those things about you (says the unemployed graduate student…=P). I understand that we can’t be passive when it comes to networking, but at the same time it doesn’t have to be awkward =P.
The best thing about working in the bay area (aka norcal) is being surrounded with a thriving community of like-minded industry professionals. I have had the opportunity to meet a good number of “forward-thinking/gadget-friendly/geeky/fun/cool” people who share my interest in UX research and design. The best part about the community here is that when I tell people about interaction design they are usually familiar with the type of work that we do or think that it’s awesome that such a field of study exists. There are definitely less confused faces and more positive reactions and interest in HCI. This beats having to reduce and oversimplify all that I do professionally to a mere…”I make things user-friendly”. So I am really thankful that I found an internship out here. The people are great, the weather enjoyable and the food variety unbeatable; I think we should all move to norcal =).
So I have just discovered Posterous. It is a cool website that creates a blog for you…all you have to do is email!!!!! So, if I want to display links, photos, audio or video all I have to do is attach it to my email and….Wah-La I have just contributed to my hundredth blog. One of the most amazing features of Posterous is that it allows me to integrate all my other social networking sites by letting me to choose which ones I want to send the post to. This gives me the liberty to update any of my social networking sites via email without having to bother with having to recall the multiple variations of my username/passwords or hassle with the constraints of learning a new user interface. SWEET find.
Last Thursday, my hard drive died on me. Every time I tried to start my computer the white loading screen of death kept thinking and refreshing while the fan blew out of control. So for the past few days I have been back and forth between the various Apple stores in the area competing with crowds of people lined up outside the stores to purchase the new iPhone. I made an appointment today to see a genius at the store and it was completely chaotic with crowds of people checking out and purchasing ipods, phones and laptops. After waiting for about an hour, the genius told me that I needed to get my hard drive replaced which could take anywhere from 24-48 hours. It doesnt seem like a big deal, but it feels like forever. Luckily, I backed up most of my files recently….but there are still things I wish I could have salvaged. ugh…Live and learn.
Even though I work at a computer all day for my internship at NASA…there is something about not being able to use my computer when I come home that has left me in a state of withdraw．．.I still feel internet deprived and music deprived since I can’t charge my iPod touch! *sigh
This summer, I have the opportunity to work at NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) in the Intelligence Systems Division as a User Experience Intern. I will be working on a proof of concept for a mobile application that will be by astronauts, group leads, flight controllers and instructors. The mobile application will serve as a lower footprint model of their current online scheduling and tracking tool.
So far, I have spent my first week or two getting acquainted with their current web application. I have also experienced the bureaucracy of working for a large institution as I have spent a considerable amount of time going through security training and waiting for access rights to use their computers. Since then, I met and interviewed some tech leads, have fleshed out personas & scenarios and have already started on low-fi wireframes. =)
What I have learned is that the first day at any new workplace usually results in cognitive overload. There is a lot domain knowledge that needs to be absorbed in a short period of time. Like many niche industries like NASA, I have been submerged into a whole new work environment that is strongly aerospace and engineering oriented, therefore much of the terminology, acronyms, loose jargon that is used is foreign code speak that needs to be learned. Along with adjusting to the lingo of a new organization the building is like a maze the first time around because all the hallways and corridors look the same. And if that not enough to take in on your first day- it is always really difficult to remember the names of the people that you meet and really embarrassing when you are only able to recall only 5% of the names of the very important people that you will be interacting with on a daily basis. Cheers to new beginnings! =)
I have migrated from blog to blog- started, deleted and forgot to the passwords to a few and finally decided to start yet another one…but this time using tumblr to capture musings and things that I have been learning. I’m currently a grad student at the University of Michigan studying Human Computer Interaction, so being in the realm of academia there are always interesting new finds to share and learn about =). So hopefully I’ll be able to use this space to post the things I read, watch and photograph. Thanks for Visiting!