I am a UX professional living in Austin Texas.

Published: 3 weeks ago

IBM’s Annual Report

IBM Logo

Having worked client-side in a corporate responsibility and sustainability marketing group tasked with researching, creating and marketing an annual report, I can attest to how big a challenge it is. Particularly at a company as big as IBM. It’s a monumental effort that requires so much buy-in across the globe, and getting to a place where you’re actually innovating how people (not just stakeholders) get the information can be the biggest hurdle.

IBM’s 2014 annual report is intuitive, well-organized and engaging, offering a true experience across all the sections of the report as well as the legal and mandatory elements that can sometimes slow down creativity (PDF downloads, accessibility, financials).

Not to mention it’s fun to read more about their efforts!

Published: 3 weeks ago

Let’s Hang at SXSW Saturday: UX & Content Meetup

pmI’m hosting an informal meet-up on Saturday, March 14 to discuss all things content and UX. More than anything, I’m hoping to get people from across both disciplines to come together and talk about processes and innovations they’re using (or fighting for) in their organizations that help bring UX to the table in meaningful ways for clients. Whether you’re client-side, agency or freelance, I want to hear your voice and opinions (the stronger the better! just be nice!) this weekend at SXSW Interactive.

The meet-up is from 3:30-4:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 14 in Room 502-503 at the JW Marriott. Add it to your schedule and share with your friends by visiting the official listing here.

Any questions? Feel free to reach out via LinkedIn or email: paige.maguire@razorfish.com.

Published: 1 month ago

Denis Boudreau Joins Simply Accessible

Great news!

“The founding principles of web accessibility instantly made sense to me. For a couple of years, it was just about building an efficient process. It’s only later that I started to really look at accessibility and its benefits from a human perspective.” —Denis Boudreau

Published: 4 months ago

Paul Ford on HTML5 and the Group That Runs the Web

Paul Ford, for The New Yorker:

You might have read that, on October 28th, W3C officially recommended HTML5. And you might know that this has something to do with apps and the Web. The question is: Does this concern you?

The answer, at least for citizens of the Internet, is yes: it is worth understanding both what HTML5 is and who controls the W3C. And it is worth knowing a little bit about the mysterious, conflict-driven cultural process whereby HTML5 became a “recommendation.” Billions of humans will use the Web over the next decade, yet not many of those people are in a position to define what is “the Web” and what isn’t. The W3C is in that position. So who is in this cabal? What is it up to? Who writes the checks?

Read it all at The New Yorker

Published: 4 months ago

Jonathan Stark “Mobile Last”

responsive_web_design

“After all, HTML is responsive by default. If you approach the design by starting small and working your way up with both responsive web design and progressive enhancement, you get mobile for free.” –Mobile Last

Published: 5 months ago

Listen to Wikipedia

listen-to-wikipedia

Wow. Mahmoud Hashemi and Stephen LaPorte created Listen to Wikipedia, an incredible audio experience on the web that converts the edits people make to Wikipedia pages into beautiful sounds. As people join, edit, save, etc. you hear a collection of bells, strings, and more that end up coming together as though intentionally organized. It’s just beautiful – I’ll put this in my headphones and listen while I work today.

Published: 12 months ago

Big Data & Big Mistakes

big-data

Great read by Tim Harford on FT:

Recall big data’s four articles of faith. Uncanny accuracy is easy to overrate if we simply ignore false positives, as with Target’s pregnancy predictor. The claim that causation has been “knocked off its pedestal” is fine if we are making predictions in a stable environment but not if the world is changing (as with Flu Trends) or if we ourselves hope to change it. The promise that “N = All”, and therefore that sampling bias does not matter, is simply not true in most cases that count. As for the idea that “with enough data, the numbers speak for themselves” – that seems hopelessly naive in data sets where spurious patterns vastly outnumber genuine discoveries.
“Big data” has arrived, but big insights have not. The challenge now is to solve new problems and gain new answers – without making the same old statistical mistakes on a grander scale than ever.

Published: 1 year ago

The People Holding the Literal Keys to Internet Security

“The master key is part of a new global effort to make the whole domain name system secure and the internet safer: every time the keyholders meet, they are verifying that each entry in these online “phone books” is authentic. This prevents a proliferation of fake web addresses which could lead people to malicious sites, used to hack computers or steal credit card details.” –read more at The Guardian.

Published: 1 year ago

Felix Salmon: Netflix’s Dumbed-Down Algorithms

The original Netflix prediction algorithm — the one which guessed how much you’d like a movie based on your ratings of other movies — was an amazing piece of computer technology, precisely because it managed to find things you didn’t know that you’d love. More than once I would order a movie based on a high predicted rating, and despite the fact that I would never normally think to watch it — and every time it turned out to be great. The next generation of Netflix personalization, by contrast, ratchets the sophistication down a few dozen notches: at this point, it’s just saying “well, you watched one of these Period Pieces About Royalty Based on Real Life, here’s a bunch more”.

Read the rest here.

Published: 1 year ago

Josh Marshall: Flipboard is a Scam Against Publishers?

Josh Marshall on Talking Points Memo’s decision to pull out of Flipboard, Google Currents, etc.:

But say you find TPM on Flipboard, decide it’s great and add it to your viewing routine on Flipboard. Probably you just keep reading us on Flipboard. Clearly you like Flipboard or you wouldn’t be using it. So why would you start visiting TPM? You likely won’t. That may be great for you. It’s definitely great for Flipboard. But is it great for us? Not really. It boosts my ego, I guess. And more people may know about us. But where and how does that turn into our ability to convert that ‘audience’ into a revenue stream that allows us to create our product? I don’t think it does. Or it does in so in such a trivial and unquantifiable way as to be meaningless.

How does he know that users don’t connect the dots back to the site after using Flipboard to discover them? He’s basing a ton of his opinion here on that assumption. I know for my own experience, I love using tools like Flipboard, Feedly, etc. to discover new sites, and when I like them I add them to my reader, and I visit those sites and open those links and share the articles I like here and other places. Maybe the majority of users don’t convert in that same way. That said, I do understand his issue with the fuzzy logic around how things like reach and brand awareness are benefiting them when their goal is to find revenue streams to keep producing their work. I totally get that.

However, if you’re cutting off from your readers in an attempt to own every page view so your banner ads are more valuable (not saying that’s his plan, more so pointing out that the plan in general is a bit more traditional and focused on hard data like CTR and direct streams), you’re holding yourself back from real potential in terms of both revenue and reader growth. I don’t quite get it, despite understanding (and sympathizing with) large-scale digital news sites that are now struggling to manage million dollar solvency issues annually, much like newspapers scrambled to do years ago. It’s about a clear-cut cost-based analysis for Marshall, but I’m not sure he’s correct as he cuts off values that don’t ‘directly’ influence revenue.