I am a UX professional living in Austin Texas.

Published: 10 months ago

UX Website Deck

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The Website Deck is such a cool idea and it is an absolutely incredible gift idea for anyone you know who works on websites for a living. Love someone but not sure what they do? Chances are they (or their teams) will benefit from having these around the office. It’s just a simple deck of cards that illustrate components and pages of a website.

At Springbox, we love to kick off projects with client workshops. The agenda varies depending on what the client needs, but I can see us having these in the room no matter what. Buy it now for just $19.

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Published: 10 months ago

It’s Better To Do Something Simple Which is Real…

… But never be so cautious you’re never experimenting.

Lots of wisdom in this Bill Evans interview about creative problem-solving with music that can be applied to almost anything we do.

“I don’t consider myself as talented as many people but in some ways that was an advantage because I didn’t have a great facility immediately so I had to be more analytical and in a way — that forced me to build something.

Most people just don’t realize the immensity of the problem and, either because they can’t conquer it immediately, think that they haven’t got the ability, or they’re so impatient to conquer it that they never do see it through. If you do understand the problem then you can enjoy your whole trip through.

People tend to approximate the product rather than attacking it in a realistic, true way at any elementary level — regardless of how elementary — but it must be entirely true and entirely real and entirely accurate. They would rather approximate the entire problem than to take a small part of it and be real and true about it. To approximate the whole thing in a vague way gives you a feeling that you’ve more or less touched the thing, but in this way you just lead yourself toward confusion and ultimately you’re going to get so confused that you’ll never find your way out.”

Thank you BrainPickings for the morning inspiration.

Published: 10 months ago

Tomi Ungerer

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I’ve enjoyed Tomi Ungerer‘s illustrations since I was little. I remember having Fog Island in the little reading center at St. Catherine’s Academy. It seemed like a mistake: the illustrations were so dark and the story so ominous to me as a young girl, I felt like I was getting away with reading something that shouldn’t have been available to me.

As an adult, I’ve come to love and admire Ungerer not just for his children’s books (of which there are many, and unfortunately many out of print), but for his art in general and his extraordinary life. Growing up in Hitler’s Germany, immigrating to New York, and becoming friends with Maurice Sendak (they shared an editor) are only some of the fascinating things to learn about this tremendous artist and thinker. His political posters and erotic posters have been banned and remain as powerful today as they did in the 50s and 60s. I gift his books to friends as often as possible.

Listen to his interview with Terri Gross for Fresh Air, and watch Far Out Isn’t Far Enough, the documentary about him.

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Pictured above: Three Robbers
Pictured below: Moon Man

Published: 10 months ago

Modernist Homes in Creepy Movies

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If you’re as taken with modernist architecture as I am you’ll love this list of famous modernist homes featured in creepy movies over at Azure. Above you see the Hoke Residence by Skylab Architecture as featured in Twilight, and below is the Vandamm House from Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. It was modeled after Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater.

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Published: 10 months ago

Ashley Garmon’s 7AM Series

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“The 7AM SERIES collection is Ashley Garmon’s ongoing examination of how light is affected by different environments, in different seasons and at different times of the day. Cloud cover, temperature and each different area’s environmental elements will affect the light. This first installment is from California’s Venice Beach at dawn. There is one exception, the photograph “Blur 1,” (seen above) which was taken at the same beach at sunset.”

The entire series is just unbelievably beautiful. If you’re in Austin, do stop by Spartan to see the photographs in person. If you’re not, trust me, it’s worth a purchase.

Shop now.

Published: 10 months ago

What Makes a Strategist by James Caig

Excellent read over at Medium by @jamescaig about what makes a strategist. I love this line of thinking: stripping away jargon and hubris and just working towards making things simple. I absolutely try to do this whenever possible. It’s definitely not always easy.

“We research problems until we know them inside out. We are rigorous, curious, and open-minded. We want to know why. We ask questions, formulate hypotheses. We seek different sources and counter-arguments. We reconcile and understand.

But understanding something is only the start. We then need to communicate to others: creatives, clients, people. That means resisting the temptation to share the full complexity of what we (think we) know. Quantity of output doesn’t equate with quality of thinking. It may dazzle people, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.”

Thinking strategically is not unlike working towards good design: it’s hard work to say very little.

Read the whole piece at Medium.

Published: 10 months ago

The Future of the Design Agency

“Well, not quite. What’s actually happening, according to friends at agencies, is that client’s willingness to buy design from agencies is decreasing, and project budgets have been shrinking. And the prevailing theory is that this is happening because companies are building in-house teams, and that’s where their ‘design budgets’ are going. Whereas in the past, a company might spend 20% of a design budget internally and 80% externally, that’s now swapped.”

More thoughts on where design agencies are headed by Peter.

Published: 11 months ago

On Sharing Experiences

“…the joy from an unusual experience fades quickly, but the sting of not fitting in because we didn’t share an experience with our peers—even a crappy one—lingers.”

Olga Khazan for The Atlantic

Published: 11 months ago

Cognitive Barriers & Cognitive Load

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“Some of the most important decisions UX designers make are those they don’t even think about. It’s generally understood that creating an intuitive interface is important, but few people are really good at articulating what makes an interface intuitive. This is where the concepts cognitive load and cognitive barriers play a huge role.”

Read more.

Published: 11 months ago

A Disorder of Prediction

Illustration: Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT

From MIT News:

“From the perspective of the autistic child, the world appears to be a ‘magical’ rather than an orderly place, because events seem to occur randomly and unpredictably. In this view, autism symptoms such as repetitive behavior, and an insistence on a highly structured environment, are coping strategies to help deal with this unpredictable world…”