All You Really Need to Know About Users You Learned In High School

Midwest UX, April 2011, Columbus, Ohio

User research? A fad! Personas? Like I don't know enough real people and have to make some up. Usability? Hey, if that shopping cart was good enough for Amazon, I'm sure it'll work just fine for us. Not everything requires user testing, okay? We learned plenty long before we read any of those fancy books or paid for conferences just to have late-night drunken conversations about taxonomies.

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The User Experience of Disruption

Information Architecture Summit, April 2011, Denver, Colo.

Internet downloads disrupt the CD industry; DVRs disrupt the broadcast television advertising industry; online classifieds disrupt the print newspaper industry. We’re user experience professionals, we GET disruption, right? We’re the folks who teach other people how to use disruptive technologies to their advantage. But how well do we handle disruption when it happens to us?

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Designing Stuff Kids Will Use and Love

South by Southwest Interactive Festival, March 2011, Austin, Texas

PBS KIDS has been designing non-commercial Web sites and interactive games for kids for over 10 years. Making an interactive product that appeals, engages and is usable by a child is not as simple as using Comic Sans and replacing an “S” with a “Z”. Children's abilities change rapidly and producers need to ensure that products are developmentally accessible.

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Cranky Conversations About Users

UPA's UserFocus Conference, Oct. 2010, Washington, D.C.

A lively conversation with the audience around key user experience issues based on my blog, Topics included: The Cherry Blossom Effect (satisfying users by expecting less from them); Your Inner Lumper (the impact of our wiring on our work); and How People Choose (the practical ramifications of dealing with the human brain.)

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Words #Fail: Collaborating on the Unexplainable

Information Architecture Summit, April 2010, Phoenix, Ariz.

Visual thinkers Dave Gray and Dan Willis decided to explore the murky glory of the unexplainable with an interesting experiment. Over the course of a large scale challenge, they collaborated without the benefit of spoken words or written narrative to first identify and define their primary challenge; then create and winnow the list of potential solutions; before finally developing a single solution.

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The Earth is Flat

UXcamp DC, Jan. 2010, Washington, D.C.

The earth is flat and Washington, D.C. is the center of the universe. I admit that these two radical cosmological facts might seem a tad far-fetched at first, but I’ll walk you through such a compelling, powerful, and logical argument that you will have no choice but to believe it all. I believe I can convince you, but my beliefs aren’t the subject of this presentation. What do YOU believe?

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Everything You Know about Web Design is Wrong

South by Southwest Interactive Festival, March 2009, Austin, Texas

Just as early filmmakers struggled to break free from the conventions of live theater, after more than 10 years Web designers are still trapped in the structures of the past. Forget pages, linear text and other archaic vestiges of design's print ancestry; the separation of content from presentation has already changed everything.

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