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UX Flicks Mix

Posted: April 23rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Resources | No Comments »
UX Movie Night, from the back of the room

UX Movie Night, from the back of the room

The UX movie night was a blast. We had popcorn, peanuts, and soft drinks, just like at a real movie theatre (thanks Wanda and Communitech!). The movies were all found online and provided laughs, insights, and even nostalgia. This lists below are almost certainly out of order, but provide a record of our evening of enlightenment.

Here are the videos that we watched:

And here’s a bonus list of movies that we didn’t get to:

Feeling a bit timid about your sketching skills?

Posted: October 17th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Resources | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

At last night’s event, “What can we learn about design from Pixar?“, sketching figured prominently as a discussion topic. A number of people expressed concern about their lack of drawing skills, a sentiment that seemed widely shared, given the nodding heads around the room. Henry Chen, one our presenters last night, just forwarded this message from Adaptive Path’s alumni mailing list, which touches on this issue and suggests some resources to hone your skills.

Leah Buley writes:

Part of the challenge for me is just putting pen on paper and having faith that something interesting will result, so I’ve found these kiddie coloring/instruction books give me enough structure to get me moving:

  • Taro Gomi’s line of doodle books
  • Usborne Books series. I like this one.
  • You might also take a look at Dan Roam’s Back of the Napkin. He gives me confidence that the sketch itself isn’t really the most important thing, it’s the thinking behind it. Kind of encouraging for those among us who still feel a little daunted by the artistic aspect of sketching.
  • Finally, I have to give a little plug for Betty Edwards’s Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain — an oldie but a goodie.

You’ll find lots of talk about sketching on the IxDA discussion list, too, such as this thread about sketch-style wireframes.

What does it take to enter the User Experience field?

Posted: September 21st, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Resources | 1 Comment »

At last night’s UX ChitChat event, one of the questions we discussed was how to support people interested in breaking into the field as a practitioner. We concluded with the observation that it might seem like a daunting challenge! UX covers a broad range of activities across design, business, and technology — so where to start? How to become expert in those topics? Is that even reasonable?

The short answer: no, it’s not reasonable. UX practitioners are “T-shaped”, meaning they are conversant in a breadth of activities, but go deep and become expert at only a few. In this article from Fast Company, Tim Brown of Ideo describes the result:

“They are able to explore insights from many different perspectives and recognize patterns of behavior that point to a universal human need. That’s what you’re after at this point — patterns that yield ideas.”

Back in 2004, Peter Boersma wrote a blog entry worth checking out, in which he explores the T-shaped model in depth from the perspective of information architecture and user experience (complete with pictures, even!).

Last night, we also shared some thoughts on the qualities and characteristics of UX practitioners. In the course of conversation, we touched upon these two resources:

Be sure to check out Qixing Zeng’s blog post from this morning, in which she shares her thoughts as a result of last night’s discussion. Her post includes links to some other resources around the question of what does it take to be a great UX designer?