What I read this week #13

With every week that passes, I’m more convinced that user experience and human happiness are powerfully intertwined. Since there is so much content in the world, absorbing everything that I can about user experience is insanely overwhelming. However, blogging has helped me organize my ideas and enhance my ability to tell a compelling and streamlined story with concrete examples as to why I am pursuing this career path. Here is this week’s batch of articles.

1. How Bad UX Killed Jenny
By Jonathan Shariat from Medium – Tragic Design
Dana Chisnell convinced me that design affects world peace. Jonathan Shariat convinced me that design affects human suffering. A former classmate (who happens to be named Jenny) recommended that I look into Jonathan Shariat and the story he shared about how bad UX killed a struggling cancer patient because three nurses could not figure out how to use a tool that was meant to save her life. This was definitely an impactful story on why UX is relevant to saving people’s lives and how it contributes to human happiness.

2. To Solve Major UX Problems, Try A Swarm Session
By Jerry Cao and Eileen Conway from Co.Design
I think this piece highlights an important part of being human, which is that we cannot do multiple things at once and execute quality results. This article is about clearing your schedule and focusing on the major problem at hand. I liked reading this because it gave me insight as to how design teams work and it set a certain expectation as to what my work would be like as a contributor. Just the way I experience writer’s block, I’m sure that teams experience designer’s block so a swarm session like this can be important in tackling the primary issue.

3. 5 Reasons Top Employees Leave Their Companies
By Marcel Schwantes from Inc.
I don’t often list career and job related articles on my weekly reads segment. I like sticking to tech-related pieces but as someone who wants to run my own business in the future, these types of articles provide useful insight. I have personally experienced each and every one of these in my previous and current roles and understand how they can negatively impact a good employee (if I may say so myself) and get to a point where he or she wants to leave the company. When I run my own business, I especially want to avoid squashing talent and instead, allow each person on my team to actualize his or her full potential.

4. 6 UX Design Trends To Follow In 2016
By Skornia Alison from Usability Geek
Why is it relevant to stay on top of trends? Usually, I’m not for trends. At least, that’s the case when it comes to my wardrobe. I like to stick with tried and true classics. However, in UX, trends are trends for a reason. When incorporated skillfully, they provide captivating experiences for all users and businesses benefit tremendously from that. I found number four, creating persuasive design, to be something I paid the least attention to. Now that someone mentioned it, I’m understanding the necessity and hope to incorporate this into my designs.

5. How To Design With Discipline: UX Lessons From 3M
By Jerry Cao and Eileen Conway from Co.Design
This was an incredibly detailed piece on the design process from the beginning to the end. I especially liked that this article felt hands-on as the authors talk about stakeholders contributing their ideas with Post-It notes and crafting personas of their target users. It’s great to see the design process from their point of view and how they manage to keep their projects organized and running efficiently from one task to another. As 3M proves, designing with discipline yields phenomenal results.

6. 7 Questions You Can Expect In Your First UX Design Interview
By Dawn Schlecht from Usability Geek
Making a major career shift requires more than just picking up the necessary skills to succeed in the industry. It’s also about relearning how to interview and communicating any cross-over skills from previous positions. I found this piece useful because it introduced common interview questions I can expect when I go into a UX design/research interviews. These are questions that I should be ready to answer at any given time. I’m not there yet so my homework is to come up with convincing and persuasive answers.

I just finished cooking my 2-weeks batch of breakfast burritos. Half of them are coming with me to work tomorrow while the other half will sit in my freezer for now. It’s disgustingly hot in New York City and I’m somehow surviving with my magnificent Vornado fan. Yesterday, I could barely finish my run because I ran in the middle of the day when the sun beams straight down and my feet were on fire. I haven’t foam rolled my muscles either so they were begging to be relieved. Today, however, I completed a solid run and feel pretty good about it. I’m racing on Saturday – wish me all the best!




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