Talk isn’t cheap. (Thought For The Day)
Actually it’s pretty damn expensive. Often, conversations take a lot of time to reach a productive conclusion. And in many cases they never do. It’s not that talking is bad. It’s necessary. But what’s important is that we take the time to think about how we talk to each other and what we talk about. Is the meeting or the phone call you’re about to have going to be productive? How so? What are...
Stop doing "Stop doing..." (Thought For The Day)
One thing I LOVE about design: there are so many ways to think about and approach it. One thing I DON’T LOVE about design (or specifically, the rhetoric around design): the arguments that “approach A is better than approach B.” or that we should “stop doing X…” Context is everything, and chances are most tools have their time and place in some effort somewhere. Just because in...
Who I am & who I will be.
Note: There are no keen design insights to blow your mind in this post. This is merely a personal post that I’m making public for various reasons including accountability. Unless you’re a good friend or for some creepy reason have taken a keen interest in my life, it’s likely to not be anything you care about. I’m damn lucky. I’m 32 years old and I’ve already accomplished many of the career goals...
On keeping people in the loop (Thought for the...
If you’re someone who has decision making authority on a project and are likely to use it, then you aren’t someone who just needs to be “kept in the loop” you need to be actively involved. So make room on your calendar. You’ve got work to do.
On emotion and experience (Thought for the Day)
If you aren’t at least considering people’s emotions, you probably aren’t designing for an experience.
Good Collaboration Requires Continued...
In order to maintain a collaborative spirit and culture in your team members it’s important to remain in communication with them even after their tasks are done or their roles and responsibilities lead them away from the project. Ending communication with collaborators too soon can lead to weakened collaboration in future efforts. Now in most ideal situations, people would be involved in...
The Two Purposes of Sketching
Over the past few years “sketching” has become an often talked about activity in the web/ux design space. I don’t think there’s a question as to whether or not sketching is a valuable exercise. But I do think that over time we’ve begun to fetishize the act of sketching, or maybe more precisely the sketches themselves. At one point I was the curator of Johnny...
Filmmaking and Design: More than just analogous
I miss filmmaking. It’s no secret. Nearly anyone who gives me an opening to talk about it in a conversation ends up with an earful. I miss it so much, that right now I’m putting together plans for two small film projects that I’ll be working on over the course of the next year or so. One of my favorite things about my job as a designer has been the way it’s allowed me to...
On life and design (Thought for the Day)
Life is a story (some more entertaining than others). If you want to design things that people use, rely on, trust, enjoy, appreciate, love, then you need to, not just know but, be able to describe how it fits in and changes their life (story).
On content and design (Thought for the Day)
Good content requires good design. Good design requires good content. Never believe anyone who tells you they have one without having done any of the other.
Remembering a friend and what he taught me.
Just over two years ago, on August 16th Mike Wilkey passed away due to cancer. Mike was a UX Designer at Fallon Community Health Plan here in Massachusetts. I knew him very briefly, but he had a significant impact on my life. His love for his family and his drive to help people in any way he could made him a truly amazing person. After Mike passed away, his wife asked me to write something about...
Discussing Design: New all natural, super...
About a year and a half ago, after ranting to Whitney Hess for probably the 12th time about the state of “feedback” in the design community and the lack of critique. She finally told me to STFU and that I should get in touch with this dude Aaron Irizarry on the west coast who had been ranting to her about the same stuff. But before I could, Aaron got in touch with me. That...
Designers are individuals.
Ask a designer what the best solution for a particular problem is and you’re likely to hear everyone’s favorite answer: it depends. And it’s true. It’s not that they can’t come up with an answer. It’s that the answer to most design questions are dependent on numerous factors. Based on the question, the answer could depend on who your users are and their expectations or behaviors. It might depend...
Learning to be awesome
Awesomeness is important. I’ve been thinking a lot about who I choose to spend my time with, consider as friends, and why I do. I can’t pinpoint it other than the fact that I consider them all to be awesome. Which has gotten me thinking, “What does it take to be awesome?” Here’s what I’ve come up with so far: Step 1: Always be helpful, no matter how small the...
Join me this Thursday for a Virtual Seminar with...
This Thursday I’ll be presenting an extended version of Discussing Design: The Art of Critique as part of UIE’s Virtual Seminar series. I’m outrageously honored to be doing this. Those of you familiar with Jared and his team know that they consistently deliver high quality content on super relevant and timely topics. I only hope I don’t break their streak and ruin their...
IA Summit 2012 Video: Discussing Design - The Art...
At this year’s IA Summit my fellow Mad*Powian, Jamie Thomson, was kind enough to record the talk that I gave with Aaron Irizarry. If you were at IAS but didn’t see us, now’s your chance. If you weren’t there, well, why the heck weren’t you? It was awesome! Have a look!
Anonymous asked: Hi Adam! My name is Julia Sloan and I work as a UX Designer at Motivate Design. I’ve been with the company for about a year and a colleague and I are planning on giving an Ignite presentation at UPA in June this year on "How a 20-something can be a UX leader." I’m curious to see if you would like to be a guest presenter, specifically speaking about your experience as a Senior...
Want to learn about Design Studio in Vegas? Sure...
I’m very excited to be hosting a pre-conference tutorial on Design Studio as part of this year’s annual UPA conference in Las Vegas. Those that know me, know that two of my biggest areas of interest in design are collaboration and critique. And for me, Design Studio is the perfect blending of those two aspects. Here’s the tutorial description: The generation and exploration...
The Dardenne brothers: a great example of...
In my last post, I talked a bit about Experience Design. My goal with that post wasn’t to say that we should swap the term “User Experience Design” for “Experience Design”. To me, as they’re practiced, they are two very different things. Additionally, I don’t see Experience Design as a description or label for what is designed, but rather for how something...
I don’t believe in UX Design.
For a while now I’ve held the belief that UX Design doesn’t really exist, or more to the point shouldn’t. I’ve shared this belief a few times and gotten less than friendly reactions, so I’ve been keeping it to myself lately. But recent events have made me want to get it off my chest, so bear with me… Users have experiences. People have experiences all the time. Life is one giant experience...
Suggestions for writing a good conference...
I feel very lucky to have started a new phase of my career over the past year and a half as a public speaker. It’s the realization of a goal I set for myself a few years ago. And while it’s not the same as being an educator, a role I experienced only briefly, it gives me a lot of the same satisfaction and enjoyment. Over the I’ve been speaking, and in conjunction attending many more...
The Curse of Continuous Concepting
Over the years, as both an internal designer and a consultant, I’ve observed design teams struggle with eliminating potential solutions to the problem they’re trying to solve and focusing their energy on pursuing and iterating upon a single solution. The problem itself stems from a few different factors in the team’s make-up and process and has numerous negative impacts, not...
We design our own social experiences.
Hey, guess what. Social networking and media is a hot topic. What? You already knew that? Well shit… So maybe it’s not big news. But the rate at which new apps and services built around social networking in one way or another are being released other hasn’t slowed much, if at all. Being a designer, I tend to come across a lot of posts, tweets, etc about these apps as...
Wrestling with (personal) brand and identity
Not to get all existential here, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about who I am. I’m a designer. I work with an awesome team and make awesome things with awesome clients. I spend tons of time, both on the clock and off, thinking about design, what it is and how we do it. I (try to) speak at conferences and events regularly, not just to share my thoughts on the topic but to push...
Vote for Aaron and I to speak at SXSW 2012
Voting has opened up on SXSW’s PanelPicker. This time around my cohort, Aaron Irizarry, and I have thrown our talk, Discussing Design: The Art of Critique, into the fray. We’ve given this talk at a few design-centric conferences, but with our upcoming appearance at Web 2.0 Expo and hopefully SXSW we’re hoping to get the topic and it’s importance out in front of a broader...
On Fidelity and Comparisons
Creating multiple concepts for design solutions is nothing unique. There’s often, if not always, multiple ways to solve a given problem. And at times, while teams may go to great lengths to internally evaluate, critique and eliminate concepts, they can end up in situations where they can’t clearly discern which solution is “best”. When this happens, and no one on the...
Is "Service Design" the real "Experience Design"?
I recently wrote a post over on the Mad*Pow blog describing my thoughts on the term “Experience Design” and the opportunity for the Service Design space. My dislike of the UX label and buzzword-ish nature of “Experience Design” for much of the work we do is no secret. I believe Experience Design is a very specific approach to design. Have a look at the post. Think about...
Coding is great! But not coding is OK too.
There is no doubt in my mind that the ability to code is a great skill to have and designers that can code (and code well at that) have a certain marketability that others don’t. I am personally very proud of my coding skills and Computer Science and programing background. But I take exception to the notion that the inability to code makes someone less of a designer. Code is a medium. Would...