The past several months have kept me pretty busy in a variety of ways, not leaving much time to keep my part-time blog up-to-date, much to the dismay of literally tens of readers. So for those of you who are curious but haven't seen me lately, here's the highlights of the my 2017 so far.
I'm roughly 5 months in to my role as a UX Designer at Amazon, and it has been very engaging but challenging—but in a good way! My role focuses on the user-centered research and design of a retail vendor facing analytics tool, where I collaborate with PMs and Engineers on a daily basis. Being only the 2nd UX practitioner hired to the team, I've had the opportunity to be pretty self-directed, implementing my own iterative year-long research plan, as well as establish UX tenets, give tech talks, and evangelize UX in my org. Moreover, this job has given me the opportunity to stretch my wings into both product management and strategy: meeting with stakeholders both in the US and internationally, taking feature requests from a variety of disparate teams, and talking with our real users to get a sense of their needs both in the short and long term. I've learned a lot about business in a very short time, but I'm also exceptionally lucky that I focused the majority of my grad school work on psychology research, business, and systems thinking—all of which has come in handy.
Last week I wrapped a pro-bono web design project for New York Renews, a non-profit focused on social justice, the environment, and transitioning New York state to a clean energy economy with better jobs and renewable energy. I helped with their information architecture, infographics, and revamped UI by porting their rigid custom Wordpress site over to Squarespace.
Next month I will be riding 40 miles for team Planned Parenthood, a cause very dear to my heart. If you're able to help sponsor me, I'd really appreciate it. I've also recently gotten involved with New York Cares, and while I'm still trying to figure out exactly what my project is, I highly recommend it for those who feel voting is no longer enough.
Meetups & Workshops
I've been a regular attendee on the UX Meetup circuit for awhile now in NYC, and have always felt super lucky that there are so many cool things happening in my area. But because I'm a bit cut off from the Seattle mothership, lately I've felt the need to get out and mingle, learn and explore even more than usual. A few of the cool topics I'm checking out include artificial intelligence, big data, holistic user research, voice user interfaces, data visualization, lean business practices, and a variety of case studies from design lumenaries including Lou Rosenfeld, Jeff Gothelf, Josh Seidan, Giorgia Lupi, and Emily Wengert.
A few recent reads that I highly recommend:
- UX Strategy by Jamie Levy -- does a good job of bridging the gap between Lean Start Up and Lean UX along with other Agile methodology books, blending in UX research methods for a more step-by-step approach to learning strategy.
- The User Experience Team of One by Leah Buley -- excellent resource for any UX team of one, consultant, UX enthusiast, or even a practioner on a small team.
- Information Dashboard Design by Stephen Few -- really good ideas and hardcover candy for those working on dashboards, heavy analytics, reporting or information design.