Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Companies with a VP of UX

One of Donald Norman's most interesting commands in his interview with Peter Merholz, of Adaptive path, is this: "Start being Vice Presidents".

I chuckled since it's not as if collectively all UX designers are thumbing our noses at the idea.

"Yeah I got another VP job offer. It's so annoying."
"Tell me about it. This executive recruiter followed me to lunch yesterday & paid for it while trying to sell me on his small, highly profitable start-up"

Then it struck me: who has a VP UX today?

Google, duh.

I wasn't so sure about Apple. It's harder to tell. Ex-Apple executive, Don Lindsay was tapped for a VP UX position at Research in Motion. In any case, Apple has a laser beam focus on UX through their design process, it certainly sounds like UX is ingrained in the culture. In any case, they both encourage creativity, UX design, testing, and metrics.

So what companies put UX on the same platform as Engineering, Human Resources, Finance, etc?

Vice presidents in User Experience
I tracked down over 500 VP UX's using linkedIn search but the following handful seemed the most significant as many of these companies are thought leaders & highly profitable businesses.

Wells Fargo

Sarah Bellrichard Vice President, User Experience Research & Design at [LinkedIn]

Marissa Mayer, Vice President, Search Products & User Experience [Google's bio | LinkedIn ]

Margaret Schmidt, Vice President of User Experience Design and Research [ Harvard Business Publishing article]

Matias Duarte Vice President of Human Interface and User Experience [UX Week 2009 interview | LinkedIn]

Friday, October 9, 2009

If 40 hours a week isn't enough...

In case you long for the love you get from your taskbar when your away from the machine, MySuiteStuff provides a constant reminder about what you do for a living with these Adobe pillows. It's a great way to announce "Here's what I do for work" to tech savvy visitors. For those less up on the tools of the designer trade, maybe they'll think think of elements on the periodic table in a foreign language.

Seems a more modern interpretation of occupational figurine. Makes a great gift because it won't be in your house. :P

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

UX 101

These sites are regular stops for many UX designers. If they aren't they should be.

A sampling of the kinds of articles a UX designer might read:

Top ten info architecture mistakes
Avoid bad “flow”

Article on meganavigation menus
They’re big & they work

Information seeking modes Sure, you've thought about how users find something...but how do they find it again? Information seeking models for search.

Tufte’s article on labeling images
Direct labeling is better then any kind of mapping

Behavior around system response time good for knowing when to have a spinner & when users will start multitasking

Making design patterns all web companies should have a style guide or page templates at minimum, but whipping one ups isn't exactly easy. Some pitfalls to avoid.

Friday, October 2, 2009

my iPhone and me

I have two complaints about the iPhone:
  1. I still forget it's more than a phone I'll pull out my computer before correcting myself & choosing the little elegant solution.
  2. I don't have it with me all the time I recently thought "oooh! I should record this....where's my phone?" and since it was in the other room, I skipped it
My hope is they'll both work themselves out. I'm training myself all the time to understand how much power the little iPhone carries & how much I stand to loose by not having it with me at all times.

One awesome thing about iPhones is that if you've got a great app idea, can make it happen, & deal with the Apple approval process, it will end up in the iTunes store. My coworker, Mark Allen, created an iPhone App called Loupe which allows you to nab colors you see in the real world & add them to a pallet. iPhone users can now put the crisp colors of the Golden Gate on a beautiful day to create an inspired website, logo, living room, anything with a color scheme.