Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Recommended UX books, part 3

A photo of all five books mentioned in the text
Following up on my earlier posts, here’s another set of books in an informal series on recommended UX reading.

As a reminder, the series isn’t meant to provide a definitive list, but rather a set of books that I’ve enjoyed and found helpful in my UX work. Some of them will be well known and already widely recommended. Others may be less so, though no less valuable to me. A few might even be eccentric choices for a list like this.

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
by Scott McCloud
I’ve been recommending this classic to designers for 20 years now! It’s a wonderful look at visual communication, exquisitely told using the form that it documents.

See What I Mean: How to Use Comics to Communicate Ideas
By Kevin Cheng
In the context of this list, here is a perfect companion to Understanding Comics, as Cheng makes explicit the UX contexts in which to effectively use comics.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
by Daniel H. Pink
While not explicitly a UX-related book, Pink’s book is nevertheless a relevant, and fascinating, read.

Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights
by Steve Portigal
Thoughtful, humane, practical, and more, Steve has created a great guide for a foundational aspect of UX research.

Tog on Interface
by Bruce Tognazzini
It’s almost a quarter-century old, but while a few of the examples are a little dated Tog’s writing remains vibrant and engaging, and the concepts are as relevant and important as ever.

Monday, September 21, 2015

It’s Fluxible Week!

Well, all the preparations, machinations, and invocations have come together and Fluxible is upon us!

This year we’ve pulled together a whole week of events for Fluxible, and there are UX-related events happening on each of the next seven days, all of them featuring interesting and engaging material presented and shared by folks who are committed to building UX community in Waterloo Region and around the world. I’m looking forward to learning something from all of them.

Things get started today at Boltmade, where my colleagues Brian Potstra and Katie Cerar will be presenting a workshop on learning Sketch, a favourite design tool amongst the UX team there. This workshop filled up quickly, as the Boltmade Sessions events tend to do.

Tuesday sees the September edition of uxWaterloo taking place at Christie, where Alan Woo and Chris Kirby from their design team will be taking us on a deep dive into designing a remote control for one of their projectors. Registration for this session filled up by the end of August. Amazing…

Wednesday features UX Book Club Waterloo Region, and a visit from Abby Covert, who happens to be in town for Fluxible. Abby is smart and articulate — not to mention funny — and this session should make for an engaging conversation. Katie Cerar and Davis Neable have been presenting these UX Book Club events for quite a while now, and they know how to deliver a fine experience.

Thursday finds Christina Wodtke joining Girl Geek Dinners Waterloo Region to talk about “The Architecture of Advocacy”. Christina will be busy while she’s in town, as she’s also presenting a Fluxible workshop on Friday morning (see below) as well as a presentation during the Fluxible main program on Saturday (also see below!).

Friday is filled with pre-conference Fluxible workshops by Christina Wodtke (Design Thinking for Innovation), Stephen Anderson (Design for Understanding), and Jeff Gothelf & Jim Kalbach (Jazz Performance as a Model for Team Collaboration). There’s a lot of learning to be done!

Saturday and Sunday sees all the UX activity comes to a head with the main program for Fluxible. This year’s edition of the UX party disguised as a conference sold out faster than ever, and the speakers will deliver a rich collection of presentations.

Next week I’ll be sleeping it off…

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

September kicks off a new season for uxWaterloo

After July and August sessions that featured relaxed conversations over drinks on summer patios, we’re kicking off a fresh new season of uxWaterloo events on Tuesday September 22 with a visit to Christie in Kitchener.

Their design team will be taking us deep into the process of creating a new remote control for their projectors. It’s always a great learning experience to see and hear how a design to team has approached and solved a problem, and the folks at Christie promise to share plenty of insights. It will be a terrific session. I’d usually encourage folks to register at this point, but the event is already full! Be sure to watch for announcements for more great uxWaterloo sessions for the fall.

There’s something special about the September session, though. It’s part of a full week of UX events in Waterloo Region that our Fluxible team has pulled together around this year’s edition of the UX conference disguised as a party.

In addition to the Tuesday uxWaterloo event, there’s a Boltmade Session on learning Sketch (Monday September 21); a UX Book  Club meetup with Fluxible speaker Abby Covert (Wednesday September 23); and a Girl Geek Dinners Waterloo Region event with Fluxible speaker Christina Wodtke (Thursday September 24).

Of course, there’s a day filled with Fluxible pre-conference workshops on Friday September 25, and the week culminates in the main Fluxible program on Saturday September 26 and Sunday September 27!

Great stuff, right?