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Whit Hour – Week 3

Thank you so much to the 20 or so folks who showed up for the third week of Whit Hour — my weekly one-hour video chat to answer any and all of your questions about user experience, consulting, and whatever else you throw at me.

Sorry for the last-minute day change. I was stuck in traffic coming back to the city and couldn’t make it last night.

Join me next week on Sunday, August 23, 9-10pm Eastern Time at http://tinychat.com/whitney password:whithour, and bring your questions!

Whit Hour – Week 3

August 17, 2009, from 9-10pm ET

This week’s beer

Robust Porter
Smuttynose Brewing Co
Portsmouth, NH

Questions asked and (hopefully) answered

  1. Are you gonna talk at SXSW?
  2. If one were crafting a Director of User Experience position, that would tend to web strategy and design, how would you describe an ideal working relationship with marketing?
  3. When you accept a project do you work with the client’s or another external company/person that would eventually do the visual design or do you leave all that for the client to take care of?
  4. If a company says they care about the users, but don’t have any UX people, what is a good way to suggest building up that compentancy, even though the expected responce is “we have marketing for that”?
  5. What do you do in the case where there are a few UX people throughout the corporation, but marketing and the UX efforts are generally identical but rarely coordinated?
  6. When we say “user experience,” is concern for overall brand experience implied? Do you think clients get that? It seems clients need UX broken down into language that marketers/managers understand.
  7. How do you express the difference between a ‘user group’ made up of tech reps and sales guys, and true user involvement? The argument is the ‘user group’ has 20 years of field experience and know how the users would react to it.
  8. After a project is done, do you keep on following user feedback and making adjustments to the interface? If so, for how long?
  9. I’m assuming that you’re carrying General Liability insurance… Do you carry Errors & Omissions insurance as well? If so, do you have a recommendation for the amount you would carry?
  10. Working full time + doing freelance is exhausting — how did you manage that for 3 years? Any tips on how to manage your time and still be able to go to the movies every now and then?
  11. Any advice for those who want to get their foot in the door of a company? I’m currently in the library field and I want to get into IA.
  12. What are you deliverables generally? Other than wireframes of course.
  13. I just started working for a consulting firm that has some serious NDAs with clients. I feel like I can’t show any of my work. What do I do?

Full text chat

[21:05] breezyskies: I can
[21:05] dafark8: loud and clear
[21:05] bnunnally: yuppers
[21:05] orian: I am the fire starter
[21:05] quietaction: you have to be the first person in the room sometimes
[21:06] lwcavallucci: I no longer hear you Whitney.
[21:06] strottrot: (still coming thru here)
[21:06] breezyskies: @lwcavallucci sound is still ok for me
[21:06] bnunnally: I’m holding baby, no drink for me :D
[21:08] lwcavallucci: I can hear you now
[21:09] quietaction: so are you gonna talk a sxsw?
[21:09] orian: can we vote on it?
[21:09] obeacon: Hi, Trevor here. Cooking dinner; happy to listen in.
[21:10] strottrot: Question: If one were crafting a Director of User Experience position, that would tend to web strategy and design, how would you describe an ideal
[21:10] strottrot: working relationship with marketing?
[21:11] whitneyhess: Finding Insights in Data: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/3551
[21:11] whitneyhess: Dawn of the Dead Friendships: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/2745
[21:11] quietaction: Also both in her twitter feed
[21:13] whitneyhess: Josh Seiden @jseiden
[21:13] strottrot: (awesome–thanks!)
[21:14] strottrot: I’ve worked there a long time, and have been asked to come up with
[21:14] strottrot: a solution to our lousy web situation
[21:14] strottrot: (I do UX for our research dept.)
[21:14] strottrot: Yes!
[21:15] strottrot: Great–I will.
[21:15] strottrot: Thanks!
[21:15] quietaction: I would also look for buzzwords like communication strategy familiarity so they can relate to marketing terms/styles
[21:15] dilini: You have said that you are not a visual designer. When you accept a project do you work with the client’s or another external company/person that would eventually do the visual design or do you leave all that for the client to take care of.
[21:16] whitneyhess: —-Put your questions here please—-
[21:17] bnunnally: @strottrot: Also, UX and Marketing normally will look at the same data, just with different filters on. This viewpoint can help with building a partnership between your group and marketing.
[21:17] bnunnally: Just my 2 cents ;)
[21:18] strottrot: (I’m always amazed how I forget to build allies with other departments. So smart. Thx all.)
[21:18] alla: Related to first question: if a company says they care about the users, but don’t have any UX people, what is a good way to suggest building up that compentancy, even though the expected responce is “we have marketing for that” ?
[21:18] dilini: yes
[21:18] dilini: thanks
[21:19] chriscav: OK
[21:19] chriscav: that’s cool
[21:21] frankstallone: That’s a great question
[21:22] dafark8: on a similar note, what do you do in the case where there is a few UX people throughout the corporation but marketing and the UX efforts are generally identical but rarely coordinated?
[21:26] alla: makes sense to me, thanks! :)
[21:26] frankstallone: great answer =)
[21:26] fritzism: Question: Do you think when we say “user experience” is concern for overall brand experience implied? Do you think clients get that? It seems clients need UX broken down into language (speaking as a UX provider, not part of an internal design team).
[21:26] bnunnally: Question: How do you express the difference between a ‘user group’ made up of tech reps and sales guys and true user involvement?
[21:27] fritzism: RESEND: Do you think when we say “user experience” is concern for overall brand experience implied? Do you think clients get that? It seems clients need UX broken down into language that marketers/managers understand… (speaking as a UX provider, not part of an internal design team)
[21:27] gabimoore: After a project is done, do you keep on following user feedback and making adjustments to the interface? If so, for how long?
[21:30] fritzism: Thanks. I meant beyond terms though but addressing their concerns i.e. “the bottomline”, “brand development” ,etc.
[21:31] bnunnally: and design reviews
[21:33] bnunnally: So you have a prototype you are checking to see how well the users will ‘like’ it, you present it to this ‘user group’ rather than getting real user feedback on the prototype. The argument is the ‘user group’ has 20 years of field experience and know how the users would react to it.
[21:33] frankstallone: Thanks for your incite, I hate to leave but I have to go!
[21:34] gabimoore: yep!
[21:36] dilini: How did you land your first job? How would you suggest one goes about finding that first gig?
[21:38] bnunnally: Awesome, gave me some more ammo to use next time I get into a debate :D
[21:38] bnunnally: FYI: The user groups isn’t my idea, just something I am stuck with :D
[21:38] bnunnally: Thanks Whitney
[21:40] orian: Flash devs aren’t even worth $500
[21:41] dilini: omg
[21:41] dilini: :)
[21:41] jeremypwhite: wow
[21:41] bnunnally: @orian: Truth! ;)
[21:42] dilini: thanks for the tip on llc
[21:43] lwcavallucci: Incorporating makes the client feel more comfortable with you as well.
[21:43] orian: hehe for those who don’t know, I am one
[21:43] dilini: thanks, surely does
[21:44] chriscav: I’m assuming that you’re carrying General Liability insurance… do you carry Errors & Omissions insurance as well? if so, do you have a recommendation for the amount you would carry?
[21:44] dilini: I’m planning to do some freelance on the side while I have a fulltime job.
[21:46] gabimoore: woking full time + doing freelance is exhausting — how did you manage that for 3 years? Any tips on how to manage your time and still be able to go to the movies every now and then?
[21:49] mortvia: Any advice for those who want to get their foot in the door of a company? I feel that freelancing full-time isn’t for me.
[21:50] alla: @mortiva, what is your current experience ?
[21:50] strottrot: Mad Men!
[21:50] gabimoore: awesome, thanks!
[21:50] mortvia: @alla I’m working on a website to locate halal restaurants
[21:51] bnunnally: It was great! #madmen :D
[21:51] mortvia: I’m currently in the library field and I want to get into IA
[21:51] alla: mortvia, i have lots of advice on that front, feel free to ping me offline [email protected]
[21:52] dilini: not sure if you answered this already at an earlier date or not, but what are you deliverables, generally? Other than wireframes of course.
[21:52] bnunnally: @mortvia: Getting a mentor to help you make the switch can also help get you some solid recommendations
[21:52] alla: first, i would suggest is to play to your strengths, find a taxonomy job and then work our way to IA
[21:54] strottrot: http://www.ixda.org/mentee.php
[21:54] mortvia: Thanks! :D
[21:54] alla: mortvia, where are you located
[21:54] whitneyhess: http://iainstitute.org/en/members/mentoring/mentoring_program.php
[21:54] mortvia: Philadelphia
[21:55] alla: perfect, lots of awesome people there to help you out!
[21:55] whitneyhess: http://whitneyhess.com/blog/consulting
[21:56] dilini: I actually read that :-)
[21:56] mortvia: I’ve been trying to attend area events when I can
[21:56] lwcavallucci: mortvia You should go to some PhillyCHI events if you don’t already. Lots of local UX people who can help you out…
[21:56] mortvia: I was at the Jared Spool lecture not too long ago
[21:57] lwcavallucci: mortvia Livia Labate is speaking on August 27 at PhillyCHI
[21:57] alla: also Livia is looking to hire at the moment at Comcast *hint hint* :)
[21:57] mortvia: Thanks for the info!
[21:58] mortvia: BTW, here’s my e-mail : [email protected]
[21:58] dilini: Great! Thanks
[21:58] alla: i have one more question
[21:58] alla: i just started working for a consulting firm that has some serious NDA’s with clients
[21:58] alla: i feel like i cant show any of my work
[21:58] alla: what do i do?
[22:00] bnunnally: Totally agree Whitney!
[22:00] alla: i guess im just worried about moving on in my career in the future if i cant show work, as many people do expect it
[22:00] fritzism: Concur with Whitney, it’s about the thinking
[22:01] dafark8: its how you think, not what you make, its very hard to discern ownership in a finished project and saying it was all me if a tough sell and rarely true
[22:01] fritzism: and your grasp of methodology, techniques and your ability to utilize both based on project type
[22:01] dafark8: *is
[22:01] alla: I totally understand that, the people that hire often dont though
[22:02] alla: they want those hard deliverables
[22:02] chriscav: really, those ‘artifacts’ are tools for communication
[22:03] alla: very true :)
[22:03] mortvia: Food for thought :)
[22:04] strottrot: I totally agree, but you can also create some deliverables for public sites, if you want to have some concrete products to show.
[22:04] strottrot: (make up a project, that is)
[22:04] dilini: Thank you very much for the great advice and insight Whitney
[22:04] fritzism: No questions… Rock on Whit, kudos for doing this.
[22:04] strottrot: Thx Whitney, thx everyone!
[22:05] alla: Thanks Whitney, great advice. Thanks everyone for all the great advice and questions :)
[22:05] johnlabriola: great ways to keep your tools sharp
[22:05] johnlabriola: thanks whit
[22:05] mortvia: Thank you, Whitney
[22:05] artchinda: thnx whitney
[22:05] bnunnally: Thanks Whitney! Hope to make next weeks.
[22:05] lwcavallucci: Once again, a really great chat Whitney! Thanks.
[22:05] jeremypwhite: Thanks! See you next week!
[22:05] orian: thanks whitney :-)
[22:05] obeacon: Whitney, again, awesome. Glad to be part of this community.
[22:06] gabimoore: thanks!
[22:06] chriscav: nice chat. Thanx Whitney. gnite all. @chriscavallucci
[22:06] dilini: Thank you
[22:06] Topic: Whit Hour
[22:06] bnunnally: Peace out yall!
[22:06] mortvia: Bye all – will e-mail you, alla

Join me next week

Sunday, August 23, 9-10pm Eastern Time at http://tinychat.com/whitney password:whithour, and bring your questions!

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