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ReadWriteWeb on my Boxee beta UX process, and other thoughts

On Wednesday I posted an extensive behind-the-scenes look at the user experience design process I used when Boxee hired me to help them get from alpha to beta: The UX Design Process for the Boxee Beta.

To my utter joy, ReadWriteWeb featured my work in their ReadWriteStart channel, focused on startups: An Inside Look Into Boxee’s Systematic UX Overhaul Process

Many of the responses I got to my blog post were thanks for sharing so much detail. I’m really glad that people are finding it useful in some way — after all, that was the point of my writing it in the first place. It’s sad how closed off so many people are about their work, afraid to give away their special sauce. I see each project I work on as a tremendous learning experience, and I make a concerted effort to recognize teachable moments throughout the process. Learning from your own successes and failures is necessary, but narrow-minded. As members of a larger community we need to continuously give back, not just to help ourselves, but to help everyone else become better at what they do, too.

User experience designers across the globe complain of being marginalized and misunderstood by their company’s leadership. The more open we are about our approach to the work, the more people will appreciate the value we bring to the team. Having a blog like ReadWriteWeb cover my particular story makes other companies hungry to see if these activities will have a similar positive impact on their products. But they need our help.

I urge you all to start writing a lot more about your work, not just what you do but how you do it. We shouldn’t be magicians who never reveal their secrets. We’re social scientists, and it’s our duty to share our discoveries, to contribute to the universal understanding of the world we live in.

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