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Whitney Hess is raising $30K for Farm Aid for her 30th birthday

There is only one thing I want for my 30th birthday: to save America’s farms. That’s why I’m raising $30K for Farm Aid. Something that many people may not know about me is that I’m a locavore – the vast majority of the food that I eat is locally grown and produced. This means I [Keep Reading…]

Hugs in the workplace lead to greater empathy

How often do you get hugged at work? How often do you give them? Paul Zak, a professor of economics and director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA, is conducting a study that shows that Oxytocin, the chemical released by hugs and many other positive interpersonal interactions, increases [Keep Reading…]

If Seth Godin were me…

Is Seth Godin reading my blog? His piece last week titled “If I were you…” is a booming echo of my mantra “The user is not like me“: “If I were you…” But of course, you’re not. And this is the most important component of strategic marketing: we’re not our customer. Godin has written a [Keep Reading…]

Constructing Your Personal User Interface on Harvard Business Review

The inspiring Whitney Johnson invited me to contribute to her latest post on Harvard Business Review, titled Constructing Your Personal User Interface. Published yesterday, the piece takes five of my principles for designing user experiences and shows how they apply not only to human-computer interaction but to human-human interaction as well. There’s already a great [Keep Reading…]

The User Is Not Like Me

The user is not like me. August 25, 2003. It was the first day of my senior year at Carnegie Mellon University. It was the day I learned the mantra that would shape my career. The user is not like me. Words uttered by Bonnie John, my professor of 05-410 Introduction to HCI Methods (now [Keep Reading…]

Doing business as Vicarious Partners

It is with tremendous excitement and huge dreams for the future that I am finally ready to announce that I have formally changed the name of my company to Vicarious Partners™. This new name much better reflects my mission to help organizations build deeper connections amongst colleagues and customers in an effort to deliver the [Keep Reading…]

We Don’t Know Anything

We don’t know. We believe we know. Our experiences, education, instincts and values all add up to our beliefs. They also include assumptions and misperceptions and past truths. We believe something once and then we “know” it forever, because that’s easier than always having to ask. Asking isn’t easy. It takes time. It introduces risk. [Keep Reading…]