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How to Evaluate a UX Designer for Your Company, or, What Makes a Great User Experience Designer

Friends and colleagues often ask me what they should be looking for when hiring a user experience designer. They want guidance on how to evaluate candidates for the position and don’t know what questions they should be asking. Whether it’s full-time or contract, my answer remains the same: It’s all about mentality. Below I’ve outlined [Keep Reading...]

If VCs Understood UX…

They would… …value design, not design value. …seek out mentality, not ideas. …fund process, not product. …demand customer insights, not instincts. …prep for testing days, not demos days. …commission research, not follow trends. …study anthropology, sociology and psychology, not just management, economics and statistics. …foster collaboration, not competition. …care about people, not percentages. …cherish sign-ins, [Keep Reading...]

The Thief and The Healer

I was on Skype conducting a stakeholder interview with a client in London when my boyfriend returned to the apartment. He had just left for an appointment 5 minutes earlier. “So sorry to bother you, honey,” he whispered, “but your car was broken into.” I went deaf for a moment as my client continued answering [Keep Reading...]

On Empathy and Apathy: Two Case Studies

The suffix -pathy means “feeling” or “suffering” The prefix em- means “within” or “inside” The prefix a- means “not” or “without” By definition, empathy is the opposite of apathy. Empathy is defined as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another” — within + feeling or inside + suffering. Apathy is defined as [Keep Reading...]

Alan Alda falls victim to McAfee’s dreadful customer experience

A month ago, my mom forwarded me an article from the New York Times that I only got around to reading now (as is known to happen with forwards from Mom). Turns out she picked a good one: a forehead-slapper about acclaimed actor Alan Alda’s helluva time canceling his McAfee email monitoring: Theater of the [Keep Reading...]

How “When I…” Reasoning Poisons a Team

Earlier this year I had a client who hired me to redesign the first step in their 3-step process. The page was getting loads of customer complaints and the last three iterations on the design hadn’t helped. As always, I started the project by interviewing key stakeholders: the product manager, the product owner, the head [Keep Reading...]

The Purpose of a Business is to Create a Customer

A customer is defined as a person who pays a business for goods and services. If a person does not pay, they are not a customer. The nebulous term of “user” is assigned when a person is accessing goods and services without directly paying for them. Call them a visitor, a prospect, a constituent, whatever you want. Until they pay you, they’re no customer of yours — and you have not fulfilled upon your purpose as a business.