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Today is my 6th anniversary of going solo

Six years ago today, also a Friday, was my very last day at my very last full-time job. Two weeks prior, I had finally worked up the courage to walk into my boss’s office and quit. It was a cushy job with great pay, reasonable hours, and somewhat interesting work. But that was no longer [Keep Reading...]

Drupal.org User Research: Stakeholder Workshop

At DrupalCon Austin 2014, we officially kicked off the reimagination of Drupal.org with a full-day workshop with Drupal Association staff, Working Groups, select board members and advisors, facilitated by our user experience coach Whitney Hess. In the morning, we did the serious business of defining our objectives, target audiences, metrics for success (KPIs), partners and [Keep Reading...]

What UX did or didn’t do

Some usual suspects are engaged in a feverish discussion on what UX “did” to this or that related practice — and now is the time to stop it from further destruction! Let’s be clear: UX cannot do anything to anyone. UX is two letters of the alphabet, representing a philosophy, a process, a practice of [Keep Reading...]

User Experience is…

The folks at GiantUX (organizers of the GIANT Conference in Charleston, SC, where I’ll be speaking in June) asked me to describe UX in 200 words or less. Here’s what I gave them. User Experience is a commitment to developing products and services with purpose, compassion, and integrity. It is the never-ending process of seeing [Keep Reading...]

The UX Career Path: From Wireframes to Coaching

I have attended the IA Summit every year since 2008. This year’s event takes place in my new home of San Diego, so naturally I’ll be there. It’s hard to believe it will be my 7th consecutive year when I still feel like a newbie. I love this community, I love this conference, and I [Keep Reading...]

5 Years of Independence

Happy anniversary to me! Today marks five years since I left my full-time job to go indie — and what a hell of a ride it’s been. I want to thank all my clients who have valued what I could contribute to their organizations and the countless friends, colleagues and strangers who pointed them my [Keep Reading...]

Minor in Tech

When I was 13 and about to finish the 8th grade, a teacher I hardly knew approached me in the hall. “Whitney, I’d like to talk to you about next year.” “What about next year?” “Well you’ll be entering high school next year, and you’ll be asked to pick your electives soon. I think you [Keep Reading...]