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War Stories: Stories of War

[Originally published in the series War Stories on Steve Portigal's All This Chittah Chattah] I interviewed Holocaust survivors. Four words that still send shivers down my spine. Their stories were meant to shape my research; they ended up shaping me. It was the project of a lifetime. I was asked to conduct user research for [Keep Reading...]

Speak and Be Seen

I’m thrilled to have been invited to contribute a piece to Ladies in Tech, a new site celebrating and supporting female speakers in technology. Published today, Speak and Be Seen is a deeply personal story of how I first got involved in public speaking and the massive fears I’ve had to overcome along the way. [Keep Reading...]

“I Don’t Have Time to Lead”

I considered it a personal failure when I learned that a client team I’ve been coaching for the last several months has recently been working on deliverables without my knowledge. They haven’t asked for feedback and it hasn’t appeared on any project schedules. Where did I go wrong? In a chat with the product manager, [Keep Reading...]

The truth about the presentation process

Having the opportunity to speak to an audience who cares what you have to say and believes they can learn something new from you is a totally surreal experience. Especially when you consider that months of work pours out of you in under an hour. I’ve been speaking at conferences since the fall of 2008. [Keep Reading...]

Empathy is the Antidote to Shame

shame n. A painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. v. To make someone feel ashamed. In her TED talk Listening to Shame, vulnerability researcher Brené Brown exposes the truth about shame: we all feel it. Shame gets in our way. It negatively impacts how we treat [Keep Reading...]

The Enduring Misconceptions of User Experience Design

A couple weeks ago I suddenly saw a resurgence of interest in an article I wrote for Mashable in January 2009 titled, 10 Most Common Misconceptions About User Experience Design. Later that year I turned it into a presentation and had a pretty good run with it, until I felt that my message was widely [Keep Reading...]

Speaking Up

Two days ago, a prominent designer named Sarah Parmenter published a post titled Speaking Up, in which she revealed the horrific harassment she has endured as a public woman in technology. Sarah and I have spoken at the same conferences and share a lot of the same friends, and I have admired her ability to [Keep Reading...]