Whit Hour – Week 2

Thank you so much to the 20 or so folks who showed up for the second week of Whit Hour — my new weekly one-hour video chat to answer any and all of your questions about user experience, consulting, and whatever else you throw at me.

Join me next week on Sunday, August 16, 9-10pm Eastern Time at http://tinychat.com/whitney password:whithour, and bring your questions!

Whit Hour – Week 2

August 9, 2009, from 9-10pm ET

This week’s beer

Lagunitas IPA
Lagunitas Brewing Company
Petaluma, California

Questions asked and (hopefully) answered

  1. What are your favorite prototyping tools?
  2. How do you find people to interview for research?
  3. How do you convince clients that finding participants for usability testing using Twitter, Craigslist, etc provides valuable data when compared to using recruitment firms?
  4. How do you convince your client that 5-7 users is enough when usability testing?
  5. Is there a set standard for usability testing or does testing change on a case by case basis?
  6. What did you decide on writing the book – ebook and on web stats?
  7. Is it okay to have practice mock projects in your portfolio?
  8. What did you take away from Carnegie Mellon’s HCI degree that can’t be taught in the real world?
  9. For someone just beginning in UX, would you recommend in-house or agency/freelance work? What are pros and cons of each?
  10. How do you decide what conferences to attend?

Full text chat

[21:04] Tinychat …try /commands for a list of available shortcuts
[21:04] guest-6235 changed nickname to xbutter
[21:04] guest-6236 changed nickname to whitney
[21:05] syktek: evening whit!
[21:06] guest-6285 entered the room
[21:06] guest-6285 changed nickname to lisarex
[21:07] briandurkin: What are your favorite prototyping tools?
[21:09] guest-6360 entered the room
[21:09] guest-6360 changed nickname to candace
[21:09] lisarex: How do you find people to interview for research? (I don’t have the benefit of a huge number of Twitter followers)
[21:09] briandurkin: well im a front end guy and I am new to prototyping myself i gess but i would say pen and paper, and html and photoshop
[21:10] guest-6391 entered the room
[21:10] guest-6391 changed nickname to kevintu
[21:11] dafark8: how do you gain confidence in clients that finding users to test using twitter, craigslist, etc is providing valuable data compared to using recruitment firms?
[21:12] lisarex: Yes, thanks. I’ll try that.
[21:12] briandurkin: but my prototypes end up being more like designs
[21:12] xbutter: i think you can try to separate the design from the wireframe
[21:13] guest-6452 entered the room
[21:13] tigerfork: How do you convince your client that 5-7 users is enough when usability testing?
[21:13] guest-6452 changed nickname to lynneux
[21:13] syktek: is there a set standard for usability testing or does testing change on a case by case basis?
[21:13] guest-6468 entered the room
[21:14] guest-6468 changed nickname to sophiehwang
[21:14] guest-6485 entered the room
[21:14] guest-6485 changed nickname to jules
[21:16] md: What did you decide on writing the book – ebook and on web stats? What are the questions for you? Time invested? Interest out here?
[21:18] guest-6550 entered the room
[21:18] guest-6550 changed nickname to willsansbury
[21:19] mortvia: Is it okay to have practice mock projects in your portfolio? I’m only working on one UX collaboration right now.
[21:19] tigerfork: Very cool. Thanks!
[21:21] guest-6592 entered the room
[21:21] guest-6601 entered the room
[21:21] guest-6601 changed nickname to evanmeagher
[21:21] lynneux: You mentioned also ‘Designing with Web Analytics’? Could you talk a bit about that idea?
[21:21] lynneux: :)
[21:22] guest-6608 entered the room
[21:22] guest-6608 changed nickname to dan
[21:22] candace: I’d love to jump into an HCI Masters Program, but living in NYC/Long Island, my options are few. What things do you think you took away from CM’s degree that can’t be "taught" in the real world?
[21:23] syktek: <off topic> @candace, i’m on LI too :)
[21:24] guest-6643 entered the room
[21:24] candace: <ot> @sytek – Valley Stream!
[21:24] guest-6643 changed nickname to dilini
[21:26] md: It’s a good idea for those of us that have experience too, because we almost always work on highly classified projects.
[21:26] mortvia: Thank you, that really helped!
[21:27] syktek: is there a set standard for usability testing or does testing change on a case by case basis?
[21:27] dafark8: [ot] (woohoo cmu hcii)
[21:28] davedawson: I am graduating this week with an BS in Web Design (hurray!). I am interested in UX design, what do you suggest be my next move? Grad school for UX design? Can I continue to learn on the job?
[21:28] willsansbury: For someone just transitioning into full-time UX work, would you recommend in-house or agency/freelance work? What’re pros/cons of each in your experience?
[21:28] guest-6723 entered the room
[21:28] willsansbury: <— This English lit grad is glad to hear that. :)
[21:29] guest-6723 changed nickname to davedawson
[21:29] guest-6729 entered the room
[21:29] guest-6729 changed nickname to tigerfork
[21:29] syktek: ack, lost sound
[21:29] willsansbury: @syktek me too, earlier. Refresh fixed it.
[21:30] guest-6742 entered the room
[21:30] guest-6742 changed nickname to syktek
[21:30] briandurkin: I am interested in the MFA program at SVA in Interaction Design…can you introduce me to Liz? Just kidding. :)
[21:30] dafark8: I hear bonnie john!
[21:31] candace: thanks so much!
[21:35] guest-6818 entered the room
[21:35] guest-6821 entered the room
[21:35] guest-6821 changed nickname to russu
[21:35] guest-6818 changed nickname to keithlang
[21:36] guest-6833 entered the room
[21:36] guest-6833 changed nickname to lisarex
[21:36] dilini: am I the only one that can’t hear Whitney anymore?
[21:37] keithlang: I can hear her OK
[21:37] syktek: @dilini:, refresh the page
[21:37] guest-6846 entered the room
[21:37] keithlang: Hi Whitney :-)
[21:37] syktek: @whit, yes, thanks
[21:37] guest-6846 changed nickname to ilteris
[21:37] guest-6851 entered the room
[21:37] briandurkin: good choice in beer!
[21:37] ilteris: yummy
[21:37] lisarex: IPA – lovely!
[21:38] keithlang: Is there a topic for tonight’s chat?
[21:38] guest-6851 changed nickname to dilini
[21:38] dilini: Thanks syktek
[21:38] ilteris: haha
[21:38] briandurkin: lol
[21:39] ilteris: sorry to him go
[21:39] keithlang: no problem. I didn’t know it was going to go live – it went Live auto
[21:39] candace: ? – Is it really possible for someone who wears mutliple hats (developer, designer, UX) turn off those different *personas* when the time comes?
[21:41] guest-6911 entered the room
[21:41] guest-6911 changed nickname to keithlang
[21:41] guest-6920 entered the room
[21:41] guest-6920 changed nickname to willsansbury
[21:43] willsansbury: Thanks, Whit! I’m team of one now and have been thinking I’d really appreciate being on a team with people who have more experience than me.
[21:44] lisarex: willsansbury – me too.
[21:44] candace: re SVA – I wish they allowed part time!
[21:45] dafark8: @lisarex @willsanbury Im team of 2, now three but we all started the same time and have made the design dept what it is… interesting cchallenge
[21:45] briandurkin: I know…I wish I could afford to go. or crash courses too.
[21:45] briandurkin: I want to go so bad
[21:45] mortvia: Wish those kind of opportunities were closer to home *is jealous*
[21:45] whitney: http://interactiondesign.sva.edu
[21:46] willsansbury: @lisarex @dafark8 Always find myself thinking "If I’m the expert, we’re screwed." :)
[21:47] md: BTW, Whitney, use the actual scroll blip not the arrows and it’ll stick in the place where you leave it…flashing red on the down arrow to let you know more is being added below.
[21:47] dafark8: @lisarex definitely a concern, it is nice being able to define what and how designers work within the corporation, a lot of the design integrity is placed on us though as no one is there to say if something sucks
[21:47] keithlang: Ok thanks Whitney. ;)
[21:47] lisarex: How do you decide what conferences to attend?
[21:48] guest-7010 entered the room
[21:48] candace: 21:39
[21:48] guest-7010 changed nickname to justine
[21:49] md: You’re welcome ;- Flash component :D
[21:51] candace: thanks!
[21:51] dilini: Not sure if you have answered this question already today or last week, but is there anyway you can record these and post to your blog in case we miss a day?
[21:51] syktek: @dilini, she’s recording tonight
[21:52] sophiehwang: love eightshape’s unify :D
[21:52] dilini: great!
[21:52] briandurkin: for those of you one man/woman teams, this link has 3 low cost user testing tools at the bottom of the page and the guy that puts this blog together rocks http://www.uxbooth.com/blog/5-tools-to-increase-accessibility/
[21:53] sophiehwang: http://eightshapes.com/services/training/monthly-workshop-series/
[21:53] guest-7112 entered the room
[21:54] whitney: https://whitneyhess.com/blog/2009/so-you-wanna-be-a-user-experience-designer.html
[21:55] keithlang: @Whitney great little show-thanks for sharing with it
[21:55] guest-7138 entered the room
[21:55] guest-7141 entered the room
[21:55] dafark8: for anyone interested in a list of UX events, came across my feed a few days ago: http://www.nickfinck.com/blog/entry/user_experience_events/
[21:55] guest-7138 changed nickname to artchinda
[21:55] guest-7141 changed nickname to keithlang
[21:56] candace: ? – When is the next NY UX Book Club meeting? :)
[21:56] guest-7160 entered the room
[21:57] md: Got a 404 on that URL – try this one for resources: https://whitneyhess.com/blog/2009/06/30/so-you-wanna-be-a-user-experience-designer-step-1-resources/
[21:57] guest-7175 entered the room
[21:57] guest-7160 changed nickname to collier1960
[21:57] guest-7175 changed nickname to artchinda
[21:57] lisarex: :) Thanks. Still getting to grips with North American conferences. And I am going to IDEA09!
[22:02] briandurkin: ixda has an evnt this thursday in NYC
[22:03] md: It was great. Thanks!
[22:03] syktek: i had to do a refresh once but otherwise it was fine for me
[22:03] briandurkin: this was great
[22:03] willsansbury: Lost audio twice, but refresh fixed it quickly.
[22:03] lisarex: Seemed fine for the most part!
[22:03] candace: Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge!
[22:03] dilini: I lost audio but everything was fine when I refreshed and logged back in
[22:03] briandurkin: thanks whitney
[22:03] collier1960: Good here.
[22:03] mortvia: Can’t wait for next week’s session!
[22:03] davedawson: This was awesome! See you next week!
[22:03] willsansbury: Hope your beer didn’t get too warm. We’ll have to all pitch in for a coozie for you.
[22:04] syktek: thanks again, whit!
[22:04] sophiehwang: thanks!
[22:04] candace: thanks
[22:04] artchinda: thanks whitney!

Join me next week

Sunday, August 16, 9-10pm Eastern Time at http://tinychat.com/whitney password:whithour, and bring your questions!

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  1. says

    Thanks for posting this! One suggestion for making the Full Text transcript a little more readable: pull out the “USER entered the room” and “USER changed nickname” lines. You can use these regexes to zap 'em:

    ^.*changed nickname.*$

    ^.*entered the room$

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