Speaking as a graduate of one, top schools teach you credentialing and ladder climbing. If you’re lucky, you might learn how to create a financial model or craft a solid argument. They don’t make you a great UX designer or programmer. Your passion for learning and gaining more and more experience are what make you great. The nights you stayed up until 5am coding make you great. Your love of building things makes you great.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee: Then, now, tomorrow. What’s next for the World Wide Web? Sydney Town Hall 5 Feb 2013.
About the event
Part of the City Talks series presented by the City of Sydney and UTS spotlight.
The hash tag was the ever parochial #tbldownunder. The official ones were #sydcitytalk and #UTSengage
What people said
There were several introductions including Clover Moore’s rundown of the City’s contribution to supporting innovation which was quite impressive, and there were (too many) panelists, but everyone was there for Tim Berners-Lee.
He delivered his presentation with a frenetic energy. Was there a thread? A theme? Not quite, although his historical tech overview did turn into an invitation to contribute to code and be vigilant of those who seek to control our data and our privacy. I think an implied warning of proprietors who want to lock down devices too.
I never post such raw notes on this blog, but I thought, better raw than never tonight. I haven’t been to Mobile Monday in years, but spurred on by @roneo I went along.
I recently read IDEO’s HCD toolkit and it reminded me of the instruction offered in Ethnography for Marketers: A Guide to Consumer Immersion, which I have written about before. If you do any type of UX research, particularly observational research, but have not had formal research training I think you will find them both worthwhile reads. This is my summary of advice from both these texts on debriefing after a contextual inquiry.
Bank of America sent a letter to each of its 270,000 employees with the simple message to “Be Nice”. This is after woeful customer satisfaction ratings. Is a letter enough? No, according to Customer Experience consultant Colin Shaw of Beyond Philosophy who stresses the need in the story for matching incentives and guidelines for how much time managers spend with customers and in branches. Apparently a more comprehensive plan to address customer satisfaction performance is to follow.
Is your workplace kitchette perpetually untidy? Are there serial offenders who just won’t comply with the signs stuck up on the wall, on the bench, on the dishwasher? It seems to happen everywhere, and a colleague and I were laughing yesterday as we saw a bunch of dishes on a bench just beneath the instructions telling people:
I have a BUNCH of notes from books and articles I have read on design research. I had reason to revisit them all recently when I was writing a training course and thought to share them as a set of reference tools for others, you dear reader, and as a memory boost for me on our next field trip.
“When you start developing a product or a company you never know if it’s going to work or what’s going to work. But you do know what you want to do and how you want to do it. So do that. And when (not if) that doesn’t work, do something different and try again. Repeat until something good happens. Then, and only then, should you look back and consider what you did that worked and find ways to reinforce that behavior.”
I think there’s a lot of lottery-playing going on right now. Companies staffing up, raising a bunch of money, hiring a bunch of people, and burning them out in the hopes that they’ll hit the lottery. …all you have to do is read TechCrunch. Look at what the top stories are, and they’re all about raising money, how many employees they have, and these are metrics that don’t matter. What matters is: Are you profitable? Are you building something great? Are you taking care of your people? Are you treating your customers well? In the coverage of our industry as a whole, you’ll rarely see stories about treating customers well, about people building a sustainable business. …I don’t know what percentage of tech companies have been around 30 years.
The image FAST COMPANY chose to lead this article isn’t quite representative of the ideas discussed. They should have chosen something more like this …
I had the privilege to work on a succession of projects relating to the staff experience at my time at Different. My colleague Christian LaFrance presented some of the learnings from these projects and a few others undertaken by the team at the recent Service Design Network Global Conference in Paris (28-30 October, 2012) and he has shared his presentation on Slideshare. Many of these projects involved a participatory design approach to achieve change that took employee needs into account and that was employee led.