I’ve wanted to do podcasts forever. Not because I like the sound of my own voice, but because I’m in the fortunate position of getting to talk to a LOT of brilliant, interesting people in the UX world—and, more and more, outside it. So often I’ve gotten off a call and wished I’d recorded it. Or heard a fantastic talk at a conference and wanted to delve deeper into the topic with the presenter.
Well, it’s nice to have this finally off the back-burner: the first two Rosenfeld Podcasts!
In the first podcast, “Designing for Villains,” I spoke with Eduardo Ortiz and Donna Lichaw. They participated in an amazing panel—called “Designing for Villains”, coincidentally, at last March’s IA Summit (along with David Bloxsom, Aviva Rosenstein, and Erik Gibb). Have a listen: after all, how often will you get to learn something about the porn industry that’s actually related to your work? (21 minute podcast)
In the second podcast, “Piaget, Lemony Snicket and Design for Kids,” I interviewed Brett Helquist and Deb Levin Gelman. You may know Deb—she wrote our newest title, Design for Kids: Digital Products for Playing and Learning. You may not know Brett, but you likely know his work—he’s an amazing illustrator of children’s books, best known for his work on the popular Lemony Snicket series. Deb and Brett shared some fantastic anecdotes and advice—from complementary perspectives—about designing and researching different age groups. (15 minute podcast)
These podcasts are very much experimental. For example, we know very little about editing (and it shows). I know very little about interviewing (and it shows). But practice makes, well, better. And, as Yoda would say, to get better at this we hope. Your feedback will help.
So thanks! And enjoy.
Here’s a cool idea: you’re just a phone call or two away from hosting a one-day UX mini-conference in your hometown.
It’s simple: find a local sponsor or two to cover the venue and the ticket for our next virtual event—UX Futures—and invite your local UX pals. Network, recruit, and learn—just like they’ve done in Detroit, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio. (Some simple instructions follow.)
If you bring UX Futures to your town, you’ll be rubbing virtual shoulders with an incredible lineup of UX stars: Steve Krug, Jesse James Garrett, Margot Bloomstein, Nathan Shedroff, Abby Covert, and Andy Polaine. This November 5, they’ll present six mind-expanding visions of the future of the field and the impact it will have on the world—and on us.
All you need to do is find the sponsors and get the word out to your community. Here’s how:
- Find sponsors to provide a venue good for 50-100 attendees, projection, snacks, and the price of a group ticket (US$479).
- Publicize to your network and charge (using Eventbrite or Meetup) a nominal fee (we suggest US$20 to cover snacks or maybe light meals) to attend.
Why do this?
It’s a fantastic way to bring people together for networking as well as learning in a way that goes beyond simple happy hours and other social activities. During breakfast, lunch, and the day’s breaks, your attendees will naturally meet and talk. And it’s also a great way to meet your next boss—or your next hire.
Aside from generating good will and aiding the local community, sponsors can invite staff and clients to participate and learn, and use the event as a recruiting opportunity. Given that sponsors often already have meeting space to provide—and you to help with getting the word out—it’s an inexpensive way to make a local impact.
Here’s how Rosenfeld Media will help
To make this even more attractive, we’d be glad to:
- Mention and link to your local group and your sponsors on the event web site
- Mention your group in our social media (with a combined reach of about 80,000)
- Provide a full set of Rosenfeld Media’s UX digital books (currently 21 titles) to raffle off to a lucky attendee
Interested? Please let us know—we’d love to do what we can to bring this great UX event to your community.
Our next one-day virtual conference—UX Futures (November 5)—is a bit of a departure for us. Unlike our past events, which have focused on the awesomely practical, we’ll be taking a deep look at the UX that will be—for us as designers and as human beings.
You and your team will be inspired by six keynotes from an impressive, impressively interdisciplinary crew: Steve Krug, Jesse James Garrett, Abby Covert, Nathan Shedroff, Margot Bloomstein, and Andy Polaine. If there’s time, you’ll get your questions answered and, as always, the session recordings are included as part of the deal.
We hope you’ll join us for UX Futures this November 5!
Today, Deb Gelman’s Design for Kids: Digital Products for Playing and Learning debuts. If you are in any way involved in researching and designing apps, sites, games or software for kids, Deb’s book belongs on your shelf.
But if you’re not, this book presents a golden opportunity to become a better designer or researcher by forcing you out of your comfort zone. Like such books as Luke Wroblewski‘s Mobile First and Sarah Horton and Whitney Quesenbery’s A Web for Everyone, Design for Kids will help you become a better designer by guiding you through a design context that may be quite foreign.
Deb’s book starts with just enough theory to serve as a strong foundation for seeing the differences and similarities between kids and other audiences. Then Deb serves up an array of practical techniques, principles, and patterns, and a framework that you’ll find useful when designing for any audience.
Check out the book’s table of contents, its FAQ, a lovely foreword by Brenda Laurel, testimonials, and an excerpt in today’s A List Apart. Then pick up a copy directly from Rosenfeld Media in paperback or four DRM-free ebook formats. (Of course, it’s also available from Amazon.)
The first part of the title seems to sound like what you’d expect from Rosenfeld Media. But “product development”? What about UX? Have we lost our way here at Rosenfeld Media world headquarters?
Well, things are getting interesting out there. Like you, we’re noting an interesting shift in the industry. Designers and researchers are finding themselves in closer quarters with product managers, startup founders, and business leaders. In fact, more and more they’re the same people.
Tomer’s book—but also Victor Lombardi’s Why We Fail and forthcoming titles like Indi Young’s Practical Empathy, Dave Gray’s Principles of Agility, and Lisa Welchman’s Managing Chaos—clearly and directly acknowledge this transformation.
As the UX industry changes all industry, we’ll be there with you. We’ll continue to publish short, practical books that help you with the nuts and bolts of UX practice. But we’ll also be there with you as you grind out your service’s P&L, build out your team, make your products come to life, and change how business is done globally. Yes, that sounds grandiose, but it’s already happening. We plan to help.
- UserTesting.com: They provide an incredible user testing service that generates user research—from real people—IN ONE HOUR. And analysis too. Even better—they’re providing a free test to first twenty people who register for our event.
- User Interface Engineering: UIE recently launched their All You Can Learn library , which features recorded virtual seminars from the industry’s best instructors. When you register for our event, you’ll get two months’ free access to 119 UIE virtual seminar recordings.
- O’Reilly: Our long-time partners and source of inspiration, O’Reilly is providing each registrant with a free e-book.
- MailChimp: UX in action: a fantastic newsletter management platform that provides an exemplary user experience, and backed by one of the best user experience teams in the biz. In fact, that team puts out its own newsletter, which is required reading for UXers.
- Balsamiq: There really is a better way to wireframe: Balsamiq Mockups. It reproduces the experience of sketching on a whiteboard, but using a computer.
Those are some great freebies to go along with the incredible value of our 32 Awesomely Practical UX Tips event with Brenda Laurel, Steve Portigal, Kim Goodwin, Leah Buley, Christina Wodtke, and Dave Gray. You can attend it live on April 24, then enjoy the recordings at your leisure. We hope you’ll join us!
Your friendly neighborhood UX Bookmobile is hitting the road, visiting Amsterdam for Interaction (February 5-8), and San Diego for the Information Architecture Summit (March ). Please stop by and say hello, thumb through our paperbacks, and buy them (ebooks as well) at a deep discount. (And no shipping to boot!)
By the way, the UX Bookmobile happens to be perhaps the world’s cheapest, hokiest, and all-time GREATEST USER RESEARCH PLATFORM. There, the secret is now officially out.
One way to get your arms around accessible design is to read a certain new book. Another is to work directly with the book’s authors. Thanks to Sarah Horton and Whitney Quesenbery’s help (and gentle pressure), we now offer all Rosenfeld Media books in DAISY format.
What’s DAISY? It’s the digital talking book standard. DAISY is a way of formatting books so they can be read and navigated more easily by people who are blind, have low vision, or have learning disabilities.
DAISY books work on standalone devices or with reading software such as Kurzweil. People can listen to the book, read the book with enlarged print, or convert the text to Braille. Some DAISY reading tools provide advanced options to navigate the book, as well as support additional tasks like inserting notes and looking up definitions.
650 million, or 10% of humanity. That’s the UN’s estimate about how many people have a disability of some kind. Yet many sites simply don’t work for these users.
That’s why we’ve just released A Web for Everyone: Designing Accessible User Experiences, by Sarah Horton and Whitney Quesenbery. It will help you get your arms around an issue that may already be nagging away in the back of your mind. And you may be pleasantly surprised to find that design and accessibility aren’t a zero sum game.
Dana Chisnell puts it best: she says that A Web for Everyone “changes the discussion from how to meet accessibility requirements to thinking of accessibility as a driver for innovation and exellent user experience design.”
Have a gander at the table of contents, its FAQ, an excerpt, Aaron Gustafson’s foreword, and testimonials from Steve Krug, Karen McGrane, and other smart people. Then please consider picking up a copy—from us (your purchase will include 4 DRM-free formats: ePUB, MOBI, PDF, and DAISY), or from Amazon.
We’re celebrating 2014 by releasing our 19th title: Aga Bojko’s Eye Tracking the User Experience: A Practical Guide to Research. And here’s the “d’uh” statement of the young year: eye tracking is controversial. Some swear by it. Others, well…
I confess that even I was a bit surprised at how strongly people feel about the topic. That’s why I’m so glad GfK’s Aga Bojko wrote this book. Hers is a pragmatist’s perspective: while eye tracking isn’t, as some might claim, the greatest thing since sliced bread, it does offer incredible value when used in right situations. You know, like any other tool.
And, like any other hi-tech tool, it’s getting dramatically less expensive. If you’ve not yet encountered eye tracking hardware, you will in the not-too-distant future.
Are you ready? If not, we’ve got the book for you—beautifully written and illustrated, and hot off the presses.