In design circles, it’s becoming as common to discuss organizational behavior as it is responsive design. This isn’t surprising; designers find their efforts continually crashing into walls of misaligned goals and, at times, vicious politics. And decision-makers are suffering too; if they can’t get their people and resources pointed in the same direction, their organizations can be damaged beyond repair.
So we’re glad to present our 23rd title, Managing Chaos: Digital Governance by Design. It’s the “not a UX book” that UX people should read—as should their bosses. Because, as Peter Morville says, “You can’t get user experience right if your governance model is wrong.”
We’re also thrilled that were finally able to convince Lisa Welchman to write about her work. She’s been tackling governance issues for her entire career, and now is the perfect time for her book to debut, as designers care more about governance and decision-makers are grasping for ways to get better returns on their design investments.
Struggling with digital governance? Then we’ve got some great news for you: we just sent Lisa Welchman’s Managing Chaos: Digital Governance by Design to the printer. That means you can pre-order it until its “official” launch date (roughly February 19) for 30% off.
So buy early, and buy often!
Given that Indi Young and I first began discussing her new book idea many, many years ago, Practical Empathy: For Collaboration and Creativity in Your Work was a marathon in the making. Even the last mile proved to be full of unexpected (and unpleasant) challenges.
So I’m thrilled (and relieved) that, as of today, Practical Empathy is finally available! And not just in paperback; like all of our books, it’s also available in DRM-free PDF, MOBI, and ePUB formats. Learn more at the book’s site, where you can sample the table of contents, illustrations, FAQ, and read testimonials like this one from Karen McGrane:
Your product design should be informed by a deep understanding of user goals. In Practical Empathy, Indi outlines a way of working that goes beyond data-driven research methods to deliver genuine empathy for the people who use the things we make.
By the way, I know what you’re thinking: everyone’s talking about “empathy” lately. Are we at the point of having reached peak empathy? The answer really depends on what we mean by the word.
And Indi’s take on empathy is quite different than what you might assume:
This book is not about the kind of empathy where you feel the same emotions as another person. It’s about understanding how another person thinks—what’s going on inside her head and heart. And most importantly, it’s about acknowledging her reasoning and emotions as valid, even if they differ from your own understanding. This acknowledgment has all sorts of practical applications, especially in your work. This book explores using empathy in your work, both in the way you make things and the way you interact with people.
Yes, we all could stand to be more empathetic in the ways we feel about others. But Indi’s book focuses on cognitive empathy, which offers a huge and hugely practical payoff to anyone involved in just about any aspect of design. We hope you’ll enjoy the payoff from reading from Practical Empathy.There’s a lot of excitement about Indi Young’s new book, Practical Empathy. In fact, hundreds of you pre-ordered it, and were looking forward to having their paperback ship today.
I got my copy last night, just ahead of you. I opened the package. Looked great—and I love that cover!
Thumbed through it. First chapter: cool, there’s one of Brad Colbow’s wonderful illustrations!
On to Chapter Two…
Uh oh. Four does not equal Two. What happened to Chapters Two and Three?
And look, another Chapter Four. I mean, it’s a great chapter, but come on…Argh. You can judge a book by its cover, but it’s what’s inside that counts.
So here’s the situation: it looks like our normally reliable printer missed something. And, sadly, thousands of unsellable copies are now sitting in four warehouses in three countries on two continents. It will likely take some weeks to reprint the book, restock them, and ship paperback versions of Practical Empathy to you.
If you already pre-ordered the book, I’m very, very sorry for this situation. Here’s what we’ll do:
If you haven’t ordered the book yet, but want to, we have some good news: We’ll keep Practical Empathy available for pre-order until we can actually ship paperbacks. That means the 30% discount will continue for now.
- We’ll make the ebook versions (PDF, ePub, and MOBI formats) downloadable from your account today. Unfortunately, this is a manual process, but your copy will be downloadable before the day is out.
- We’ll also email you a code to download another of our titles for free. It’s the least we can do.
- And we’ll let you know when we have an ETA for sending you the paperback.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us. We feel terrible about this situation, and are trying our best to fix it.
In the meantime, I’m looking to move to Australia.
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!