First, a giant thank you to all the kids I’ve worked with over the years. Some of you are practically adults now, and will probably never know how much you’ve taught me. Extra special thanks go out to the kids who agreed to be interviewed for this book: Noah, Samantha, Andy, Iris, and Alexa.
To my parents, Barbara and Stephen Levin, and my-brother-doctor, Michael Levin, thanks for the unconditional love, support, laughter, and zany adventures. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for you. All my love, always.
Much appreciation and love to my amazing extended family: Stephanie, Andy, Noah, Aunt Arlene, Uncle Barry, Aunt Lucille, Uncle Ed, Irene, Artie, Eric, Robin, Jill, Max, Ryan, Molly, Kami, Josh, Scott, Sherri.
Nicole Rittenhouse, your constant encouragement, faith, and check-ins helped keep me going and got me unstuck many times. Thanks for being there. To my gal pals who are like sisters: Benna Millrood, Melissa Rosenstrach Zimmerman, Jill Cohen Shaw, Lisa Kagel, Jennifer Blauvelt—I so appreciate your friendship and love.
A big thank you to the wonderful UX community, both local and global, for inspiring me, challenging me, and showing me new ways to look at the world. Special shout-outs to Michael Carvin, Kel Smith, Bryce Glass, Jeff Parks, Kevin Hoffman, John Ferrara, David Cooksey, Jeff Gothelf, Steve Portigal, Rachel Hinman, Indi Young, Lynne Polischiuk, Angela Colter, Livia Labate, Andrea Resmini, Adam Connor, Becca Deery, David Farkas, Russ Unger, Yoni Knoll, Will Sansbury, Boon Sheridan, John Yuda, Eduardo Ortiz, Chris Avore, Brad Nunnally, Aaron Irizarry, Marty Focazio, Wendy Green Stengel, Lori Cavallucci, Cennydd Bowles, Andrew Hinton, Chris Risdon, and Erin Cummings for the extra support and encouragement.
To my Refinery-Empathy Lab-Comcast-EPAM pals: Jon Ashley, Andrea Boff-Sutton, Kristin Dudley, Andrew Fegley, David Fiorito, Crystal Kubitsky, Kevin Labick, Ron Lankin, Tom Loder, Jonathan Lupo, Casey Malcolm, Bruce McMahon, Rob Philibert—thanks for 10+ years of love and laughter.
To all of you who helped make this book come alive: Emil Ovemar, Linnette Attai, Sabina Idler, and Catalina Naranjo-Bock for being great interviewees, reviewers, and consultants; Jason CranfordTeague, Stephen Anderson, and Allison Druin for the kind testimonials; and Brenda Laurel for the amazing foreword—my heartfelt thanks and appreciation.
Enormous gratitude to my editor, Marta Justak, for putting up with my liberal interpretation of deadlines and teaching me that writing is messy, imperfect, and non-linear.
Lou Rosenfeld, you’re the reason this book came to fruition. Thanks for taking a chance on me. You’re a leader and an inspiration.
Finally, Josh and Samantha, thanks for this crazy, wonderful, amazing life. I wouldn’t have had the courage to go down this path if it weren’t for you.