In 2018 I collaborated with Verne Lindner on a workshop that used design thinking and universal design concepts to build empathy:
Empathy, the ability to understand the feelings of another, is an indispensable tool for user experience designers. We design better solutions when we understand the human environment of the user while they are using our product: are they relaxed, under stress, working with physical or cognitive impairments?
I’m a user experience designer, and I love it. I get to listen to people’s stories, then develop solutions that meet their goals. But my path could have been smoother — UX is a broad topic, and even though I was very excited about it, it was hard to know which aspect to focus on in the beginning. None of the books or articles I read was more helpful to my education than getting engaged with Portland’s design community. Going to meetups, asking for informational interviews, and spending time with peers and mentors in the industry helped me learn why user experience design was important to me, and how I should shape my future career.
I recap an event from AIGA’s Career Tools series where Duane King talked about transforming work he created during a sabbatical into a profitable venture. Here’s an excerpt:
Duane King is a Portland-based consultant and creative director with a broad and varied career. He launched Herman Miller’s first websites, created packaging for Neiman Marcus and id Software, and designed innovative interactive websites at Nike. In 2011, Fast Company selected him as one of the 50 most influential designers in America (in collaboration with Ian Coyle) in part for his work on the Nike Better World campaign. This September, Duane spoke at AIGA’s Career Tools about how design helped him become a better entrepreneur, and how embarking on a personal project opened up new career opportunities.
Pamela Pavliscak of Change Sciences spoke at CHIFOO in 2016. Here’s an excerpt from my recap of her talk:
While it’s never easy to spend a summer evening in a windowless, air-conditioned room, the lecture series that the Computer Human Interaction Forum of Oregon (CHIFOO) organizes is well worth it. One recent speaker was Pamela Pavliscak, researcher and founder of Change Sciences. Pavliscak is developing a process for understanding what makes users of technology happy.