communication archives
“For practicing User Experience Designers, one of the most important laws isn’t Fitts’s Law, which helps us understand how to design interactive elements. Nor is it Hick’s Law, which describes how long people take to make decisions.

It’s Sturgeon’s Law, which tells us that 99% of everything is crap.”
The pull-no-punches opening to Jared Spool’s article today on
5 indispensible skills for UX mastery, which he lists as:
Sketching, Storytelling, Critiquing, Presenting, and Facilitating.
I like that list.

posted by ted 14 hours ago · 0 comments

case study

Speaking Up Effectively

In a recent team meeting, we talked about how our circle of influence is different—wider—than our circle of responsibility. This reminded me of something I posted three years ago almost to the day, so I decided to re-post it here, to remind myself to “speak up” outside my role—but to do so appropriately.

posted by ted on Thursday, Sep 17, 2009 · 2 comments

“Tweet happens.”
Overheard in scrum this morning, in discussing whether Twitter would be a good way to keep an extended team in the loop.

posted by ted on Wednesday, Jul 22, 2009 · 0 comments

Terry Coatta makes a good case for why self-documenting code is often insufficient to a complete understanding of the code.

posted by ted on Monday, Dec 10, 2007

“You’ve got to nail the human-to-human interaction before you even think about human-computer interaction.”
Jason Lynes discussing the importance of communication with our new intern (and we’re still hiring, by the way)

posted by ted on Wednesday, May 16, 2007

And as an alumnus, I’d highly recommend the University of Washington’s Technical Communication program as a great way to transition from “pure” TC into usability or design.

posted by ted on Wednesday, Apr 11, 2007

As a designer who started out as a technical writer, I enjoyed reading Theresa Putkey’s article on Using Technical Communication Skills in User Experience . Whenever people ask me how or why I got into design with an English degree, now I can point them here instead of re-tracing my own circuitous route to design nirvana. (My own career history also included a very satisfying 5 year stint as a usability engineer, but the general career path and motivations are the same as outlined here by Theresa.) A good read for anybody whose job is essentially “explaining why it doesn’t work right”—and is tired of it.

posted by ted on Wednesday, Apr 11, 2007

Good designers decorate.
Great designers communicate.”
Cameron Moll, 9 Skills presentation

posted by ted on Tuesday, Oct 03, 2006

“Speaking Up” in the context of my role and how much I know

posted by ted on Monday, Sep 18, 2006