How did you get involved in user experience design?
I was working as a trainer / tech writer for an over-engineered (unnecessarily so) application. The team brought in a Usability expert who not only suggested a larger study, but also suggested our team learn about Usability. I became one of the first members of our team to start using the techniques (with the guidance of a great mentor, and the fact that I had spent many years evaluating software for schools.)
What's your speciality and is that your favorite part of user experience design?
My specialty is research and analysis. However, I like doing many aspects of the job, including some design. My favorite part is the users expressing their appreciation of being asked for input. It makes the job seem worthwhile.
What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced as a user experience designer?
As I am sure all in the field have - balancing user needs against business needs.
What is one product that has been your crowning achievement and why?
Can't say. It's top secret and I'd have to eliminate you if I told. :-)
What's one of your favorite designs (of any kind)? One of your least favorite?
Knitting needles - how simple can it get. (see below). Least favorite - wow that could be a long list - I especially hate doors that have lack of affordance so I look like a dork trying to push a door that should be pulled.
What do you do when you're not dreaming about how to improve all of the world's broken products?
Knitting - lots and lots of knitting, and I read voraciously.