Blog

  • 16 Jan 2007 5:00 PM | Anonymous
    What: Talk by Dr. Henry PetroskiWhen: Monday, 2/5/2007, 5:30 - 6:30 pmWhere: NCSU Centennial Campus, Engineering Building II, Room 1025 (EB2 1025)Speaker Bio:Henry Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesi Professor of Civil Engineering and a professor of history at Duke University. He has written broadly on the topics of design, success and failure, and the history of engineering and technology. His dozen or so books on these subjects include To Engineer Is Human, Design Paradigms, and Engineers of Dreams, all of which deal with large structures like bridges. He has also written about small, common things in his books, The Pencil, The Evolution of Useful Things, The Book on the Bookshelf, and Small Things Considered. His next book will be a technical and cultural history of the toothpick. A memoir about delivering newspapers in the 1950s and about what predisposed him to become an engineer is entitled Paperboy. His most recent book is Success through Failure: The Paradox of Design.More information: NCSU HFES chapter events
  • 05 Jan 2007 5:00 PM | Anonymous
    A new year ushers in a new crop of TriUPA officers:• Abe Crystal, SILS, President • Jackson Fox, Lulu, VP of Programs • Peter Warren, Insight PD, VP of Membership • Mir Haynes, Anabo Studios, VP of Communications • Noel Fiser, Motricity, Secretary/Treasurer We're eager to hear your ideas for improving TriUPA. Do you have thoughts on events we should be offering, what we should be doing online, or how we can better serve our members generally? Please comment on this post or get in touch with one of the officers.
  • 08 Dec 2006 5:00 PM | Anonymous

    It's December and the first official year of TriUPA is coming to a close, which means it's election time!

    Come on out to Motricity's new office on Thursday 12/14 @ 6:30 PM to review the end of the year report from our current president (yes, that's me) and to vote on new officers.

    Executive Council candidates for 2007 include:

    • Abe Crystal, President
    • Jackson Fox, VP of Programs
    • Peter Warren, VP of Membership
    • TBD, VP of Communications
    • TBD, Secretary/Treasurer

    As you can see we still have two vacancies. If you're interested in being a leader in the local community, making a lot of friends, and having a great time in the process, contact me and I can provide more information about the roles and responsibilities. '07 promises to be our greatest year yet. We raised more than $5K in sponsorship funds and are looking forward to putting it to great use in service to the local community. So, sign up for one of the open officer positionsexpand your network, grow your leadership skills.

    Note that you must be a TriUPA member to vote, but that's quite easy (and cheap--$15 a year). Sign up today!

    (Heck, show your support by joining even if you don't intend to vote!)

    Hope to see you there!

    -Rick

  • 06 Dec 2006 5:00 PM | Anonymous
    Good Experience Live (Gel) Gel ("Good Experience Live") is a conference and community exploring good experience in all its forms -- in business, art, society, technology, and life.Gel 2007 will be held: Thursday-Friday, April 19-20, 2007 The Equitable Theater (7th at 51st/52nd) New York City Register by December 12th for the best price.
  • 05 Dec 2006 5:00 PM | Anonymous
    GSKThe GlaxoSmithKline team exhibited enthusiasm and great team spirit on their “home court.” After hearing the problem description, the team divided into user researchers and designers, with two members interviewing members of the audience while two began design. GSK was also the only team to bring an audience member into the end of the process for evaluation. Their final design was focused on simplicity and addressing the problem of motivationundefinedhow to get children to pick up after themselves. The proposed storage was designed to be child-friendly, and to make a fun sound when an item was dropped into it. The limitation of this design was that it didn’t solve the entire problemundefinedin particular, it didn’t address the organization and retrieval needs of parents, or the specific characteristics of computer games and books. IBMThe IBM team was well-organized and communicated effectively, with dry humor and good use of the whiteboard. They took a “blue sky” approach to the design brief, arguing that all content will soon be available digitally. Based on this assumption, they designed a set-top device that could provide unified access to this digital living room. The drawback of this approach is that it might be very difficult to create an interface for 3 – 5 year-old children. N.C. StateThe N. C. State team came out strong with good teamwork, and managed their time effectively. The team solicited design ideas from parents in the audience, and focused on organization of physical materials. They developed a combination of color-coded shelves and wheeled organizing bin. This design was both practical and realistic. Its major limitation is that it does not address the need to organize and retrieve materials based on specific characteristics, such as title or author. UNCThe UNC team also came out with a strong focus on teamwork and audience interaction, with two team members interviewing audience members while two others clarified assumptions. Similar to IBM, the UNC team pushed the limits of living-room technology. Their design integrated a personal library kiosk (with a touch-screen interface) into shelving. The shelves supported both adults (high height, lockable cabinets) and children (low height, open shelves and bins). The limitations of this approach included cost and implementation, and the usability of the kiosk for children. The audience speaks...Here are the results of the audience voting: 1st 2nd 3rd 4th GSK 48% 16% 16% 20% IBM 0% 32% 20% 48% UNC 20% 16% 44% 20% NC State 32% 36% 16% 16%
  • 13 Nov 2006 5:00 PM | Anonymous

    Nicole S. Robbins is a User Experience Designer for IBM WebSphere. "I'm currently working on IBM WebSphere Portlet Factory. With all projects, I strive to simplify the user experience and consider the user, then the technology. I joined team IBM to rally around our common initiative and meet more designers in the field."

    David Kovach is a Senior User Experience Designer at IBM. "I am a user experience multidisciplinarian currently working in the IBM developerWorks organization. My background is in the enterprise software arena having been raised in the wonderful world of SAP. Much of my formal experience was in Silicon Valley - a hotbed for UE, UCD, UI, HF, Ux, HCI, and home to the 13 acronyms that were created in the last 2 minutes. I work hard to shed personal views, challenge executive beliefs and take a strong stand everyday for what users want and need. Currently, I am working on a 14 part mini-series called, "UE Blog", which will hit www.ibm.com/developerworks in the coming weeks."

    Lisa M. Salcedo Eichorn works in the IBM Software Group, WPLC for the Lotus Product Design. "Working with a multidisciplinary team, I strive to create software products and information deliverables that are simple, useful and effective. Prior to joining the Lotus team, I designed IBM products for the Networking, Retail Store Solutions and Pervasive Computing divisions."

    Ryan L. Urquhart is part of the IBM Software Group, Tivoli and is a Tivoli User Experience Engineer. "I am a User Xperience Engineer working with the ITCAM portfolio of products. I have a background in Industrial & Systems Engineering, with a concentration in Human Factors Engineering. In my current position, I use Copper's Outside-In-Design methodology to make the product more consumable for our customers. Additionally, I assist with mentoring other product families inside Tivoli. I decided to join this team of professionals to learn what others are doing to incorporate usability into their process, meet new people with similar backgrounds, and bring home the GOLD for IBM :-)."

  • 13 Nov 2006 5:00 PM | Anonymous

    How did you get involved in user experience design?
    I went to college for Industrial Design and Graphic design. In the curriculum at NC State University's College of Design, I gained a lot of exposure to Human Factors. Designing with specific people and needs in mind really interested me and I chose to explore this further when choosing my career after college.

    What's your speciality and is that your favorite part of user experience design?
    I am an interaction designer - the problem solving inherent in this role is definitely my favorite part of user experience design. I would say that I am most happy when there is also a graphical element involved.

    What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced as a user experience designer?
    Being a User Experience Designer is a challenge in itself - you see allllllll the things around you that could be better and deliberate on how you could fix them, given the opportunity.

    What is one product that has been your crowning achievement and why?
    Palscommunity.com was a really rewarding project. I liked that it had a philanthropic goal - empowering patient advocates. Additionally, it was a "from scratch" website and was rewarding to see the process work from start to finish.

    What's one of your favorite designs (of any kind)?
    I love gmail!

    What do you do when you're not dreaming about how to improve all of the world's broken products?
    I have an amazing dog named Able who runs the remainder of my life. I am an avid painter, enjoy travelling, and have recently taken up cycling.

  • 13 Nov 2006 5:00 PM | Anonymous

    How did you get involved in user experience design?
    Working collaboratively with our multifunctional UCD team members here at GSK

    What's your speciality and is that your favorite part of user experience design?
    Specialties and favorite parts - Contextual Inquiry, Usability Testing, Personas and Scenarios, High-level Navigation Design

    What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced as a user experience designer?
    Managing shortened timelines and shifting goals / strategies by clients.

    What is one product that has been your crowning achievement and why?
    Current project - high interest with so many different services - redesigning Brand site through interviews, cardsorts, usability testing, IA design and iterative design services.

    What's one of your favorite designs (of any kind)? One of your least favorite?
    Favorite? In terms of functional design that's usable - Southwest.com (sooo easy to book a flight) Least Favorite? Automated check-out kiosks at grocery stores - argghh - still a bit of user research left to do on those.

    What do you do when you're not dreaming about how to improve all of the world's broken products? Spending time w/ family & friends, traveling, swimming in the ocean, dancing, cooking, yoga, walking, reading

  • 13 Nov 2006 5:00 PM | Anonymous

    How did you get involved in user experience design?
    Mainly through my internship here at GSK.

    What's your speciality and is that your favorite part of user experience design?
    I'm still learning but currently, my specialty is creating the visual design for web pages and applications.

    What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced as a user experience designer?
    Finding the best compromise between the client's goals, ease of use, and what looks good.

    What is one product that has been your crowning achievement and why?
    The project I'm most proud of so far is a computer mouse design that adjusts to accommodate a range of hand sizes. It also encourages the user's wrist and forearm to be in a neutral posture.

    What's one of your favorite designs (of any kind)? One of your least favorite?
    favorite design: the OXO Good Grips kitchen tools line.
    least favorite: Hummers - They may be well designed, but they're not meant for the road. They're overkill.

    What do you do when you're not dreaming about how to improve all of the world's broken products?
    When I'm not at school or work, I'm painting, playing guitar, spending time with friends, or reading.

  • 13 Nov 2006 5:00 PM | Anonymous

    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.

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