Twitter is a great resource for User Experience information and engagement with professionals in our field. I also think it’s invaluable as a professional branding tool. One of the groups that has embraced this most are user experience professionals.
I have a list of people that I respect and follow to retweet their content. The list I have is literally called Stuff I Follow. It’s not all UX types — some of them are personal friends — but it helps me keep up to date on what’s going on.
Yes, I play favorites. Yes, this may promote people I like. But it’s my list.
Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order:
- Ha Phan (770 followers) – Designer extraordinare out of San Diego working at a cool startup called Porch, Ha’s commentary on user experience and engineering has a sharp and pointed wit few can match.
- Jon Fox (840 followers) – Jon’s the Director of User Experience at a new startup down in Los Angeles and has a lot of great thoughts on startup UX. We’ve traded a lot of ideas on dealing with product management. We’ve also traded war stories, and is a curator of The Big Idea List.
- Coburn Hawk (430 followers) – He’s the Director of User Experience at Magento, and another curator of The Big Idea List. We’ve drank, talked, traded war stories also. His passion project, The Middle Man.
- Winnie Lim (9,300 followers) – Winnie is the amazing designer behind Simple Honey, a travel personalization website. She’s the best example of introverted designer that uses social media to communicate. She also has some amazing stories with meeting founder types in San Francisco two weeks after touching down. The best days of her work are really ahead of her.
- Jake Hercules (150 followers) — Sometimes we have to see the field through the eyes who’s new and excited by it, and Jake’s that person for me. An Usability Researcher at Citrix, super sharp and does a great job merging theory with real world challenges.
- Lynn Teo (1,350 followers) – Lynn’s the CXO over at McCann Erickson, and one of the best public speakers on UX I have ever seen. An Carnegie Mellon alum, every single one of her comments about Experience Design is insightful and informed. She also sees Twitter is a great engagement channel and a way to create tangible relationships.
- Timothy Whalin (15,200 followers) – Timothy is a great guy out of Denver that retweets a lot of awesome information about user experience and visual design (some of which I retweet). He also engages with users, which is a sign of a true Twitter enthusiast.
- Leah Reich (3,700 followers) – Leah’s is an ethnographer, and it shows with her live tweet observations of fellow commuters on BART — one of the best uses I’ve seen of Twitter. Her engagement on Twitter is solid.
- Kristen Johansen (1,000 followers) – She’s the Director of Product over at the gold standard for online training, lynda.com. Very straightforward, insightful commentary on the art of design.
- Paul Sherman (1,200 followers) – Paul’s the former leader of the Usability Professionals Association and a consultant out of one of the flyover states. Smart guy. Great at super technical solutions.
- Jonathan Lupo (2,850 followers) — Very smart, and he’s done something with his agency Empathy Lab few have done: sold it to a much larger company. Really worth following his feed.
- Ian Fenn (4,670 followers) – He’s a really, really sharp guy, and is really opinionated. I also like Ian because he engages instead of just broadcasts, a true example of someone who understands how Twitter should be used.
- Ian Smile (1,000 followers) – A great curator and editorializer of UX content, Ian brings a sharp wit and a keen eye for what’s good in the field. His tweet, “Why has “no portfolio” become a bragging right in UX? I hear it too often to not ask” was classic.
- Jared Spool (33,000 followers) – Whenever I want to know how bad flight delays are on United, I read his tweets. Really informative stuff about user research, and we’ve had some great conversations about organizational theory. Really funny avatar.
- Jonathan Korman (935 followers) -- Never mind his hair (I think he has the longest hair in UX), or his vocabulary, he has one of the smartest and most eclectic feeds in UX.
- Startup L. Jackson (8,300 followers) — He’s not really a person, but an impersonation that relates it’s stories to the startup world. Always wise, seldom boring, and always worth following.
- Laura Klein (3,500 followers) — Sharp wit, very knowledgeable, uses profanity when appropriate, and currently reading her Lean UX book. Worth following both her feed and her blog, Users Know.
- Dorian Taylor (2,050 followers) and Lynn Polischuik (2,800 followers) — I listed them together because they are usually engaging with each other, and both of them reside in Vancouver, so it’s useful to keep track of the scene up there. Very smart conversations, plus a lot of Lynne’s dog pictures.
- Jason Shen (3,100 followers) — He’s a San Francisco startup guy, and writes a kick ass blog about kicking ass. All an absolute must read, truly motivational.
- Dustin Curtis (43,000 followers) — A mostly personal feed with the occasional interesting quote (CNN is the TMZ of news) makes it a worthwhile read.