Infographic from Rasmussen College
Infographic from Rasmussen College
I don’t talk about my previous work experience here, focusing mostly on User Experience. But on this election night, I want to remind everyone how important it is to interpret tonight, because they are not doing so fairly on the major media outlets.
I’ll do so by telling my own story.
In 1992, I was editor of a community newspaper in Orange County, California called the Garden Grove Journal. We were one of the legal newspapers you see in any town in America — DBA’s in the back paid the bills, and the owner’s wife of a local market wrote a column with her favorite recipes. Mary Hunt, a best selling author, was one of our first columnists.
The newspaper was involved in politics a bit because one of the publishers likened himself to a king maker. We were probably responsible for helping get one city council member elected. It was still fun, because it was Garden Grove, and I was young and naive of our importance in the world.
Covering the 1992 Election, we wrote several articles talking about the landslide election of President Bill Clinton, how it was change for America. The coverage leaned to left, which comes off as very obvious in Orange County. This is a county that has a libertarian leaning newspaper, the Orange County Register.
About a week later, we were invited to lunch by the chair of the Orange County Republican Party, the late Tom Fuentes. Fuentes and Curt Pringle, a newly elected California Assemblyman, gave us their viewpoint of our coverage that was pointed but fair.
We received a not so subtle reminder of how the results were not a mandate, because that what the facts said: Bill Clinton won with only 43 percent of vote nationwide, and didn’t even receive 40 percent of the vote in Orange County. They also pointed out how important it was to treat both parties fairly, even if you didn’t agree with the political ideology, because there are never any true mandates in political races unless someone receives over 70 percent of the vote.
I was reminded to respect the political beliefs of people even if I didn’t agree with them because change can come from any side of the aisle.
Great leaders in positions large and small can do great things: Clinton went on to be one of our most popular presidents, and Pringle, who was there for that lunch, went on to do great things for California as an Assembly Leader and as a Mayor of Anaheim.
All leaders deserve great respect, regardless of party affiliation, race, gender or sexual orientation.
This election was not a mandate: the margin of victory will probably be only around 300,000 votes, and no amount of Facebook likes to comments will replace that. That means that 49 percent of the country didn’t vote for him.
We are still very divided on how to move America and it shows in the popular vote. This was a lesson in electoral math, which is very much different than popular math (something to ask Al Gore about). We are destroying ourselves with our Red State, Blue State mentality.
We need leaders, not partisan politics, to move America forward. Please remember that.
Users don’t distinguish between hardware and software. They just want devices that work:
Jony Ive–the man behind the iMac, the iPhone, and the iPad hardware–will be taking a brand new role as head of human interface design alongside his existing role as leader of industrial design. He will run hardware and software. Apparently, after hinting to The Telegraph earlier this year that he was upset with the skeuomorphic designs of Apple’s software, Ive made a powerplay within the company.
It’s particularly relevant for Apple when you consider what looks to be a pretty inevitable future, a world where desktop software and mobile software seamlessly complement each other. The style is minimal. Buttons may not even exist. Control by touch, mouse, voice, gesture–it makes no matter. All that’s important is the information you wield as naturally as possible wherever you want to see it.
You can’t make this stuff up. This is awesome. From Google’s website:
This position is based in Mountain View, CA.
One of the many reasons Google consistently brings innovative, world-changing products to market is because of the collaborative work we do in Product Management. With eyes focused squarely on the future, our team works closely with creative and prolific engineers to help design and develop technologies that improve access to the world’s information. We’re responsible for guiding products throughout the execution cycle, focusing specifically on analyzing, positioning, packaging, promoting and tailoring our solutions to all the markets where Google does business.
As a Doodler, you will join the small creative team responsible for the Google homepage logos (google.com/doodles) that surprise and delight hundreds of millions of users worldwide. You will work at the intersection of art and technology individually and collaboratively with artists, engineers, and other Googlers to lead the creative vision for high impact illustrations, animations, games, and more.
Social media shouldn’t be a substitute for interaction with, you know, real people around you. One of the good things about social media is you can keep tabs on friends around the world (one of the groups I’m a part of has a 24 hour interaction cycle), but we forget how it’s important to shop local, meet local and have physical interaction.
I’m guilty of it, outside of being in a walkable neighborhood. But I make it a point to have drinks, brunch and other interactions with friends that are local, and explore where I live.
I believe we have a problem. A lot of the people I know or meet have substituted online community for neighborhood community.
- We chat to our ‘friends’ on Facebook but we don’t know the people next door.
- We read Tweets from someone we’ve never met, but can’t remember the last time we chatted to the family across the street.
- We frantically clear our inbox but fail to sit on our porch so we have can have serendipitous chats with people walking by
Knowing and relying on your physical neighbors is essential to a healthy and happy life.
We’ve all got to choose our local communities and invest in building them. When we die, we won’t wish we had a few more friends on Facebook, but we all will wish we shared a few more laughs with our neighbors over a beer or coffee.
Get out from behind Twitter and Facebook and meet your neighbors, yo.
Don’t necessarily agree with all of this, but it is food for thought.
Jason runs a blog that (I kid you not) is called The Art of Ass-Kicking. Great blog.
He is one of the founders of Ridejoy, a ride-sharing site. Great idea. This article is a full case-study on how they designed their mobile application, soup to nuts.
Every UX Designer should read it. The list below are the lessons learned.
I’ll end with some lessons I’ve learned from designing this app:
- Prototype. Test. Prototype. Test. Our team spent hours debating user needs and hypothetical solutions. Testing a quick prototype, whether it is click-through wireframes or a quick build, with real users (who are not part of the team) helped us make decisions faster.
- Play out the interaction models. We tried out a few navigation models. Tabs? Side-bar? Dashboard? We sketched out each model, pinned them up, and discussed which one was the best for the Ridejoy experience. We had to play out the scenarios fully to truly understand how they would work.
- You just gotta ship. As a designer who wants to perfect the details, I had a hard time with this. I don’t know if people are going to understand how to autopilot their offers. I think we can improve our “no upcoming rides” screen. The feeling of wanting to fix “one more thing” will always be there so recognizing that and shipping anyway is an important thing to do.