I’ve been pretty quiet around these parts. Busy – REALLY busy. As in, last night I thought that going to bed somewhere just before 11 so that I can wake up and be AT THE OFFICE by 5am to be a pretty good night’s sleep compared to other nights. THAT busy. What the heck have I been doing? Well – it seems that there are a lot of complex business problems which need to be solved, and a lot of it centers around figuring out how to connect with a company’s users on their level. Now, these places have a great number of users, but as many things go, over time, the way stuff has been done isn’t really working out in the long term. A lot of it comes down to business and customer growth. Just to note, business and customer growth is GREAT! But these things also introduce new challenges both internally as well as externally. From personal experience, when I am so very deep in knowledge, it can be tough to see clearly about how to solve some of these seriously intricate problems, and I’ll end up having to pull in someone who isn’t “infected” with the in-depth knowledge to keep the high level view in frame of mind. I can only imagine how this could be even more so for individuals working inside of a company facing these challenges.
That last paragraph says a whole lot and not much at all as to what I’ve been doing. Essentially, I’ve been creating a whole lot of wireframes which are focused on creating… stuff… with the assumption that humans(i.e. real people) will be using that stuff – so these are being built to make this “stuff” easy for these… humans. Intuitive even. I’m serious! These things exist!
I see that this demand is increasing exponentially and that theoretical fact (oooh! I used an oxymoron!) is fantastic as far as I am concerned. Not only is it incredible for anyone who is using these companies’ – stuff – as a resource, but it’s also personally fantastic, giving me new puzzles to solve every few weeks. Just so you know – I love puzzles. I ALSO like to expand people’s minds to new possibilities while also making them excited. In summary: I like what I do for a living.
A challenge on the side is – how the heck does one explain it? Though the words are easy to say, it’s more difficult to allow others to comprehend well enough without seeing it first hand. One could look online, but there are SO MANY resources out there and most get granular to the point of talking about mobile fragmentation or too specific, discussing mega menus and their value to a website, in proper context, of course. To the typical person, what I just wrote hardly makes any sense at all.
I’ve also been asked how one gets into the field. Everyone I have met who does what I do seems to have a different background, with a great number of them not studying this in an official university or college setting. I’ve met people who started out as software programmers, others who are designers, and some who came about it through content strategy, and others who studied in college after being driven personally to try to find solutions to their personal frustrations while using applications of all kinds.
What is the darned purpose of writing this blog? There are quite a number of reasons, but I’ll cut straight to sharing a slideshare that I found which at least helps clarify some things. I’m running out of “free time”, but I really wanted to share this before that time is up.
In an attempt to demystify, I’m going to scratch the surface of ux and share a really nicely done slideshare that was put together by Sara Summers back in 2010.