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Tag: interaction design

Half the Blank Page

In September 2014, I left Microsoft to join a new product team at Amazon. The project itself is still classified, but it’s a v1 technology product, which means we’re starting from scratch. An exciting opportunity, but it changes the way one has to approach the role of user experience. Instead of researching existing products and wireframing, the conversations really need to focus on context of use, user habits, and information architecture. Early on, it became clear that I’d be spending a lot of time sketching – too early for digital work, especially since digital work ends up being critiqued for…

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My Africa Diaries: Prologue

Back in December, I was browsing the internal Microsoft forums (Yammer) and stumbled across an announcement for a new volunteer outreach program – MySkills4Afrika, part of the larger Microsoft for Afrika program. They were accepting applications from full-time employees to share their skills and expertise to energize the tech industry and entrepreneurship in Africa. Instantly, the posting spoke to me in that way you can’t quite ignore, even though travel or outreach to Africa never seemed like a realistic possibility for me up until that moment. Out of curiosity, I searched the available opportunities and discovered there were in fact…

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Fastpass is Dead, Long Live Fastpass+

In the past 6 months I’ve had the opportunity to use the new Disney World MyMagic+ system as a guest at Animal Kingdom Lodge on two separate trips – my honeymoon in October and a trip at the end of January. In October, we got to test the Fastpass+ system – which allows you to schedule rides before you arrive at the park – while still enjoying the old system. A shining moment of efficiency where we rode Big Thunder five times and Space/Splash Mountain twice each. Alas, that loophole is now closed – as of January, the old-fashioned Fastpass…

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Design for DigiGirlz

On Wednesday, I had the unique experience of teaching 110 high school girls an intro to interaction design workshop. Officially entitled “Making the World Easier With Interaction Design”, this was a course I built from scratch after offering to teach the subject at Microsoft’s annual Digigirlz Tech Camp. It’s a free weeklong program open to high school girls. They spend the week at Microsoft, hearing speakers, seeing demos, taking tours, and doing hands-on workshops like mine. Back when I debuted my Computer Engineer Barbie talk at Interaction ’11, I mentioned that my eventual goal was to craft a curriculum for…

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First Look: I Touch My Kindle

Intro By popular demand: my first thoughts on my Kindle Touch 3G (no ads), which arrived just hours ago at my front door. First of all, I bought this device entirely out of curiosity and love for Kindles – my second generation Kindle is now 2 years old, still fully functioning, and a hardworking companion. I almost feel like I’m cheating on the poor thing. I’ll probably still keep it for reading around the house. We’ve bonded, the little Kindle and I. But I’ve skipped one generation of Kindles and was filled with curiosity about the new experience. I adore…

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