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twenty-sided woman Posts

Seattle IxDA – Women in Design event

I’m delighted to announce that I will be speaking at the next Seattle meeting of the Interaction Design Association! “Women in Design” Wednesday, May 11 University of Washington Campus Electrical Engineering building, room 105 7:30 PM – doors open at 7PM Flyer: click here I’ll be delivering an updated/expanded version of my Computer Engineer Barbie talk, and will be participating in a panel discussion with Jenny Lam, co-founder and designer at the Jackson Fish Market, a software startup. If you have any questions you’d like to see answered, leave a comment here – if there’s time, I’d love to continue the…

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The Accessibility of the Physical Universe

Having an injury certainly opens your eyes to what others have been dealing with for lifetimes. The friend I mentioned in my earlier post about pain medication has (after 2 months) returned to the office for short periods of time. Today, we ended up talking and expressing our mutual shock at just how HEAVY the doors are at Microsoft. It’s not something an able-bodied person might notice on a day to day basis, but for anyone mobility challenged it can be quite an effort. That’s why I didn’t return to work until I was crutch-free seven weeks after my original knee injury last year – I knew that there was no way I could balance my weight on one foot trying not to drop crutches while simultaneously waving my badge and pulling on the door. Untenable. And frustating… realizing that you can be defeated by a simple door does not inspire one with a lot of confidence about their recovery.

As you explore the world in your somewhat impaired state, you become much more attuned to intentional affordances – but even more so, the lack of intentional affordances in many places. Sometimes the shortfall is simple and severe – I tried to attend a show at the Paramount Theatre last year while still on crutches, using VIP tickets gifted by a kind friend. But the VIP section was on the third floor balcony… and the Paramount has NO ELEVATORS. It boggled my mind that one of the largest venues in Seattle has such a significant accessibility problem. The best they could do for me and a friend is to put temporary chairs at the far left of a row in the orchestra section – fairly bad angle, especially when compared to what we could have had. Have handicapped folks been shoved to the side all this time at that venue?

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The past our parents don’t have

I got a LinkedIn request the other day: “I think I have a funny photo of you next to my Van de Graaf machine when you were an intern at MAYA Design.” I actually laughed out loud when I read this. I can totally remember the day I was playing with the Van de Graaf machine – I can only imagine how silly that photo looks. And it’s a summer of fond memories, too – MAYA was my first internship and my first interaction design job. It was pre-dot-com burst, so the office bore the hallmarks of a bunch of…

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Life in the Theatre: My latest project, “All I Ever Wanted”

On Friday, April 22, I will be opening my next theatrical run – a world premiere play called “All I Ever Wanted“. If you’re in the Seattle area, please consider joining us – we’ll be performing Fri/Sat/Sun (excluding Easter) through May 8th. All performances are in TPS Theatre 4, which is on the 4th floor of the Seattle Center House. It’s a great honor and challenge to get the chance to originate a character (to perform a role in a premiere production). Especially for me, in this role – it’s a stretch. I play a married Midwestern woman 10 years…

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On Service Design: Pain Medication

Service design is another branch of interaction design, like user experience, that focuses on a holistic view of systems that may or may not involve technology. In simple terms, service design seeks to improve how humans interact with a service or provider.

While many of us have encountered narcotic painkillers like Vicodin or Percocet (hello, spambots) for use after minor injuries or procedures like wisdom tooth removal, it’s a whole new ballgame if you’ve had the misfortune of needing a serious procedure due to illness or injury. Based on my personal experience and the experience of close friends, it feels like there’s a major hole in the service offerings of most medical providers when it comes to ending the use of this sort of medication.

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