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Category: Design

Crosspost: “What Is UX Design” (Huffington Post)

I haven’t spoken about it formally here, but I’m honored to be part of one of the featured mentorship pairings in the Huffington Post’s women in STEM mentoring initiative. As part of that relationship, we were asked to provide an intro to user experience design for folks following the program. “We are the people working feverishly behind the scenes to make sure you don’t want to throw your computer across the room. When we do our work right, software seems easy, effortless, even magical. A sign of our success is your happiness. Very few people know that user experience designers…

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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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My Phone Home

I love my Windows Phone 7. Of course, you might assume that I’m biased because I work for Microsoft. And maybe you’d be right, except that I’m very picky about my phone and won’t use something that’s crap. When I started at Microsoft, I tried Windows Phone 6.5 in the form of an HTC Touch Diamond, and it was an absolute disaster. Only hours of battery life on standby, had to hack the registry, crashes… after 2 weeks I gave up, returned the HTC, and bought my first iPhone 3G. Since that was my first smartphone, I had the requisite…

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Dear Departed Icons

Hey kids, let’s sit down and read a bedtime story! Once upon a time, we made photorealistic representations of everything we wanted to do on the computer. I know, right? Human ingenuity is so… plucky, cramming all that info into a 16×16 space. Over time, a funny thing has happened, though – most of the things we want to do on computers don’t have physical equivalents any more. Worse, the few icons that WERE sort of universal are now just sort of silly: The universal icon for “call” is a classic phone headset. When was the last time you used…

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