Sometimes, all it takes is one stray thought.


Lessons By Eric Reiss of FatDUX- Part 2

Posted on April 17th, by Brad in Blog, Life Lessons. 1 Comment

Earlier this week I published Part 1 of Lessons by Eric Reiss of FatDUX. Below is the second half of the interview where Eric shares with us the various lessons life has taught him and how those lessons have impacted his life.
Wait, who was Eric Reiss again?
(http://www is a well-known author (http://www, a former two-term president of the Information Architecture Institute (http://www NULL.iainstitute, Chair of the EuroIA Summit (http://www NULL.euroia, sits on the advisory boards of the Copenhagen Business School, Kent State University, and the Romanian Information Architecture Association, and was the Professor of Usability and Design at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain.

To pay the bills, Eric is CEO of the FatDUX Group (http://www NULL.fatdux, a user-experience company headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, with offices, affiliates, and representatives throughout Europe and North America.
Lessons by Eric Reiss
For … Read More »

Designers: Dare to Fail

Posted on April 5th, by Brad in Publications. No Comments

There are many degrees of failure in the world of design. This is a hard truth that every designer has to learn one way or another. A hard knock lesson that has the ability to be the best teacher a designer could ask for, or completely crush their spirit. Dealing with our failures is never easy, especially when a personal connection is involved. These failures can appear throughout the design process, but each failure can be seen as an opportunity. So where do we go to learn how to deal with and learn from our failures? Reach way back and consult the great Sun Tzu and his masterpiece ‘The Art of War’.

Read Full Article  (”http://johnnyholland”)

Are We The Puppet Masters?

Posted on April 5th, by Brad in Publications. No Comments

Through the designs we create, we have the ability to directly influence another person’s behavior. The ethical implications of this are important and not easily definable. I was interested in ethics before I ever considered becoming a designer, but the lessons I learned while studying philosophy impacts the way I view my designs. In nature, our goal is a good one. We strive to help others by improving the interactions that define their life. This drives us to create and innovate new ways of interacting with old concepts. The question remains, do we have the right to influence another person? Further, are there guiding principles we can follow that can keep us on the moral path? The answers to these questions rests on the shoulders of the whole community, not a single person or group.

Read Full Article … Read More »

Lessons by Eric Reiss of FatDUX – Part 1

Posted on April 17th, by Brad in Blog, Life Lessons. 1 Comment

One of the greatest joys I’ve had in my career is learning intriguing life lessons from my professional peers. I love hearing their stories on how they got started, and what events influenced them throughout their life that made them the person they are today. These lessons have had a huge impact on me, both personally and professionally. Because I find so much value in what life has taught people, every month I’ll  post an interview with someone who has “paid their dues” in user experience and design field. The interview will focus on what life has taught them up to this point, and what experiences they’ve had that has had a direct impact on their work and life today.  It’s my hope that you find inspiration, encouragement, and maybe a laugh or two as you read through these interviews.

I hope you … Read More »

Cup of Coffee Research Method

Posted on April 11th, by Brad in Blog. No Comments

I’ve had several conversations lately with people getting ready to dive into the startup world. A common question that comes up with them is “What’s the best way to get feedback from my users?” Since these are startup initiatives, I know budgets are probably tight. So, I try to offer them as practical advice as possible. The best advice I’ve been able to come up with is ”Just buy someone a cup of coffee and have a conversation with them.” Sometimes, a cup of coffee is all it takes to get the feedback you need to be able to move on from a problem that has been plaguing you, or to validate an idea you’ve prototyped out.

It’s my belief that every project should incorporate some form of user research, or user involvement. Depending on the problem being solved, and the … Read More »

The Myth of Paying Attention

Posted on April 4th, by Brad in Presentations. No Comments

Users are not like us — they view the world with a completing different filter. As designers, we’ve trained ourselves to notice every little detail about a design — everything grabs our attention. We assume that users do the same when coming to a site or using an application for the first time. We assume that all those details that took us, as the designers, hours to figure out just right will catch a user’s eye and invoke pleasant thoughts and emotions that go along with facilitating a positive user experience. But, that’s not how our brains work. In fact, the average user will miss almost everything within their field of vision when working with a design for the first time. This phenomenon occurs all the time during usability studies, much to our bewilderment.

Fortunately, recent research within neurological and cognitive … Read More »

Users in the Mist

Posted on April 4th, by Brad in Presentations. No Comments

Field Studies are great learning opportunities to capture personal details about people and their environments. This activity provides challenges though, like when you find yourself in an uncomfortable position due to an offhand comment or if you notice something about their environment that is a danger. Over the course of my career, I’ve had the opportunity to conduct field studies where sensitive information was the focus and odd, or unexpected, situations came up. Based on my experiences, I’ve put together lessons learned that can help practitioners prepare for performing fields studies, and also provide warning signs for when things start to go awry.

These lessons will be given as parables to interviews I’ve conducted with people around dinner tables around the country. These stories range from the humorous to the slightly disturbing. And each has a unique message to tell that … Read More »

Common UX Pitfalls

Posted on April 4th, by Brad in Presentations. No Comments

Having a dedicated User Experience Designer on projects is still a rare thing for many teams. In many cases, the creative churns out a design, an analyst specs it out, and a developer is then tasked to build it. During this session, I’ll go over many common pitfalls that can negatively impact a users experience, and offer arguments that the audience can then use to challenge the creative or analyst to rethink the design.

Where We’re Going

Posted on April 4th, by Brad in Presentations. No Comments

Over the past five years, the world of user experience and design has changed greatly. We’ve been able to adapt and grow as we faced down many challenges in the ever changing world of technology. But, are we ready for the next five years? If not, what can we do as design professionals to prepare ourselves for the “next big thing” that will rock the technological world. Come hear how we can use what we’ve learned to help prepare for the future, and get a glimpse at some of the technologies that we might be designing for before you know it.

UX Doesn’t Equal UI

Posted on April 4th, by Brad in Presentations. No Comments

The term ‘User Experience’ has been associated with User Interface for too long. An experience isn’t limited to a navigation scheme or the use of a particular product. It transcends the computer screen or mobile device, and has lasting impacts on our lives. What do these impacts mean? How can they be managed? These are questions that User Experience Designers try to answer. A user interface can be a gateway to these lasting impacts, but a positive user experience requires much more than that.