UX Intern Opportunity – exciting 1 week intensive project

In the week of 11 October, I’m going to be working on a really exciting project with the team from StartHere, Andrew Travers and Mark Boulton.

We’re going to be working on a highly collaborative, intensive project that will involve a stack of sketching, strategising, experimenting, designing, wireframing, prototyping, researching, iterating and testing.

We’d think this is a unique opportunity for someone new to User Experience to join us for a few days as an intern. You provide an extra set of UX hands and we’ll provide you with a more project experience in a week than you’d get in a weeks and weeks of a ‘normal’ project. (For the sake of absolute clarity: we won’t provide you with any payment for the week, but we will provide you with lunch/snacks/tea/coffee etc.)

Sound interesting?

If you’re available in that week, relatively new to UX and passionate about learning more and improving your craft please email [email protected] and convince us that this is a good idea!

Update: for anyone thinking – ‘that sounds good, I’ll send an email later’ – here’s a deadline to motivate you – we’ll need to decide that we’re definitely doing this and who we’re doing it with by 1 October so we’ll need your email by Weds 29 September.

Random inspiration from UX Bookclub attendees

I’m organising the upcoming London UX Bookclub and we’re reading Dan Saffer’s Designing Gestural Interfaces. O’Reilly kindly gave us 20 free copies of the book so to decide who got the free books I asked people to email me what they’ve been reading recently that they found inspiring and the first 20 would get free books. yay. So here in a pretty much un-edited form, is what they sent me – I hope you find something inspiring here too!

  • The most inspirational recently is without a doubt having discovered the presentations of Stephen P. Anderson (who is leading the design team at viewzi). Triggered by the presentation he gave at the IA summit about “Seductive Interactions“. I had a look at his blog and previous presentations and have to say that he his pretty good at nailing down some theoretical framework of User Experience in diagrams (especially this one) that give a structure to explore the “components” of User experience.
  • The below quote in About Face 3 sums up my thoughts on designing a user experience rather succinctly: “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but rather when there is nothing more to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • The most inspiring thing I’ve read lately is the video demonstrating AR implemented as a tool to create 3D graffiti art (included in the post). It’s amazing in the way the AR interface creates an entirely new space for expression and experience. I thought this example was really cool. In general it feels like AR is the next UX frontier. There’s a lot of hype around it, but if the technology delivers what it’s promising to, the UX possibilities it will open up are really exciting.
  • I was most inspired by this article on remote learning The concept of providing ESL learning via Second Life to me demonstrates an exciting collaboration of learning / gaming. I believe more creative e-learning methods, especially for adult learners, has so much more to be explored.
  • I’ve started to read quite a lot of books recently helping me to become a better developer, but I think ‘The most inspiration thing you’ve read recently that is UX related’ would have to be Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think – which was one of the first (and admittedly most basic) books, which I found a real inspiration, and really got me started on this journey!
  • Other were inspired by: http://www.madebymany.co.uk/the-future-of-wireframes-00991 and http://www.cennydd.co.uk/2009/complex-inferiority/
  • What’s inspiring me the most in this period is not a quote but a movement: I’ve been trying to retrace what the psychogeography movement has been studying and developing since the ’50s. Reinventing the way to explore, live and consume the cityscape, redefining “function” and “play” seems to me like an interesting shift from which we can learn how to (re)design everyday things.
  • My recent inspirational thing is this presentation by Colleen Jones about the balance between usable and influential (marketing) content. I found it interesting because my day-to-day work (at least until the end of the month) means I often see the tension between design/content that is useful versus that which is out and out marketing-focused.
  • The most inspirational thing I’ve read has to be Graham Pullin’s new book called “Disability meets Design”. I actually went to his talk at the Design Museum recently and really enjoyed it..
  • We’ve just started a project examining community and how best to leverage the social aspects of the betting experience. Whilst doing some research in the area I came across the following two websites, that I think are particularly interesting: A patterns wiki which is a companion to Crumlish and Malone’s book ‘Designing Social interfaces’. And a blog which examines the issues around building reputation systems online and also includes a wiki that is being used to create the book ‘Building Web 2.0 Reputation Systems’.
  • I suppose the most inspiring thing I’ve read lately that’s UX related is Don Norman’s Emotional Design. Not exactly a revelation, I’ll admit, but certainly changed the way I saw usability.
  • It’s not exactly reading, but I was blown away by Jer Thorp’s Just Landed.
  • I’d been working on some personas’ for a couple of days and this made me realise they where a little 2D. “What sound or noise do you love?” After watching this then reading up on Inside The Actors Studio.

I have a terrible feeling I may have accidentally archived a couple of other inspirations in gmail, so if I’ve missed yours please add it in the comments below, and if anyone feels like sharing other recent inspirations reads, then please – share away!

thanks to all and look forward to seeing you at bookclub soon!

Is disambiguity a word?

I had the pleasure of speaking at the User Assistance Conference in Edinburgh recently and spent one lunch time chatting with Professor Geoffrey K. Pullum, who is the Professor of General Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh and regular contributor to the Language Log. We were talking about whether or not ‘disambiguity’ was a real word. As you can imagine, he had much more thoughtful opinions on this than I did. Professor Pullum had an inkling that it wasn’t a proper word (although I think he kind of liked it anyway!)

Not long after lunch I received this email from the Professor that he had kindly allowed me to share with you because I know you’d be interested to know too!

I was not wrong: the entire 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary, which records every lexeme ever attested in 700 years of the history of the English language, has no entry for “disambiguity” at all.

It also isn’t in Webster’s, the greatest dictionary of American English (search it online at http://www.webster.com):

Suggestions for disambiguity:

    1. disambiguate           2. disambiguates
    3. disambiguating         4. disambiguation
    5. disembogued            6. disambiguated
    7. disembogues            8. disambiguations

Your word, with its verb-restricted “dis-” prefix (as in disable, disabuse, disagree, disallow, disappear, disarm, disband, disbar, disbelieve, etc.) and its noun ending, is entirely your own invention.

Though I should note that a few nouns formed from dis- verbs are found.”Disability” is one that has the -ity suffix.  So that is a sort of model, not in the sense that you did have it in mind, but in the sense that you could have done.  It shows that forming such a word is not out of the question for English word formation principles.  It’s just never been done before!

I’m fairly certain I’m not the first person to have ‘made up’ this word or that it’s ‘my word’, but I like it all the more after learning this little bit about it novelty. Linguists are cool.

links for 20 August 2008 – Iteration Zero