The Informed Life: My Interview with Jorge Arango

The Informed Life

I’m proud to have been an interviewee for Jorge’s podcast, which just went live with the episode. Here’s the interview.

A personal note: I’ve known Jorge Arango for a long time, and I’ve always been impressed with his intelligence, erudition, and keen professionalism. When he started producing a podcast, it didn’t surprise me in the least that it’s one of the best-produced, thoroughly crafted podcasts out there. (Full text transcript! Linked references!) Jorge is also the author of the wise and excellent Living in Information, and is responsible for the transformative revision and reframing of the venerable “polar bear book,” aka Information Architecture for the Web and Beyond. (Seriously, if you haven’t read the 4th edition, at least check out Jorge’s brilliant introductory Part I [Ch 1-4], which is brand new to the book, and is one of the best explanations of IA in existence.)

I really enjoyed this conversation, and I hope my meandering answers lived up to the quality of everything else Jorge does. ❤

Interview with Misael León of Nearsoft

In 2016 I had the great pleasure of doing an interview with Misael León, one of the folks leading the amazing team Nearsoft in Mexico. I recently realized I never posted a blog entry about it, so here it is, at last.

This was not long after Understanding Context was published, so a lot of the conversation orbited those topics. Because he asked some really interesting questions, I talked a lot… like, more than usual, which is saying something. So here’s our conversation in three small-plate-sized chunks.

Your UX Career Path: My talk at UX Hustle 2019

I had the great pleasure of giving the first talk at this year’s UX Hustle Summit in Atlanta.

I realized, I’m only one relatively privileged person, who got into this career in a very different time, so I didn’t want all of this to come from me. So I crowdsourced advice from Twitter and got a lot of great responses (please read them on the twitters! I couldn’t fit it all in the talk).

Basically it came down to four big themes: Learning, Humans, Systems, and Relationships. Check out the slides below!

UX Podcast Interview at UX Lisbon 2015

Back in 2015, while I was at UX Lisbon to teach an Understanding Context workshop, I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by the excellent UX Podcast guys, as part of a dual conversation with me and the amazing Abby Covert. It was a fun, wide-ranging chat, and I was lucky to be there. Anyway, I’m posting a long-belated link to the interview here on the blog. Enjoy!

Forging ahead…

Just a brief post to announce I will soon be changing jobs to join the design leadership team for Honeywell Connected Enterprise — the home of the Honeywell Forge family of products & services — headquartered here in Atlanta.

I’m excited to take on the (frankly, terrifying, but realllly invigorating) challenges of leading the work of developing frameworks & operations to support their growing suite of leading-edge products & services. For the first time, in my day job, I’ll be in the deep end of the pool of the context complexity I wrote a book about.

Mostly I’m thrilled to be stretching my leadership abilities in a new, very complex, global team environment. I can’t wait to learn everything I know I’m going to learn from my team and partners.

Meanwhile, I’m saying goodbye to a great team of colleagues at State Farm’s UX division, where it’s been a rewarding 3+ years. State Farm has grown leaps & bounds in its embrace & understanding of strategic design practice. They’re really committing to accountability to human centeredness. I’m excited to see how they continue to evolve.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Navigation

I had the great pleasure of giving a talk at the Information Architecture Conference (the new incarnation of the venerable & beloved “IA Summit”) in March of 2019.

A few key quotes from the talk, to give you the gist:

  • Navigation is not the menu on a screen. Navigation is what people do.
  • I think it’s past time we correct the way we, as professionals, talk about “navigation” in our work… because it’s only going to be more and more important that we not reduce it this way. 
  • Over time we’ve come to conflate “navigation” — as in the act of navigating — with the menu systems on websites and applications. 
  • The (whole designed eco-) system is an environment… and it needs to be navigable. 
  • Understanding isn’t an abstract state of being — it’s work. It’s a human body figuring out what to do moment by moment in the entire world it’s living in.
  • When we put new things into the world, we’re asking people to navigate not just those things, but the world we changed with those things. 
  • People don’t start navigating because we put a screen in front of them, or a product or a service in front of them. 
  • People are already navigating, every moment of every day, trying to meet their needs with the resources they can find and understand. 

I recommend you view in Speakerdeck or download the PDF. (Also embedded below from Slideshare.)