Below are papers and presentations created for various audiences, including students, faculty and design practitioners. I have published papers for conferences held by CHI, IDSA, and ASIST. I consider my writings and talks to be small contributions to an expanding body of design knowledge. I hope you find some "golden nuggets" of inspiration for your own work.Note: The PDF files open directly in the window using a nifty Flash-based technology from Issuu, affording a smoother richer reading experience.
- » Partnering with a Designer
October 2011 | PDF | solo talk: Silicon Valley CodeCamp (Mtn View)
A passionate talk on the basics of hiring and collaborating with a UI designer for software projects (web/desktop/mobile). Details on design process, core phases, key deliverables, and also Do's/Do Not's all offered with specific stories, examples, anecdotes. Lively debate on what it means to "partner with a designer". Might be shocking to some!
- » Fundamentals of Good UI Design
October 2011 | PDF | solo talk: Silicon Valley CodeCamp (Mtn View)
A lively review of the core fundamentals of good UI design, including visuals and interactions: affordances, feedback, color/type/grids, layouts, patterns, widgets. Dealing with desktop/web/mobile situations. Consistency and brand coherence. Lots of specific, real examples from the likes of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Evernote, Dropbox, etc.
- » The Inmates are Still Running the Asylum
July 2011 | PDF | accepted paper: HCI International Conference
This paper presents an approach taken by Citrix to shape a balanced,shared product design effort with engineering. Key points include the rise of hybrid designers skilled in software programming, the use of standard UI components, and collaborative standards council activities. Action items are also noted for interested readers trying to build their own integrated design and development efforts for good software user interfaces.
- » Data, Design, and Soulful Experience
Nov-Dec 2009 | PDF | magazine article: ACM Interactions
Recently, the user experience blogosphere was ablaze in controversy over the value of data-driven methods in making design decisions. Not an entirely new topic, but it came up again with the sudden departure of Google’s first visual design lead, Douglas Bowman. He wrote a brief yet critical summary of his rationale for leaving, citing the paralyzing forces of excessive data-driven decision making, to the point of data “serving as a crutch” for changing shades of colors or widths of borders. Alternative views emerged online, with adamant defenders of both sides of the “data versus design” battle - which, as Web-design strategist Luke Wroblewski cautions, is an unfortunate label, since each should ideally inform the other in a productive balance…
- » Experiential Aesthetics: A Framework for Beautiful Experience
Sept-Oct 2008 | PDF | magazine article: ACM Interactions
This article is based upon my prior talk given at IDSA, focused on a conceptual framework for articulating the elements of a truly "aesthetic experience", with examples of everyday products and services. One must actively create and deliver “the beautiful” when designing “the artificial” - objects for popular consumption. That requires multidisciplinary cooperation to succeed. Therefore, a coherent model identifying specific, tangible elements of a beautiful experience will enable a designer to argue effectively with nondesign peers leery of poetic speak. The result is an informed team able to achieve “the beautiful” via compelling experiences for consumers…
- » Experiential Aesthetics: A Framework for the New Beauty
October 2007 | PDF | solo talk: IDSA (San Francisco)
This talk offers a framework for re-interpreting digital aesthetics beyond the veneer of sexy pixels, towards a deeper understanding of the rhetorical and humanistic nature of beauty of digital experiences. Style, performance, utitility, and story are the core elements that hold in balance the total aesthetic experience, rewarding and memorable for users of digital media.
- » What Does Rich Mean? A Deeper Look at the Rich Experience
June 2007 | online article: boxesandarrows
Amid the hype of Web 2.0, "rich" has become the prime buzzword for fresh, sexy digital products, marked by glossy buttons with AJAX actions. But what does rich really mean? Using the concepts of Classical rhetoric as a framework, I try to transcend the hype and dig into the value of richness for digital products.
- » On the Nature of Interaction as Language
Spring 2007 | book essay: Thoughts on Interaction by Jon Kolko
Jon Kolko, Sr Design Analyst at frogdesign, asked me to contribute a short essay to his landmark publication on the theoretical underpinnings of interaction design, largely drawn from our common learning at Carnegie Mellon. I wrote this essay on the rhetorical dimensions of interaction, linking to language and social/cognitive embodiments of form, whose meaning arises as an emergent value through the dynamics of interaction. Intrigued? Please read the rest of the essay...and the book as well!
- » Notes on the Software Design Process
March 2007 | PDF | guest lecture: San Jose State University
This talk offers an overview/survey of observations and insights drawn from personal experience at various companies, designing web/desktop software products. Of particular interest are comments regarding the UCD Process phases/artifacts, organizational models that frame & enable UCD activity, and attributes that help define a "design leader" in complex problem-solving situations.
- » Interface: The Pathway to User Experience
April 2006 | PDF | solo talk: IDSA (Phoenix, AZ)
This talk examined the concept of "interface" beyond typical conventions of software UI's, as a necessary gateway to (hopefully) positive user experiences with products, services, systems, and even food! These slides offer a glimpse of what interface means for non-UI design professionals, with applicability for almost any designed artifact.
- » The Fog of Design : 5 Lessons on the Complexity of Practice
August 2005 | PDF | published paper: IDSA (Wash, DC)
This paper explores the fundamental issues facing any designer in hi-tech product development: how to get your ideas heard and built by diverse team members. Tapping into insights gleaned from experiences at companies like Oracle, BEA, and Adobe, this paper outline five key lessons novice and intermediate designers should heed to help them become adaptive leaders.
- » Designing the Enterprise Experience: How IA Advances UCD
March 2005 | PDF | solo talk: IA Summit (Montreal)
This conference talk illuminates upon core UCD process phases and deliverables like flow diagrams, object models, and wireframes as catalysts for engaging with complex teams and enabling decisions that impact the overall user experience and design.
- » Barbarians or Bureaucrats? The Shift from Policy to Strategy in E-business
Nov 2004 | PDF | published short paper: DMI(Seoul)
This short paper suggests a divergence when it comes to enterprise software innovation: those who seek to establish policies of convention and those who strive to radically alter behaviors and patterns. Indeed what emerges is a sobering look at the lifecycle of corporations and the necessary design "attitudes".
- » The Aesthetics of Design: A Model of Beauty for Designers
Oct 2004 | PDF | published paper: IDSA (Pasadena)
This paper suggests that there are variations of the theme of beauty when it comes to a user experience POV of objects, services, and systems. These varities are based upon notions of lifestyle, cultural values, technical performance, and individual goal achievement. Together, these concepts expand traditional notions of beauty.
- » 24/7 or Bust: Designing for the Challenges of Global UCD
April 2004 | PDF | published short paper: CHI (Vienna)
Co-authored with former VP of UI Design at Oracle, Dan Rosenberg, this paper discusses the issues and opportunities in setting up and expanding a global user interface design team for enterprise software.
- » Learning to Love the Pixel: The Craft of Icon Design
2004 | online article: boxesandarrows
After a sudden stint of doing icon design for enterprise software, I decided to write a paper summarizing my experiences and lessons learned. What emerges is an evolved understanding and appreciation for not just pixel "pushing" but crafting the tiniest details of a user experience.