My favourite word currently is “unaware”. 

I recently started thinking of people being unaware when they do something that I could easily think of as unreasonable, rude, idiotic. I like the momentary sound of the word unaware. People unaware of something in a specific moment.

Someone on the bus speaking loudly on the phone: They are unaware of the social environment around them. A cyclist who crosses the red light: They were unaware of the danger they are putting themselves and others in. Someone says something rude: they are unaware that what they said hurts me.

What I like about giving a momentary state to the situation, instead of labeling people, is that it helps me create empathy with them and believe in the change of behaviour. All of us from time to time for a number of reasons can be unware of the circumstances around us. By giving a momentary state to the person, I know I’m further away from creating preconceptions about them and instead I’m keeping my mind open to the possibilities of the good things they can do.

UX is team work

My talk at the Bulgaria Web Summit 2015:

UX is team work!
To get the whole project team involved in the UX process is essential to achieve a great quality product. No matter if it’s an Agile or a Waterfall process, UX and development must be working collaboratively: developers meeting users and attending usability testing, designers and developers sketching together, clients actively participating in the design process. This talk provides practical UX tools and techniques to integrate UX and development and get the whole team involved: users, developers, managers and clients.

My slides from my talk at BrightonSEO

How good UX can improve SEO
This talk is about how usability, hierarchy of information and good page design can improve SEO. By improving how users find the content and navigate on your website, you’re improving their overall user experience as well as improving SEO. But what makes a good web page design? From a UX designer’s perspective, you’ll learn practical techniques to help improve the UX of your websites to engage your target users.
BrightonSEO 2015

The iterative way to write a book, by Leo Babauta

This is an interesting application of the MVP (minimal viable product) and Agile approach.

I particularly like the idea of having alpha testers.

“Write a minimum viable book for alpha testers. I wrote each chapter for a group of 10 alpha testers who generously agreed to read early versions of the book and put it into practice. Because I was writing for them, I was more motivated to write regularly.”

Read blog post: Writer as Coder: The Iterative Way to Write a Book, by Leo Babauta

Beautiful Reykjavik, Iceland

We went to Reykjavik for 5 days. It is absolutely beautiful and I totally recommend a visit.

One day we hired a car and did the Golden Circle tour, which includes seeing the huge Gulfoss waterfall, Geysirs and tectonic plates. They are super impressive! On another day we went to the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal lagoon.

We tried a few traditional Icelandic foods. The main one was Hákarl, a fermented shark. The smell of ammonia is so strong that the tiny pieces of shark come in a small closed jar. I hope I’ll never have to eat it again. After this experience we tried other traditional “safer” foods like their famous tasty lamb, the lamb hotdog from the most famous stand in Reykjavik and Skyr which is a no-fat type of yogurt. More about Icelandic traditional food.

We went to a the Reykjavik 871 +/-2 The Settlement Exhibition which gave a very good overview on how Reykjavik was settled and formed.

For a more complete blog post about this trip, check out my husband’s blog post.

The making of the Lambeth Parks Challenge

Was very happy to receive by email a lovely video made by Stephen the project manager I worked with last year on the Lambeth Parks project at White October. In this project, I was responsible for the creative direction and user experience. The team included Sophie Klevenow, who did the amazing illustrations and animations and Pete West, who did the development.

See the project on my portfolio or see the Lambeth Parks Challenge website.

Working out of hours

Very good points raised in this blog post. I think that working out of hours is almost inevitable when you are really excited with something you’re working on. However creating a culture around that is unhealthy. In this article, I particularly like the point about not broadcasting it when you do so.

One of the causes [of working outside of office hours], as corny as it sounds, is people taking an interest and enjoyment in their field of work. It’s certainly true of myself and I daresay true of some others. I find it particularly hard to switch off and put down an interesting problem that I’ve been working on during the day. (…)

One simple solution is to just reduce the amount you broadcast while outside of office hours. By all means work, if you so wish, but don’t do anything that generates noise and makes other people aware of it.

Read the full article

On listening…

“Listening is not an automatic pilot. It is a conscious decision… STOP EVERYTHING YOU’RE THINKING and listen. Suspend your own frame of reference. Focus externally. Turn off your ego. Quit thinking everything revolves around your opinion. Give the stage in your head to someone else!” – Sunni Brown

I think it’s a constant exercise.