Interviewing Leaders to Uncover Potential UX Problems

Organizations have lots of problems, and they hire smart people like you to help them solve those problems! Whether you are starting as a consultant or the newbie, or you’re a seasoned employee looking to take a fresh approach, one technique you can use is to interview leaders within the organization to gather insight into their objectives and opinions, and ultimately better understand the landscape of the business and its audience (e.g., customers, users, etc.).

Questions to Ask

As you interview leaders within an organization to better understand – at a high level – potential user experience-related problems to tackle, use this Interview Worksheet to list the questions you want to ask. Plus, you may think of more categories and questions to add!

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Yes or No

It Sounds Like a Good Idea, But Is It Worth Doing?

So, you’ve got this idea for a new product, an app, a technology, a service, something you think is pretty cool. You have dreams of working for yourself, setting your own hours, making the big bucks, or being the next Entrepreneur of the Year. But is this the idea that will get you there? Time to take a good look at it.

Any idea can be evaluated in seven aspects: 1) painkiller or vitamin, 2) monetization, 3) simplicity, 4) relevance, 5) resources, 6) market size, and 7) “secret sauce.” For each aspect, grade your idea on a scale from 1 to 5, with a score of 5 ranking highest. Let’s go through the seven steps to evaluating your product idea and put it to the test.

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Lessons You Learn When You Rock Purple Hair

Purple Hair - Straight, Curly and BraidedI have purple hair. I’ve been experimenting with bold hair color for the last 2 years, and at this moment, I’m really into all shades of purple and jewel tones – lavender, deep purple, magenta, teal, royal blue…

Every time I make the change from a “normal” hair color to a wild one, I need a few days to adjust to looking at myself and to how others look at me. If you’ve ever seriously considered trying out a crazy color, here’s a few important lessons I’ll share with you.

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Hop’N Snap

Hop’N Snap is conceptual storytelling project for children that’s just beginning. Along with my SO, we’re writing short stories, drawing wacky characters, and envisioning ways to introduce our stories to kids – coloring books, web-based story books, mini-zines, and more.

Both of us love kid stuff – books, action figures, TV shows, even clothes (kids have THE BEST CHOICES in clothes, for real). Inevitably, we grew up, but not without a sincere admiration for the joys of childhood. As kids, we are encouraged to just be ourselves; we don’t worry about jobs, bills, and other boring adult things. Our idea is to tell entertaining, clever and thoughtful stories to kids and adults who love kid stuff like we do. We’re starting our project by writing down all of our crazy, unintelligible and nonsensical ideas. Then, it’s time to put together our first story.

What’s with the “hop” and “snap?” Silly, but you know how couple come up with the most ridiculous pet names? Meet us: Bunny and Lobster, hence “hop” and “snap.”

More to come on this… soon, I’ll introduce you to Pretz, the Pretzident of Hop’N Snap!

A Precocious Child

A note from 6/29/2010 

I used to think that I’m so different now compared to when I was a kid. Today I realized that the things that HAVE changed since I was younger are age, wisdom, experience, and knowledge. But what HASN’T changed is who I am, my nature, my personality, my nuances.

I sorted through two boxes of stuff from my childhood. Yearbooks, notes from pen pals, grade cards, youth soccer team photos. I found 3 things I’d forgotten all about and as I looked over them, I thought, “Some things never change.”

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MannequinA note from my time in retail on 3/5/2011

For the most part, what I do at Nordstrom is a frou-frou kind of way to make a living. I help people – women – try on overpriced and stylish clothing so they can have something new to wear. Sometimes so they can feel better about themselves, and sometimes so they can hate themselves even more. In the grand scheme of things, this duty I call my job is rather lame. True, I’m doing my part of assist the retail economy, but let’s be honest – it’s just shopping. This is not the work of the Peace Corps or the Red Cross. I’m not adopting orphans or negotiating any peace treaties.

Today was different.

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Turning Jeans Into Jobs – Work Wear Annual Report

Goodwill is best known for its retail stores where you can get great deals on gently used, and sometimes new, clothing, accessories and household goods. People clean out their closets and donate their old stuff, thinking it’s “for a good cause,” but few people have a good understanding of what that “good cause” actually is. Hint: it’s not just generically “helping” poor people.

Our challenge was to figure out how to connect the dots for Goodwill shoppers and donors about how the retail stores and other operations fund Goodwill’s real purpose – workforce development. In other words: How does donating a pair of jeans help someone prepare for, find and keep a job?

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Foodies and Fashionistas Celebrate the Taste of Vintage

Taste of Vintage Program Cover 111909For a few years, I worked in the nonprofit sector at Goodwill Industries of Akron, and I loved it. Awesome organization with a powerful mission.

Our largest annual fund-raiser was the Taste of Vintage, an evening gala event that features yummy samples from local restaurants and a headliner vintage fashion show starring leading women from our community wearing Goodwill finds. Side note: you wouldn’t believe the incredible stuff you can find at a Goodwill store.

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