Why? I’m completely looking forward to a year without moving. I feel like for the past year and a half I’ve concentrated first on moving, then on finding a job, then on becoming comfortable in both my work and home life. I’m looking forward to 2009 because all of the things I need seem to be in place and I can take better advantage of the opportunities around me. Here are some of the things I’ll be up to this year:
NYC UX Book club: A group of local UXers are starting to get together to discuss some interesting reading material on the topic we all enjoy.
NYC Information Architecture Meetup: This is another fun group of people from all backgrounds that gets together once a month to talk about Information Architecture and the new and old topics involved.
NYC-CHI: The NYC chapter of SIG-CHI. They hold events once or twice a month.
NYC IxDA: A portion of NYC UXers that get together offline about once a month.
UPA NYC: The NYC chapter of the usability professionals association which also hosts events about once a month.
If you’re in the area I hope to see you there!!
Happy New Years’
INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE NYC
QA seems to be creeping up in my world all the time these days. After I create my IAs and hand them off, I still sign with relief. But I have no idea why to be honest. I feel like I spend just as much of my time QAing the development work as I did creating the wireframes. There was an interesting post on the IxDA site the other day on this very topic. Read it here.
There are definietly very positive points to UX professionals being involved in this stage of the process and with the good of course comes the bad. If you have a sec feel free to voice your experiences.
INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE QA IA
Saw this really cool post on experientia of Donald Norman’s talk at the Chicago ITT Institute of Design. Really cool ideas about the age of “operations”. Take a peek! Let me know what you think.
This particular post may seem like old hat to many of the more experienced IA’s out there, but it’s a thought that I wanted to explore and reflect on. Being in NYC I have much more opportunity to meet with those in my profession and I try to take advantage of every opportunity I can. That being said last night I attended the NYC IA Meetup to see what the group was about and chat with other IAs in the city. What I found to be true was incredibly interesting. There were several individuals there that had been IAs for a while. But there were also a good amount of those that wanted to switch professions from something else to IA or students that were considering the field. What I’m trying to decipher is what made this stand out to me so much. I felt as if my profession was highly soft after and almost the ‘popular’ kid.
I also came to realization that this field is VERY creative and very much an art. It involves a large mix of every talent under the sun. When asked why I thought I was hired by my current employer, I had a list that was very diverse and a mile long, and even I was impressed with the talents needed to be part of a successful creative group in this industry. I say successful because there are so many companies that still have no idea what I do but know they need my talents for something. Last night was definitely one in which I got to reflect on my career and really see how much I love the IA/Interaction Design/UX part of what I do, and how much others want to get in on the action. Has anyone else experienced this realization or these types of thoughts??
If life were a musical what would your theme music be??
It’s been almost a month since I began my new job in NYC. Needless to say that I love what I’m doing because I’m an IA who now focuses on food and how to communicate to users how to eat healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Probably the one thing that I keep mulling over in my head is how similar this job is, in certain ways, to my last. This is the first time that I’ve changed companies and maintained the same type of role so I must admit that the transition is an interesting one for me.
When I moved to San Antonio, I was a web developer (a poor one at that!) and basically fell into the user experience realm. My first few months at work were hard on me because I felt inadequate at my job, being that I really had no idea what user experience was at first.
This move however is completely different. I have a very good idea of my role and my responsibilities. I’m able to pick up on things quickly and actually contribute somewhat right off that bat. As dissatisfied as I found myself at times at my old company, I must say that I learned SO MUCH about information architecture and interaction design and that education allowed me to come here and open myself instantly to further learning. The only part that is extremely challenging and sometimes frustrating is that I’m starting over as the low woman on the totem pole. Some may think this a negative venture, but it enables me to learn the basics about the company and the user base without having to worry about a million other things. The down side is that I’m use to worrying about and being responsible for a million different things! All that said, I’m so excited to be in NYC and so grateful for my background and experience. Stay tuned to see where it leads me!
I have been living at my cousin’s house in Mamaroneck, NY for the past 12 days. It has been quite a ride since May 8th when I left San Antonio behind me to come back to my home state. Much sleep has been lost, tears cried and happiness gained. However that is neither here nor there (it is I’m sure, but I like saying that). As I try to write about user experience, interaction design and the like, one thing has been rearing it’s ugly head. Finding an apartment in New York City. That’s right finding a place to live right in Manhattan.
Apartment searching is never fun nor easy but finding a place in NYC; that brings the experience to a whole other level. Mind you I’ve been warned so my expectations were somewhat set but NO warning or words of advice can prepare you for the chaos that is this apartment search.
So here’s the long and short of it so far. I’ve dealt with fee and no fee apartments. Working with a broker is great! They can actually answer my questions about how much rent is, if there is laundry in the building, help you negotiate… the whole deal. However if the apartment is renter pays the fee then your lump sum is 15% of your yearly rent…. a pretty penny indeed and something to try and avoid if on a budget. HOWEVER if the apartment is no fee, there is usually someone showing the apartment that is not associated with the property management. Some of them are really good and can give you all the info you need and others are really just there to open the door, let you in for 10 mins, and show you out. What I’ve learned is that someone is always paying the fee and if it’s not you there is a reason.
Tomorrow extends my adventure through this maze of rentals. Nine viewings from 11am to about 4pm and I’m hoping there are some leads somewhere. Wish me luck and God’s speed!
NYC APARTMENT SEARCH MOVING
Back in January I wrote this post concerning Sustainability, and today I am back at it. This week there were several blogs whose posts related to the topic. The first one that I came upon on experientia was a post about Nokia and how the company is beginning to look at their products and how to make them more environment friendly. You can read the post here. I enjoyed seeing a company begin to take the steps needed to decrease energy use and throw away.
Shortly after reading the above post, I came across another from Tim Ferriss that you can view here that inspires people to take action against the waste that companies like Nokia and others cause by forcing users to upgrade their hardware among other things.
And lastly in this sustainability centered week there was a post on the IxDA discussion board regarding the topic which you can view here. Although I enjoyed reading through all of the comments, I took interest in that by pauric. He shows us how even though companies may be trying to improve situations, their solutions may not really be for the general good.
So there is A LOT going on around this topic, one that I think everyone should take interest in. Think to yourself what is our responsibility as interaction designers and do WE contribute to the general good? I know I have to ponder this one heavily myself. I’d love to hear what anyone thinks!!
I’m trying my hardest to think of posts and it’s really not coming to me! My entire life is being consumed with moving, which I’m sure is normal, but Exhausting. There are some interesting things about moving to NYC that I’ve noted and that make it both extra exciting as well as extra stressful.
Firstly everything in NY moves fast. Really fast. You want a job… don’t look until 2 weeks before. You want an apartment… well first you need a job then you don’t need to contact me until 2 weeks before!!! Ok so this is encouraging in one sense. There are IA jobs up there, or so I’m told anyway… I’m trying to trust, and because of the demand there are plenty of opportunities. However, I’M UNEMPLOYED IN TWO WEEKS HERE PEOPLE!!!!
So no job and no apartment aside I think I’m doing well. I’ve got the mover booked, the furniture sold (thanks Christina!), the dog looked after, all and all things are looking up!!
I think I can actually do this!!!!!
PERSONAL ENDEAVORS NEW ADVENTURES MOVING
On Thursday I let my management know that I would be leaving San Antonio to move to NYC in May. What a Relief! However, it’s finally hitting me that I’m really doing it. I’m really picking up my life and moving across the country… again. On an interaction design note, I’m getting to deal with all walks of life right now and critiquing all of the processes and procedures and of course customer service. Everything from finding a moving company to switching my auto and renters insurance. It’s already an adventure and I haven’t even started moving yet. BTW one moving quote estimator actually brought his own wireless device and printer and gave me a quote within the hour… nicely done!
So here I go again. It’s official. Back to the hustle and bustle of the Northeast. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of more run ins along the way and don’t worry I’ll bring you right along with me!
PERSONAL ENDEAVORS NEW ADVENTURES MOVING