better communication means better product

Many product development problems are complex or [shudder] wicked. They’re more intricate than they may seem, they change over time, and they involve humans. It may seem paradoxical, then, to say that a significant contributing factor to product dev problems is simple to express: communication is the problem someone somewhere A lot of the problems […]

recruiting ux research participants

tl;dr If you need research participants, you’re on a tight deadline to collect data, and you’ve exhausted your personal network(s), including current users of your product, then here are two suggestions that produced decent results for me: (1) get stakeholder buy in so that you can offer good incentives and (2) expand your participant pool […]

Co-designing Platform Collectivism

Abstract: We report a codesign effort to envision a community water quality data platform with local stakeholders. We employed interviews, field observations, and hackathons through a 9-month study (ongoing). This codesign effort helps to distinguish our proposal of platform collectivism, in which local resources and stakeholders become more visible, accessible, and engaged with one another […]


Super excited that our (Omar Sosa-Tzec and John M. Carroll) submission to SIGDOC was accepted and that we’ll be publishing a full paper in the ACM digital library to accompany the presentation. The paper takes an existing thread of my research in an exciting new direction, and I couldn’t have done it without the insight […]

Visual Thinking + Discourse Analysis

One question many discourse analysts ask when they’re familiarizing themselves with data is: how could things be different? If you’re comfortable messing around with Photoshop and your text includes images, then you can create sketches as a way of making these hypothetical differences more concrete. Sketching is a powerful way to explore the effects of, […]

design course development

I’ve been sketching some new ideas for undergraduate design courses, and, although I came up with these with a particular program in mind, they could easily be iterated on to fit within many other curricula, as electives, etc. I’m sharing them here so that you might be inspired to take an idea and run with […]

human-centered design education

I piloted an in-class activity with my human-centered design class today. In preparation for class, students read Don Norman’s essay, Human-Centered Design Considered Harmful. Then, in class, I presented them with the following brief: Using Adobe Photoshop, create a one-sheet explaining/describing the main principles of human-centered design to non-designers. Export the one-sheet as a PDF […]

the first design problem

There’s a great line in a recent exploration of near-future UX issues. It goes: Design is about solving problems. And deciding how to solve a problem is the first design problem to be solved. I like this report, but I want to offer a different perspective here. Deciding how to solve a problem could in […]

The Design Exchange

Today I discovered the design exchange. Think Wikipedia but for design methods and case studies. It seems like a great resource for students (and practitioners) curious about different design methods—especially their strengths, weaknesses, and relevance to different design projects and project stages. I’ll be using it in my spring semester course and wanted to broadcast its […]