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How AngelList is Changing Recruitment

Reviewer’s Note: This feedback is coming from the experience as an hiring employer as well as job-seeking candidate on AngelList – but not one of an investor nor a fundraiser. AngelList was pivotal in introducing the concept of crowd-based funding rounds, and now investor syndication, areas that I don’t delve into much (yet). Plenty has been written on both this concept as well as Naval’s efforts to change laws around crowdfunding. Initially labeled ‘Angel List Talent’, the now incorporated jobs / recruitment functionality of AngelList has been a happy side effect to the greater forces at play on this platform.

Nick Cawthon - IXDA talk

UX Career Advice – IxDA San Francisco Talk

I really enjoyed speaking at the Trulia penthouse last night for the IXDA event at SF Design Week. A sold out crowd of about 120 attendees and volunteers were very engaging and responsive to how to hire and how to be hired for UX positions. I was impressed with the level of attendees, there were SVPs from Salesforce, Design Directors from Yahoo! and Founding members of the Designer Fund all participating and sharing knowledge.

Sharon Cardinal was the first speaker of the evening, and she was extremely practical in how she screens and audits all of the leads that she sees. Her advice was a positive assessment of how not to get lost in the noise of applicants of the industry. Danielle Arvanitis followed her with a great deal of experience in both Enterprise and User Research and emphasized the energy of a team, personality types, and the inexact science with finding the right fit.

My talk tried to blow all of this up, by suggesting that this is all going to go away and UX is just a meme. Abandon the resume, abandon the business cards and focus instead on the relationships around you. We’re a very small community (but growing) here in San Francisco, and creating these connections pays off in dividends. Be patient, stay with it and your career and network will grow accordingly.

Improving Hiring for User Experience

Improving Hiring for User Experience (Part One)

Thank you to the good folks over at UX Magazine, for publishing the first of a two-part article, Improving Hiring for User Experience. Sorry that Ricky Gervais couldn’t join the party, he was especially proud of the photoshopped “Elements of UX” diagram on the whiteboard behind him.


Book Review : Designing for Emotion

The third of three book reviews from the A Book Apart series around writing, design and development for the web. Designing for Emotion is another pamphlet-sized novella on how to generate emotion in simple things like layout, tone, palette and other elements of interaction design. There were more than a few insights of discovery that were worth the quick read – for example, Twitter’s new layout was based on a nautilus shell, where each component of the layout was exponentially smaller than the conjoining section. The author, Aaron Walter, also took a chapter of time to discuss the connection people have with cartoon-like figures, the MailChimp mascot being a prime example of how when we think something is cute, we gravitate to it. Maybe this is why LOL cats is a million dollar industry.

User Experience Dominating

Viva User Experience, RIP Information Architecture

There will be no Dawn for IA. According to, “User Experience Designer” has completely blown away all the other industry job titles over the past six years. No longer are we to architect information – no longer must castles be drafted of data. It is not about the structure, it’s now all about the experience, man. Good luck to all those applicants out there!

Gestureworks Library

Open Source Gestures Library

A great resource for anyone designing tablet or mobile applications, this GML (Gesture Markup Library) goes a long way to standardize the way Interaction Designers draft their specs. From two finger pinch to the patented five finger triple tap, this open source typeface will allow you to quickly your gesture references with a single keystroke.

UX is neither a profession, nor a career

A disruptive view from someone who moved tech director to become a UX director. @burtbrumme. S’OK Burt, if you want to spend engineering resources away from your keyboard, we’d love to have you join us. The accountability is both of ours.