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.


UX & the Big Blue

Saw over at Core 77 today the news that IBM is going to invest $100M in 10 different cities around the world, hiring 1000 employees. First off IBM, what’s with the powers of ten in the press releases? Could we state that each employee make $100,000 in salary? Nonetheless, it signals a great nod to the profession as a whole, given Big Blue isn’t really known for this generation’s usability. IBM was likely steeped in traditional HCI research long ago when it was more heavily invested in hardware, but other than their cloud service offerings, I can’t think of a single customer-facing product that I’ve come across from IBM in years. This is likely my limited scope of only using Snapchat and UberFacts for all my productivity needs.


Improving Hiring for User Experience (Part Two)

Thanks again to UX Mag, for posting the second part of the article on hiring for UX. I hope it can help serve both applicant and interviewer alike. And no, I wasn’t joking about the scented resumes. Nothing says techno-professionalism like eau de chocolate. Read Part Two of the article here.

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.

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.

Elements of Content Strategy by Erin Kissane

Book Review : Elements of Content Strategy

Sometimes the best way to learn about the web design world is to close your browser and open up a book. Erin Kissane’s The Elements of Content Strategy does just that. Just one part of A Book Apart’s series of “brief books for people who make websites,” Elements covers content strategy’s basic principles, its origins and what it produces.