Designing with Empathy

This weekend I had the pleasure of speaking at the inaugural edition of Open Source & Feelings. It was an amazing conference tackling some really hard topics. I received really great feedback from the audience on my “Designing with Empathy” talk and several asked for the transcript as they couldn’t take notes fast enough. So here is the talk broken out with what was on the slides as well as the script I tried to follow. The video is coming, and I will add that when available.

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Presenting Designing With Empathy at OSFeels

feelsbotI’ve been working on a new talk called “Designing with Empathy” that covers a little more than accessibility, but addresses the needs of those using assistive technology as well as those who have difficulty with technology. We all carry biases with us and when we build new sites, tools, apps, or games those biases leak through no matter how hard we try and prevent it. I hope to introduce some thoughts and ideas on how to reduce the influence of that bias as much as possible in your next project and I’m super excited that the fine folks over at OSFeels have asked me to present this talk to their audience.

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Imposter Syndrome Sucks

But we do it to ourselves. I battle imposter syndrome every day. In fact I made a distinct decision back in 2009 to “fake it until I make it”. I got fired for poor performance (I was severely depressed at the time which affected my work). While out of work in a down economy, I specifically put on a new outward face that would pretend to be someone I’m not to land a job.

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CodePaLousa Accessibility Resources

Thanks to everyone who came out to my talk UX of Stairs this morning. It was a really great crowd. there were a number of great questions and I mentioned some really good tools and resources, but I didn’t have the URLs on slides. Here is a list mentioned in the talk as well as in some conversations I had afterwards. And if you missed my talk, you can catch a version of it here.

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I’ll be Speaking at Scotland JS

I’m super excited to officially announce that I’ll be presenting my ‘UX of Stairs’ talk this May at Scotland JS in Edinburgh. This will be my first time leaving the United States other than a few trips to Ottawa, Canada when I was a kid, but does that really count? Just 3 days after CodePaLousa in Louisville, KY I’ll be boarding a flight across the pond.

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CSS Process and Workflow

For the last month I have been trying to spend more time with improving my workflow in front end development. Then at work I got the opportunity to present my findings to my team. I put this little deck together on http://slid.es, which uses reveal.js to make pretty presentations.

I spoke about two tools (Sass and LiveReload) and one process (SMACSS) I have begun using on a daily basis.

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CodePaLOUsa: Day One

What a fun day! There was a little confusion in the scheduling, but everything worked out well.

It does appear some people interpreted the schedule to have me presenting the same thing twice, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. I was under the impression that I was presenting once all day. As it turns out my content was just enough to fill up the morning and I was available and able to present it again in the afternoon. In total I had about thirty people attend my presentation Building Great Web Experiences For All.

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CodePaLOUsa 2013

This week is CodePaLOUsa in Louisville, Kentucky. I hear it is pronounced L-uh-villl, but maybe I'm wrong.

I'll be on stage twice this weekend presenting "Turning the Titanic: Getting Large Enterprise to Think Mobile First" and doing a workshop on Thursday, "Bulding Great Web Experiences for All Users" with a focus on accessibility. You can check out my sample site for that at Project Alice. It will also be the sample site for the book of a similar name (the name is unofficial still) I am working on. Hopefully that will be completed next month and self-published.