Out and About: Steve in Las Vegas
By Steve Portigal at 9:28 am, Wednesday July 01 2015

I was in Las Vegas last week to kick off a new project. Here’s some of my pictures from my time there.

glitter-gulch

warning

mantis

mural

marquee

711

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sock

red

hotel

bitcoin

jerky

texture

somers

chapel

motel

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This Week @ Portigal
By Steve Portigal at 9:28 am, Monday June 29 2015

It’s officially summer!

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This Week @ Portigal
By Steve Portigal at 9:14 am, Monday June 22 2015

Monday, Monday, Monday.

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This Week @ Portigal
By Steve Portigal at 10:05 am, Monday June 15 2015

Well, a good day to all!

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A new article about what I learned while doodling
By Steve Portigal at 10:08 am, Tuesday June 09 2015

I’ve just published What I Learned From 100 Doodles in 100 Days, my first article in a long time. Here’s an excerpt, but check out the whole thing on Medium.

Last November I sat in the audience at the HOW Interactive Design Conference as Jim Krause spoke about “Habitual Creativity.” He talked about breaking out of unconscious habits (e.g., driving to work the same way each day and never really “seeing” what was around you) and creating new habits by taking on new behaviors. At some point during his talk, I made a note that read simply “100 doodles in 100 days project.”

The idea of taking something new and doing it deliberately and repeatedly appealed to me. I was even reminded of other efforts like Rachel Hinman’s 2008 project “90 mobiles in 90 days.”

After making the note, I set the idea aside, eventually deciding to kick the project off in the New Year. I framed the task in a way that was safe for me. No, don’t worry, I’m not drawing, I’m not even sketching. I’m just doodling! Doodles aren’t of consequence, they’re little visuals you do mindlessly in the margin of your notebook to keep your hands busy while talking on the telephone. They aren’t intended to be “good” (whatever that means).

thanks

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This Week @ Portigal
By Steve Portigal at 10:14 am, Monday June 08 2015

Howdy to a sunny Monday to begin the week.

  • I’m back to Boston on Wednesday for one last quick trip. We’re running a day of brainstorming workshops with our client, helping them to think divergently about the different products and services they could create to support their users better. We’re all very excited about it. I’m especially pleased that even though I was supposed to have completed my work a few weeks ago, they extended my contract so that I could be part of these workshops.
  • We just got a greenlight for another project and I expec this week will see a small flurry of contract and schedule activity. Probably right at the same time as another project – one that has been moving very slowly through the approval process – will blossom. It’ll work out, somehow!
  • Tomorrow I’ll be publishing an article about the 100 Doodles in 100 Days project. This is the first piece I’ve written in a very long time; I can’t think of anything that I’ve written in the two years since Interviewing Users came out. I’m looking forward to your reactions.
  • My hosts at RGD recorded last week’s Interviewing Users webinar; as soon as I have the link I’ll post the video.
  • I’ll be returning to Fluxible in September, speaking about War Stories.
  • I’ll be doing the closing keynote at Interact 15 in London this October. Details about a workshop coming soon.
  • A lot of people are asking when Dollars to Donuts is coming back. I’m looking for sponsors who can help defray the costs to produce another season. If your organization can help, please get in touch.
  • Ten years gone: From June 2005 – Campbell’s Soup seed cans, captive airline advertising, John Doe around the world.
  • What we’re consuming: Tetro, Momiji.
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Out and About: Steve in Cambridge
By Steve Portigal at 11:17 am, Wednesday June 03 2015

I’ve been at Cambridge a couple of times in the past couple of months (and may be going back next week). Here’s some of the pictures from my visits.

boston-1
Please do not throw coins in the water. It will negatively affect the fish.

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Book sale in Harvard Square, using a Bitcoin-powered honor system for payment.

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got tori amos?

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Public safety.

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Out and About: Steve in Houston
By Steve Portigal at 11:14 am, Tuesday June 02 2015

I was in Houston a few weeks back to teach a user research workshop at a client’s site. I did get some time to take photos and here’s a few.

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Welcome hackers

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Spec’s liquor

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Donut

houston-4
GUNS

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Out and About: Steve in San Antonio
By Steve Portigal at 11:08 am, Monday June 01 2015

A couple of weeks ago I was in San Antonio, where I was one of the presenters and workshop leaders at the Enterprise UX conference. Here are some of my pictures.

sa1
Out the hotel window, before the sun comes up.

sa2
Welcome to the party.

sa3
This toilet was flirting with me.

sa4
sa6
Roasted? Iced? Local language norms or just really fancy catering?

sa5
sa7
Conference breakfasts.

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This Week @ Portigal
By Steve Portigal at 10:30 am, Monday June 01 2015

Happy June!

  • I’m in town this week for the first time in a while. I’ll be working on planning another set of workshops for our Boston folks next week. Yep, I thought I was rolling off that project, but they very graciously invited me to continue so I’ll be back next week.
  • I’ll look for some more info this week on the other projects that are gently and slowly incubating, so that I can make some resource scheduling/planning/etc. for the next few months. It’s an uncertain feeling, teetering on the edge between structure and plans, just trying to roll with it.
  • Meanwhile, I’m networking, including lunch with some Hungarian visitors, and doing some writing, rewriting, and plotting to write!
  • I’ll be doing a webinar about Interviewing Users this week; hope to “see” you there!
  • Ten years gone: From June 2005 – Wet Pain, Pete’s Tofu2Go desserts, R.I.P. Scott Young.
  • What we’re consuming: Let’s Start a Riot, Udupi Palace, Children’s Letters to Frankenstein, Kids in the Hall.
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An inflection point for user research: scandal
By Steve Portigal at 9:45 am, Thursday May 28 2015

A user researcher is front and center in a Silicon Valley competitor-workers legal snarl.

One now-former employee, Ana Rosario, was hired by Fitbit as a user experience researcher around April 16 but did not disclose that she planned to leave Jawbone until April 22, the complaint said. On April 20, according to the complaint, Ms. Rosario held a meeting with Jawbone’s senior director of product management to discuss the company’s future plans and then downloaded what the company said was a “playbook” outlining its future products.During her exit interviews, Ms. Rosario initially denied taking confidential information, but she later acknowledged downloading its “Market Trends & Opportunities” presentation, the complaint said.

I don’t know Ana (although LinkedIn shows me I know many people who do know her); I do know people at Jawbone (and probably people at Fitbit). I’m not sharing this to comment on any of the players or the details of the situation itself, but to note at a meta-level that in the trajectory of user research as a business function, it’s grown in prominence to the point where you can pick up the New York Times one morning and see a story like this.

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This Week @ Portigal
By Steve Portigal at 9:46 am, Monday May 25 2015

It’s a holiday Monday!

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This Week @ Portigal
By Steve Portigal at 9:34 am, Monday May 18 2015

Hello, Monday!

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This Week @ Portigal
By Steve Portigal at 9:32 am, Monday May 11 2015

Greetings to all.

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This Week @ Portigal
By Steve Portigal at 8:00 am, Monday May 04 2015

Happy May!

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