Top 3 Talks at UX Conference “Make Stuff That Works” : Part 1

Still on a high from my first UX Meetup last Monday, I was delighted to see a popup conference coming up called Make Stuff That Works, organized by NetLife Research. There were 7 talks, 100+ UXers, and 1 great afterparty (more details to come).

“WTF Wearables?!” by Lisa Kindred

Liza Kindred, author & fashion tech strategist, is not a fan of hyped-up, novelty wearables. She makes her point by showing a variety of examples that are almost to the point of farfetched, such as:

The Papparazzi Dress:

Papparazzi Dress to prevent the wearer from being photographed

The Cyborg Cap:

Cyclops Hat that lets you display videos to other people

And this beauty, the Tweeting Bra:

It tweets a message every time the hook is unclasped (on the bright side, the point is to raise awareness for breast cancer)

But instead of talking for an hour about why all wearables “suck”, Liza shows us that she thinks there are actually a lot of cool wearables out there that can really make a difference in the world. What constitutes a wearable as being “cool”? Technology that, for example, prevents disease, helps correct color blindness, and can be used as a tool in every country to do things like improving water collection and becoming invisible to mosquitos! Continue reading

Taking the Leap: My First UX Meetup

Last Monday, I attended a panel held by the NYC Meetup group Ladies That UX and General Assembly (GA) called “Why Soft Skills Are Essential in UX”. This being my first UX Meetup, I walked in not knowing anyone and not knowing what to expect. Low and behold, I find an empty seat in the second row and notice that the environment is warm, relaxing and inviting. There are about 50 other UXers (both female and male, woohoo!) in the room, and I chat with my neighbor about her positive experience taking GA’s class on UX until the panel gets started.

UX Panel

Panelists from left to right: Jessica Greco, Rashida White, Shannon Copfer, Meaghan Nolan, and Melisa Chiem (the organizer of the Meetup)

Melisa Chiem, the organizer of the meetup who is leading the panel, starts asking a variety of questions, including:

  • How did you get into UX? 
  • What are some tactics with how you deal with a difficult person or situation?
  • What are some qualities of a good leader?

A few key points stuck out in my mind for each question.


How did you get into UX?

Jess mentions that one of her first jobs was working the front desk of a hospital before going to get her Masters where she built a robot for her final presentation. She realized that many of the users couldn’t figure out how to use it (though noted that when they did, it was fun to play with 🙂 ), and from then on, entered the world of helping users how to easily and painlessly learn and accomplish their goals with the program/interface/thing they want to use. Continue reading