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Archive for February, 2009

What’s in a bio?

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

I usually tweak my bio now and then, but with my card sorting book coming out soon (yes, really – March) I want to have a better look at it – after all, it will be on the printed version forever.

It made me think about the point of a bio and what you really want to learn from it. Mine at the moment sort of tries to tell a bit about my experience, a bit about my personal approach and some of what I want people to know so I can do more of it (i.e. teaching!)

But is that what you want to know when you read someone’s bio? How important are these:

  • Time in the current industry or doing the current work (I have 9 years up, and it feels strange…have I been at this long enough to be less specific?)
  • Types of systems I’ve designed (intranets, websites, applications, e-commerce, search). Does that matter? Or is that actually the most important thing?
  • Who I’ve worked with. I never include this – do you trust me more if I’ve worked with big-name brands?
  • My approach or philosophy. I care about this when I read other people’s bios, but do you?
  • What I do when I am not working? Does that make me look human, or get in the way of what you really need to know?

Ah, this is all too hard. And I teach people how to write. Now while I wait for your comments to pour in, I think I’ll go take some of my own advice.

And if you’d like to tell me about your favourite bio (of someone else), that would be fantastic!

UX Australia: August 2009

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

I’ve been annoying my friends by hinting at a secret project underway. Sorry guys, but I’m glad I’m finally able to tell you.

The big secret is that we (me, Andrew Boyd, Steve & Danielle Baty) have been doing the initial planning for a user experience conference, to be held in late August in Canberra (Australia).

I think it goes without saying that I’m really excited. I’m excited to be involved in conference planning again, and excited to be able to arrange a conference for my community.

One of the things I’m happiest about is that it will be a proposal-based community conference (ie one where anyone can submit a proposal, and the community reviews to help select the program). Don’t get me wrong, I love conferences with professional, high profile speakers; but I also love the homey feeling of a community conference where you get to contribute to who presents what.

The other thing that we are going to be doing, and this will get started later in the year, is running workshops. I haven’t been able to run my own workshops as often as I’d like in Australia, so hope to do that more. And we’ll be inviting other folks to teach practical full-day workshops. If there’s someone you’d like to see, or a topic you’d like to see covered, let me know and we’ll see what we can do.

Anyway, that’s the news. I hope you’re almost as excited as I am!