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Archive for April, 2009

London – social filtering needed

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

I’m going to be in London in June (for UX London) for the first time and have about 4.5 days completely free to tourist. I have absolutely no idea what I absolutely must do. I will definitely see stereotypically London things but need some help with the weird things that I might specifically like. 

So, based on my previous touristing, here’s what I like:

  • Walking through interesting history & architecture (can probably tick this off with no effort)
  • Anything that is just stunningly beautiful, or unique nature
  • Costumes, of any type and any period
  • Weaving
  • Other textiles
  • Design museums (even better if they have textiles, but furniture and interesting industrial design is excellent)
  • Paul Weller, The Jam & late 70s punk
  • Dr Martens – is there a Dr Martens museum? Or awesome shop. That would be cool.
  • Doctor Who
  • Interesting, funky shopping streets. Even if I don’t buy anything
  • Cool arts & crafts markets
  • Secondhand bookstores
  • Pubs that combine great beer with great people watching
  • Pubs with good beer
  • Live theatre
  • Cathedrals – not for religiousness, but they are often awesomely beautiful

And I really don’t need:

  • General art galleries: Yes, I’ll pretend to be cultured, but I feel more like ‘yes, I saw that’. If I must do it, I must
  • Snooty expensive things
  • Touristy expensive things
  • Any tour that makes me do it your way, not my way (I’m looking at you, Gracelands audio tour)
  • Nasty, flashy shopping streets where I feel like I can’t walk into a shop (I’m looking at you, South Beach)

So tell me what I should at least research. And tell me what I should think about…

A Camp Grenada catch-up

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Sometimes twitter just doesn’t do it for a good, solid ‘what have I been doing’ catch up post. So here’s one that takes more than 140 characters.

It’s already April and I feel like I haven’t done much work this year. Of course, I have been busy as hell. I’ve done loads of planning and administration for UX Australia, wrote a brand new full-day advanced information architecture workshop, and had plenty of meetings with content authors for a long-running government project.

What I’ve really been doing is teaching. I’ve done five in-house full-day workshops, 2 conference talks, 1 full-day conference workshop and 2 full-day public workshops. So that’s work, and it’s work I love. But it is so fun that I forget that it is actually work, and feel like I haven’t done anything.

But really, the pain of airports and airplanes should make it feel like work. I’ve travelled so much this year that I can visualise the Qantas Club lounge in every Australian city (except Adelaide). I do think I could walk in and make it to the wine bar with my eyes closed. 

But April is looking up. I’m home all month, in my lovely house, with my lovely dog and a brand new bed (mattress arriving Thursday, 1000TC sheets ready in the cupboard). I have a nice pile of client web writing, new book writing (I’m writing an e-book on web content for Rockable press), some wireframes for a favourite client, and more bits and pieces for UX Australia.

I hope that the biggest news for April will be that my card sorting book is published. It is at the printer now, and should be ready in a couple of weeks. I promise I’ll tell you when that happens.

May is also looking like fun. By then I’ll be over my travel fatigue, which is good as I’m going to Philadelphia to talk at the jboye conference (IA workshop and content talk). Just as cool is that I’m going to be around for the IXD/IASummit redux in DC. Going to hire a car, drive from Philly to DC, see some friends. Ahhhh, I’m already getting excited about it.

Then June. OMG June!

In June I’m first going to Denmark to teach an interaction design masterclass (and some community of practice meetings). Then to London to do some touristing with my friend CJ (I’ve never been to London), then two workshops at UX London, then more touristing, then home.

So in late June, I’ll be saying ‘I’m so glad to be home’ and desperately waiting to get away again. I feel like that Camp Grenada song – you know, the one where the kid starts of hating it, then loves it. Me & travel – Camp Grenada.