Archive for the 'work' Category

New job!

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

I seem to have nothing but updates to post lately. That’s what happens when you get out of school and relax for a month. I have had plenty of things to blog about other than updates, but when I have free to time to write, somehow it seems more enjoyable to spend it outside, in the sun, roasting marshmallows, rather than sitting in front of my computer blogging…

Anyway, I suppose this update is a pretty big one. I got a job! I recently accepted an offer with Nokia as an Interaction Designer in their new design office in San Francisco. I am really excited to be joining the group and the company and can’t wait to see what sorts of work, challenges, and excitement will come in being part of a brand new office.

I will be starting at Nokia in mid-September. To all my friends: please come visit me now that I’ll be out of Pittsburgh! ;)

(P.S. If anyone is interested, I was interviewed by Jeff Howard regarding my Master’s thesis project. Read it here.)

Conference, Blueprints, and Interviews

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

I haven’t had too many events to inspire a blog post lately, although laziness may have been a factor in my small hiatus from blogging. But I suppose three major events did happen in the past month that are worth mentioning and filing into my little “design milestones” virtual filing cabinet. One: I attended the first ever Interaction Design conference in Savannah, GA. Two: My blueprinting work at IBM this summer is being published and presented at the DMI Education Conference this April. Three: I completed first round interviews for my future (i.e., a job). A very brief summary below:

1. The IxDA conference

Six of us from CMU took the 10 hour drive down to Savannah, GA (where we met up with two more CMU folks) to attend the first ever Interaction Design conference. It was exciting because for the first time, all those who called themselves Interaction Designers (and those aspiring to be one) were in the same space for a weekend. While there were some good presentations and conversations with fellow Interaction Designers, I left the conference feeling a bit worried about the future of Interaction Design. It still feels like most people consider Interaction Design to be a discipline surrounding software and digital media/devices. Being educated at CMU, I often wonder if this view of Interaction Design is too deeply involved with the past, and not thinking enough towards the future. Or at least not broadening the field enough. I would have liked to see more talks hinting at the importance of service/system/environment design, as well as designing for management and organizations (I was glad to see that Bill Buxton touched on this in his talk). Maybe next year. Although I must say, the food at the conference was amazing, as was the venue!

2. My service blueprint enhancement work: published!

My mentor at IBM, Susan Spraragen has been diligently working on a paper regarding the work we did over the summer with service blueprinting. And good news! Our paper was recently accepted into the DMI Education Conference this April in Paris. I’m so glad to have worked with Susan this past summer… her motivation and drive to bring more design thinking to IBM was very inspiring, and made my job of trying to push design into IBM a little less intimidating.

3. Interviews, interviews, and more interviews

Last week was Confluence, the School of Design’s annual job fair. I had the chance to interview with eight companies: Intuit, Cooper, GE, GM, Sapient, IDEO, SAP and eBay. I was mostly very impressed with the companies. There’s a lot of good design work being done out there, even in companies where you wouldn’t think design thinking plays any sort of role in either their work, or their organization. I have yet to contact more companies as I can’t hold out hope on just the eight I’ve already interviewed with, but I’m hopeful that I’ll find something that I enjoy doing and can contribute my skills to.

I guess that’s my update for now. I can’t believe there’s less than three months before I can officially say I have a Masters degree in Design.

Bye bye IBM, for now

Monday, August 13th, 2007

Friday was my last day of work at IBM. It was an intense week. Four presentations, finishing a service design workbook, getting administrative stuff out of the way, giving a mini piano recital for my mentor’s two daughters… a lot of random things packed in five days.

Everything went very well the last couple of days. All my presentations were well received. Even the one with Robert Morris, head of IBM Global Services Research. He’s invited me back for a meeting with Lee Green, head of IBM Design Strategy and Brand Experiences, so hopefully I’ll find my way back to NYC sometime soon. Robert seemed to be interested in our work; if all goes well, all the research and development I’ve done with blueprints this summer will be put to use in evaluating IBM’s services.

So I guess my efforts at infusing design within my building didn’t go unnoticed. All due to my mentor, who was instrumental in getting me in touch with the right people.

Bye bye IBM, for now!

Talk, talk, talk

Monday, August 6th, 2007

It’s my last week here, and, so that other people don’t think I’ve just been slacking off all summer, I got asked to do a couple of presentations this week about my work over the summer.

I gave my first talk today to George Galambos, an IBM Fellow (from Canada!). The presentation went well. In fact, right after the presentation he walked my mentor and I over to Robert Morris’ office, where he talked a bit with his secretary.

So now on Friday afternoon at 3:00pm, I will be presenting my work to the head of IBM Global Services Research.

That’s pretty rockin’.

Fluffy talk on design thinking & managment

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

After working here for a couple months, I’ve naturally drifted towards reading a lot of articles on bringing design thinking into management. Because my brain is a bit fried from the work I’ve been doing this week, I’m going to cop out from expressing my opinions for now and instead share some interesting pieces I’ve gathered from some of these articles. A lot of these articles have got me thinking whether or not I should rethink my thesis essay topic. Being that my current topic deals with the exploration of classical music notation (or scores from film soundtracks, I haven’t yet decided) as a means to discover new service notations, it would be a big shift of topics. But most of me knows I’m a musician at heart, and it would be nice to dive into that area with respect to interaction design. Anyway.

On bringing design simplicity to business strategy

“What if we used the Little Black Dress as a model for business strategy? We would end up with strategies that would be neither incomprehensible to all save their creators, nor banal and self-evident. They would eschew the faddish and focus on enduring elements, incorporating a versatility and openness that invited their ‘wearers’ to add adornments to fit the occasion at hand. Perhaps most importantly, they would emphasize our positives while acknowledging our flaws–all in the service of offering us hope for a better (thinner) tomorrow.” -Jeanne Liedtka, executive director of the Batten Institute at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business

On Design Attitude

“We were working at a large table, and Matt was leaning far onto it, marking the final changes. As he pushed back from the table, we were joking about how tedious the process had been and how glad we were to have it over. As we joked, Matt gathered all the sheets of onionskin and the marked up floor plans, stacked them, and then grabbed an edge and tore them in half. Then he crumpled the pieces and threw them in the trashcan in the corner of the room. This was a shock! What was he doing? In a matter-of-fact tone, he said, “We proved we could do it, now we can think about how we want to do it.” -Richard Boland Jr. and Fred Collopy, professors (Information Systems and Cognitive Science, respectively) at the Weatherhead school of Management at Case Western, while working with Matt Fineout from Gehry Partners

On Risk

“We’ve found that this traditional, negative definition [of risk] doesn’t exist in the lexicon of most designers. For them, risk isn’t a measure of ‘the downside’; instead, it is a measure of upside and opportunity. If the risk isn’t great enough, designers might well ask themselves, “why bother”?” -Diego Rodriguez and Ryan Jacoby, IDEO