I am at a cross-roads right now. One journey is ending, and another is just starting. My wife and I have been working on adopting a little girl from China for the past year and a half. This journey ends at the end of the month. We still don’t have travel dates, but in all likelihood, we will travel to China on May 29th, and meet our daughter 5 days after. It has truly been a life defining moment, and I am amazed at how this little girl has been able to touch people. She has the most amazing spirit, and in spite of all her medical challenges continues to smile. We have about 20 pics of her taken over 2 years, and she is radiating happiness in every one.
She was born with Spina Bifida, and has significant medical issues. We do not know her condition, but we have prayed for her every day. We pray that she is delivered to us safely, but however she comes to us, she will be perfect as she is. We believe that she just is our daughter and she was just born to another person on the other side of the world, that simple… And if your kid is on the other end of the world, you just go get her. That’s it. We are confident God has big plans for this little girl and we are just happy to be chosen to be part of the ride.
I will post some pics of China when I get back. I’m sure I will have a ton. Please pray for her health and her transition to the United States. I am sure it will be very traumatic, but we hope it goes as smooth as possible.
On the work front. I just finished a contract on a Symptom Tracker for Corcept, which I worked on as part of the Heartbeat Ideas team. This was a great experience to design for people whose health depends on medical records. We designed a tracker tool that includes medical record keeping, data visualization and photo features. It was also a fully responsive web app, which was a fun challenge to tackle. The project goes live in Alpha on May 7, and will be posted here as soon as it is.
I have also been experimenting with alternative interfaces for collaboration software. I am trying to see what kind of interfaces I can design that would solve current collaboration software. There are so many limits to current collaboration software, and travel is so expensive and disruptive, that it is an obvious choice for the next generation of screen-less- hands free interfaces. I have been working with a combination of projector based/gestural technology. The idea is to make online collaboration more… collaborative. Our current generation of collaboration software really sucks. It is better than a phone conversation, but lacks the ability to collaborate in real time, as well as the ability to consolidate the notes and knowledge of the group for others to have access. My solution includes video, whiteboarding, collaborative notes, and web access all in an intuitive real world style interface. I have sketches, but it’s not polished enough to present.
I am doing this in an effort to design the software of the future, knowing the technology will catch up sooner than later. I have been using this as a part of the “wallboard” project, and it is a very cool concept. I am picking the Wallboard concept up again this month, and it is moving forward, so keep an eye out for an MVP.
Teaching and speaking
I spoke again at the Internet Retailer Web Design Conference on Minimalism in e-Commerce. Check out the deck and the blog post here. This is a summary of the presentation. I also spoke on Competitive Analysis at the How Interactive Conference.
I am going to be offering a workshop on Managing UX/UI workflow soon. Stay tuned. The workshop is in request to several people’s interest in my workflow I designed with my former partner Ben Thompson. It is mainly a tactical workshop on using specific tools, responsibility and formulas to prevent the chaos that ensues on most projects. My thought is that a lot of it comes from a lack of definition of roles and process, as well as using the wrong tools for the job. My opinion is that using the right tools can help manage chaos, mainly because it helps manage the amount of documents and formats that various people are using. The more documents, the more room for miscommunication, duplicated work, lack of time, and wasted effort. Please sign up on my email list and I will send out notification when this happens. I really hope to change how the industry does web design. I think there is a lot of effort that is costing creatives the precious creative juice we need to create, simply because of the wrong tools.