Sips from the Firehose
A blog that seeks to filter the internet into a refreshing, easily-gulped beverage


Sep 24

SoCal UX Job Fair & Meetup

Posted: under New Marketing, new media, UX/UI.
Tags: , , , ,

Nerd heaven: learning about the latest in UX while meeting killer startups

On Sept. 17, I attended the latest SoCal UX group meetup in downtown Los Angeles, where 29o designers mingled with startups looking for talent, and honed their skills by learning about the latest trends in web design and marketing.

The whole UX field is still very much a tech sector that is under construction. I’ve seen UX described as everything from the process of identifying the potential users of a new site, to the graphic design of a site, to the utter stats-based refinement of online marketing.

Sometimes, working in UX feels a lot like the “Alice in Wonderland” quote from Humpty Dumpty:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

UX is a field of study and implementation that really didn’t exist even a decade ago. It’s not surprising that we’re still struggling with the nomenclature to describe what it is that we do, now that web design has evolved to become a meld between art & science. Even moreso, now that we’ve seen the rise of DIY, paint-by-numbers sites like Wix, Weebly and SquareSpace.

It used to be that to build a site required a wide range of knowledge (and to a certain extent, it still does). But the democraticization of tools designed to make to make it “forehead install easy” to publish content to the web, has meant that the differentiator in the market has moved from technique … back to content.

If just about any schmo can spin up a responsive site with integrated forms and CSS transforms, then what use all those coding skills we all burnt so many brain cells to acquire these past 15 years?

 

That’s a larger discussion, and one I have had many times over the past few years (and will explore in more depth in future postings).

Meanwhile, enjoy these candid photos of the attendees and speakers at the SoCal UX Job Fair.

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Sep 01

“True Blood” and My Lawn At Night

Posted: under Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Is that Jay Gatsby's "green light" back there...?

Is that Jay Gatsby's "green light" back there...?

This looks like something out of “True Blood” – the part where there’s been some devil-worshipping sacrifice and the whole lawn is tinged with red after some poor sweaty schlub got chucked into the wood chipper.

Just breathing the air here in Los Angeles today made me feel lightheaded and dizzy, as though I were back up about 10,000 feet in altitude. This city has turned my lungs into Swiss cheese.

And yeah, I know this is a bit blurry. You try standing stock-still for 15 seconds.

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Sep 01

That Bloody Sky

Posted: under Uncategorized.
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the-bloody-sky-station-fire-los-angeles-sept-1-09

Revisit’st thus the glimpses of the moon,
Making night hideous, and we fools of nature
So horridly to shake our disposition
With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?

–Hamlet Act 1 Sc.4.39

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Aug 04

Unruly Adobe Tag Cloud for MAX in LA

Posted: under Design, New Marketing.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I stumbled across this today while poking around at the new Adobe products, trying to decide whether it’s worth it to upgrade to CS4 for the new features in Premiere Pro and Photoshop, or to just hang on to CS3.

Anyway, this is a 3-D animated tag cloud to promote the Adobe MAX conference here in LA; but I think they might want to regulate this a bit more, because some of the user-chosen tags are getting a little … pungent.  Hey. That’s pretty good. Maybe I’ll go there and add “pungent” to the mix…

I'm not sure if you can geo-anchor the text; if not, having "PORN" appear about where Chatsworth is located, is a stroke of serendipitous genius...
I’m not sure if you can geo-anchor the text; if not, having “PORN” appear about where Chatsworth is located, is a stroke of serendipitous genius… (click to embiggen)

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