• Villainy

    Sometimes academia can be more of a calling than a career. I’ve spent the last few years balancing freelance work with family responsibilities; immediately before that, I was doing applied research. For all that, I find it satisfying to engage in blue skies thinking from time to time… especially if it’s villanous! (“Aviators” by katylevinson, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0) It was, as ever, a pleasure to work with Mark Bernstein on a paper for...

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  • Returning to work, and balance in the day-to-day of family life

    A friend called me an inspiration this week, in the context of recent changes I’ve made in my work and family life, specifically a part-time return to work while managing a baby and toddler. The feedback prompted me to write this post. (Thanks, Rikki!) The topic of “work / life pressures on mothers and young families” has been done to death in general, but here’s an example of one way to balance things that is...

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  • First impressions of CGM

    “What’s CGM?” you may ask. Some new User Experience methodology, perhaps, or a research group exploring Web Science through some novel lens? No, CGM is Continuous Glucose Monitoring, whereby a device is implanted to get a stream of data representing your blood sugar level. As someone with type 1 diabetes, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time in the past decade pricking my fingertips to extract a little blood and check my level. Recently, I...

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  • On Design Ethnography

    Long time, no post. I’ve not blogged at all about my recent contract work with a design agency / software house here in Vancouver – whoops – but indulge me in a few words about a fun talk last week: The talk was organised by the Vancouver User Experience Group and was entitled “Design ethnography in practice: How to do it, when to do it, and how to sell it”. Alas, an exciting bug in...

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  • Accessing public services: on phoning Southampton City Council

    This post has two audiences: those interested in usability of and access to local government services, and people specifically trying to contact Southampton City Council by phone. For the former, here’s a brief case study. For the latter, I have information that will help you! I needed to get in touch with the Council, but was routed through seemingly endless menu options when I rang. Inevitably, whatever option I chose, I was given a message...

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