Killer UX – Go For The Gasp!

Over the years, I’ve grown into an evidence-based designer. While I wish I could ‘cowboy’ along and just design on the fly, I know that the best designs are a result of extremely focused, dedicated, and iterative work.

…and this image is not only filled with evidence, it floods me with emotion:


Not only because it’s my daughter, but because it is evidence of hundreds, or most likely thousands of iterations to refine her ability to do this leap. I’ve seen her in pain, bleeding, so worn out she could barely walk to her bed, but her passion for showing her most excellent work pushes her to do the best she can…and do it with a smile.

I’ve seen her practice, and even seen her perform this live, but I audibly gasped when I saw this photo.

…which makes me think: What would it mean to our users…how filled with emotion would our users be if they audibly gasped when they saw our designs?

I imagine they would be filled with emotion, loyalty, and some may even be aware of the effort it took to craft a user experience like the one they are seeing.

I guess it comes down to this: Are we passionate enough about our craft to refine and iterate our design until it floods our users with emotion?

I hope so. I’m certainly going to make a run for it in 2014.

How about you?

Inventing Ways To Help My Gamer Son Love Science

Four years ago, my son (then 11), was playing his PS/2. He was just invited to go to his friends house to game and he was frustrated.


He spent weeks customizing his ‘guy’, getting to certain levels, and unlocking certain weapons, and he couldn’t bring all of that over to his friends house without also copying the data file onto the memory card and risk over-writing the wrong file, or just losing the card, or having his friend wipe out the memory card on accident while they were playing at his house.

He wished there was a way to just have the game save custom data onto the CD media itself. However, as we all know, CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs are read-only…

…so I had to invent a way for him to succeed.

Patent #8234667: Disk with Embedded Flash Memory and Disk Drive

As a result of his frustration, I was able to invent something useful: an optical disc with embedded flash memory so that a gamer could bring a disc anywhere and have his custom content read.

To fuel his, and my other kids, interest in science and the creative outlet inventing can bring, I added an incentive: Any frustration or ‘I wish’ they tell me that I could then use to fuel a patentable solution would receive a monetary award.

It’s a win-win situation. I get to solve real-world problems, and my kids get a glimpse at how cool and creative a technical job can be. Imagine if all kids lived with the assumption that they could participate in solving big and small problems alike, rather than just expecting others to solve problems for them?

How about you? How do you get students/kids to get excited about your technical passions?

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