Daily UX Stories

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I have been curating my UX Twitter feed for years. (a second feed is in the works) I feel that the stories, suggestions and news that come each day are relevant and interesting. Many years ago I also found the Paper.li service which puts together the feed into whatever layout I like automatically each day.

Not only is it a nice way to view the content, but also highlights different Twitter feeds each day and does some linking back to each company or professional.

Aardvark Shutting Down

According to an email I got this morning:

Dear Aardvarker, 

This mail is to remind you we will be shutting down vark.com shortly, and you will no longer be able to access Aardvark.

We’re sad to say goodbye to Aardvark now, but pleased that this project has inspired so much related activity in this area.
(See http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/fall-spring-clean.html for the broader story.)
Thank you for your support for Aardvark along the way!

All our best,

– The Aardvark Team

(p.s. You can visit blog.vark.com for information about data portability after Aardvark shuts down.)

I am really bummed. I enjoyed being a part of this community for the last year and a half.

My only solace is the hope that with the fall-spring-clean, that Google can finally deliver on the projects they keep promising (I’m looking at you, Google TV!)

Here is the text of the post on blog.vark:

Goodbye Aardvark

By Max, Zoo Director | Published: September 2, 2011

As part of the shutdown of GoogleLabs, Aardvark will be shutting down at the end of September.

Aardvark began as a small experiment in a new kind of social search, and over a few years blossomed into a service that made millions of connections between people to answer each other’s questions.  It was a great experience in seeking to combine a broad vision for the future of technology with a rigorous user-centered design process.  Over this time, we learned a lot about creating and maintaining online communities, and how to facilitate sharing of knowledge between people.

We’ve been excited to share these lessons within Google over the past year, especially as part of the effort behind Google+.  It has been gratifying to see how well this project is doing — even in these early stages, Google+ has already become a great place to share knowledge online, eclipsing the original vark.com! — and there is much more to come very soon.  In this and other projects at Google, the Aardvark team remains committed to developing powerful tools for connecting people and improving access to information.

Of course, we’re also sad to say goodbye to the original Aardvark here at vark.com.  Who would have thought that a digital version of a nocturnal burrowing mammal would have engendered so much affection!  We’re very grateful to the whole Aardvark community for your support along the way.

Onwards,

Max and Damon

p.s.  In the spirit of data liberation, we want to make sure that any of you Aardvark users who would like to retrieve your past data from the service can do so.  Right now of course you can log in and manually copy anything you’d like to keep.  Or if you prefer, you can email us at support@vark.com and we’ll send you a bulk dump of your data (please allow time for us to process these).  After September 30, there will be no way to retrieve your data, as shortly after that we will delete everything permanently.

Tech Talent Infographic

This infographic from Udemy points out who is being hired and why as well as providing some information to those trying to decide on the next direction in their careers.

It is important to note that without those key personnel who can take the ideas and turn them into reality, companies like Google, Apple and Facebook would not have the success they do.

[click to expand]

Top 10 Tricks for Working on the Go

I am always looking for ways to improve my telecommuting. Whether that means I need to find the best cloud solutions, strong wifi coffee shops or the right laptop bag. Here are some great tips from an article by
Whitson Gordon from the Lifehacker website that gives alot of great tips.

Top 10 Tricks for Working While On-The-Go

There’s only so much work you can do at the office before you go insane. If you need a change of scenery, here are ten ways to make the best of your mobile workspace.

Photo by Jack Shainsky.

10. Coil Your Cables Properly


Lifehacker has shown you numerous ways to wrap your headphone cables so they don’t get tangled, but when you’re working on-the-go, headphones are probably the least of your worries. There are USB cables, power bricks, cellphone chargers, and all sorts of other cords just waiting to tangle themselves up in your backpack. View the video to see an easy way to coil your small cables with a simple loose, overhand knot, and make sure you’re not putting too much stress on your laptop’s power cord. You want to be sure your cables still work when you need then 500 miles from the office. Continue reading

Design and Usability Conferences 2011

I am hoping to make it to at least a few of these conferences this year.

SXSW South by Southwest Interactive

March 11-15, 2011, Austin, TX

Conference $675 ($1150 for all access)

Flight about $325

Hotel going fast! About 160 per night ($800)

Plus food stipend

http://sxsw.com/interactive

Computer Human Interaction 2011

May 7-12, 2011, Vancouver, BC

conference cost $760 ($1360 late and for non-members)

flight about $600,

hotel 239 CAD per night ($1440)

plus food stipend

http://chi2011.org/index.html

UPA 2011 , Usability Professionals Association

June 21- 24, 2011, Atlanta Georgia

conference cost $695 ($895 for non-members)

flight about $500,

hotel 173 per night ($692)

plus food stipend

https://www.usabilityprofessionals.org/conference/2011/index.html

Continue reading