Sketchnotes 2011

March 4, 2013

sketchnotes

Recently, my colleague Jerome Domurat showed me this bound collection of Eva-Lotta Lamm’s sketchnotes and I was pleased to be reminded of the beautiful one-pager she did of my “Playful Design” talk from UX Lisbon:

Christian Crumlish: Playful Design at UXLX by evalottchen
Christian Crumlish: Playful Design at UXLX, a photo by evalottchen on Flickr.

How to criticize Obama as a terrible negotiator

January 1, 2013

If Obama’s opening position is too close to the expected split-the-difference middle, point out that he is caving and that the deal will be too far to the right.

If Obama’s opening position is much further to the left (including, say, a public option or a permanent solution to the debt-ceiling b.s.), say that he caved and sold us out when he gives in on that sweetener to get to a deal.

Voila, either way, he sucks!

Birth month

November 2, 2012

I was out at dinner with B the other night, celebrating my birthday, and I mentioned how I wasn’t following my old tradition of posting a note about the birthday of my blog (because I started breathing room on my 33rd birthday and briefly considered calling it “Outliving Christ”) because, as with so many things in this past year, I had no time for the grace notes of life and have had to take my satisfaction from the things I can do.

To take some of the anxious pressure off of birthdays and their proper celebration in our family, we’ve adopted the notion of a “birth month,” loosely defined as the month containing the birthday (especially for dates early in the month), or about a month starting on the day of the birthday (especially for dates late in the month).

The birth month is full of win. I recommend it. If I were technical about it, mine will stretch till November 29 this year, coincidentally the proposed birth date of another project of mine.

So here I am, posting not on the (fifteenth!) anniversary of my now somewhat anemic blogging career, which was two days ago (Tuesday), but somewhere in the midst of my blog’s birth month, and mine, and – as it happens – on the one-year anniversary of my father’s death.

It hasn’t been an easy year. It has been a year of wrenching changes, of transformation, and of sorrow, fear, grief, and worry. Thank goodness it’s also been a year of creation, renewal, opportunity, and bold adventure. I wish I could tell Dad all about it. I miss him so.

Death Don’t Have No Mercy

The above link should play my brother, “xourmas,” and I – aka The Power & Mighty – doing an impromptu rendition of the Rev. Gary Davis (?) spiritual blues, “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” from a few days after Dad’s death last year.

Plugin test

October 16, 2012

Twitter tools just made me install Mailchimp’s social plugin, which may have munged my comment area, hence this test post.

UPDATE: Well, updating the plugins still hasn’t restored the tweets to the banner area of the blog, and there have been a serious of crash/freeze/hangs, so now I’ve disabled the “social” and “twitter tools” plugins to see if maybe they have been the culprits in the stability issues lately.

Quick test of a new comment plug-in

September 6, 2012

Looking to see if I can integrate my comment system with fubber and twudder…

Tune In, Cloud On, Rock Out!

May 23, 2012

One thing about working real hard is that a lot of things I’d love to post about never seem to make it to the top of the queue, and then the blog turns into “here are my slides, here is a video of my talk, here is a weird song by the band, here is another conference I attended,” etc.

A lot of the best stuff stays in draft form or as brain crack, or gets hinted at in tweets and not much more.

And then I miss even the important stuff, like where’s my book-ending “hey, I left AOL, or should I say AOL left me” post? Maybe I’ll still post it, or maybe this is going in my book, as I like to threaten people from time to time.

So I’m way past overdue mentioning to my surviving blog audience that I have taken a new job, director of product at CloudOn. I started this month and am neck deep in it already, hence the lack of extended “enjoying my severance” essays and photo journals.

Our product right now is a free app for iPad and Android tablets that enables you to edit and work with Microsoft Office files “in the cloud.” That’s the logline. There’s more to it (Dropbox and Google Drive and Box support! Acrobat Reader and image files! etc.), and there’s lots more to come, but that’s the gist of it today. Personal productivity across platforms, helping people get things done with the most convenient device available, seamless experiences across context.

This is the kind of user experience and product management work I love to do. Hard problems with vast theoretical underpinnings and thousands of difficult decisions required to actually ship something real, early and often.

I’m recruiting a UX team, currently looking for a visual design maven to anchor our in-house design practice, and ultimately building a more well rounded product and UX operation as we grow.

We hit 1,000,000 iPad downloads yesterday, I think, so there’s not a minute to lose!

Most of the time I'm a peaceful man

May 12, 2012

[desaturated image of a Nesbitt's Orange Soda bottle label]Over the last few years the Kincaids have messed around with quite a few cover songs. Some we adopt into our core repertoire, such as it is (as with Chilton’s “I’m in Love with a Girl” or Reed’s “Satellite of Love”). Others we toy with for a week or three and then forget again (too many to mention).

Back in early ’10 we decided to try the one real song song from Negativland’s class Escape from Noise LP (that’s what we used to call a vinyl record, kids).

We had a lot of fun with it, playing the tune at various tempos, eventually stretching it out into an odd Grateful Dead meets Velvet Underground space. As if often the case, the penultimate take was really the best one.

On this one Cecil Dan is on bass and Rev Bill is on the acoustic guitar. I’m on electric uke and lead vocals. Dan and Bill sing backups. I like to dedicate this one to B, who’s name is often misspelled in the way of the soda*.

Nesbitt’s Lime Soda

* Speaking of which, there doesn’t seem to be a Nesbitt’s Lime Soda, although there appears to be, or to have been, a Nesbitt’s Lemon-Lime at some point.

Farewell to my gmail address

May 10, 2012

(illustration: the letters G and O from the Google logo, slightly pixelated)I never liked the minimum character requirement for a gmail username. My first . lastname is long. A while back I set up google apps for my primary domain (mediajunkie.com), which also hosts this blog, etc.

I maintained two separate in boxes for far too long, and I have a future-proof address via the Pobox service that I give out, it really doesn’t matter what address I’m using on the back end. Occasionally the reply comes from the back-end return address, and in those cases I’d rather be giving out me at my domain instead of longfirstname . longlastname @ bigbrand . com.

Switching was easy when I realized I was happy not migrating the archive. It’s a searchable epoch. Let’s keep it that way. (If you want to do something similar but maintain a complete master archive, see this helpful Lifehacker article.)

I set up forwarding from gmail to my domain. Easy peasy. Then I told pobox to stop forwarding to gmail and start forwarding to my domain (with the backup copies still going to a yahoo and an aol account).

No effect on people sending to me. Clean slate in my google apps for my domain inbox.

I also didn’t reproduce all the filters. I’m going to watch what comes in for a while and do a bunch of unsubscribing. I’ll remake the filters as I go.

Since I have a work email inbox at CloudOn I’m glad to get the total down to two at least (not counting Facebook, ugh, and everything else, but still…).

 

Broken Experiences panel at the IA Summit 2012

May 4, 2012

One of the goals my Consumer Experience team shared at AOL was that of publishing, writing, and speaking in public about our accomplishments and lessons learned. Senior designer Gabi Moore ran the awesome Broken Experiences program at AOL and proposed a talk about what we learned from it called “Fixing UX One Pixel at a Time.” (It’s not about pixels, at least not most of the time.)

Gabi asked me to present with her and I was happy to do so, though I tried to limit my involvement to telling the pre-history of the team and the early “sneakernet” days of the Broken Experiences blog, and then I turned over the mic to Gabi to talk about her very effective leadership of the program, operationalizing the experience-reporting and fixing flow, developing a bookmarklet, and promoting the program internally with Ben Hudnut’s amazing video.

The talk was recorded and I’ll post when the podcast is available (and I may try to convince Gabi to synchronize the audio with the slides). Meanwhile, here is the presentation deck Gabi developed, with a little help from me.

Video of 'Playful Design' from UX Lisbon

December 9, 2011

Back in May I posted my slides from my talk at UX Lisbon this spring, on the topic of Playful Design.

Recently, the UX LX organizers released a free version of the video of my talk (including a very brief little ukulele demo at the end), so here it is for y’all:


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