Category Archives: Project Management

Don Norman Signing Books

Designing Everyday Things

Don Norman gave a great talk and signed his book  at the Los Angeles User Experience (LAUX) meeting, November 2013.

NEW VIDEO – Donald Norman: The Design of Everyday Things in the 21st Century, Nov. 15, 7PM, Santa Monica, @jnd1er from on Vimeo.

To get to the part where Don begins to speak, jump to 10:03 on the video timeline. At 20:26, Don talk’s about the User Centered System Design (UCSD) book. Don is holding my copy of his book! He signed it for me before his talk.

Don Norman is an entertaining and inspiring speaker. I was Dr. Norman’s student at UCSD and I used his advice and read his books throughout my career. His messages have gotten even better with age and experience. At the end of the meeting I had the honor of having Don show me the Uber app to call a ride to the airport. It was fun to watch the “black car” move along on the map on Don’s cell phone and then appear in front of us in real life.

Don Norman Signing Books

Don Norman signing Ellen’s giant stack of books


Designing with Agile

I’ve recently been making plans to work with a team of agile software developers. Here’s a great 10 minute video, by Hamid Shojaee that reviews the key points of the scrum implementation of agile and explains things like the product backlog, sprints and burn down charts: 

Here’s another video that is opinionated, redundant and too slowly paced, but still quite effective in converting team members to agile: 

Last but not least, here’s a great slide presentation, by Anders Ramsay that shows how user experience designers can fit into the agile software development framework: Anders Ramsay’s Designing with Agile Workshop Slides

Rugby Game

What works best for your team? Do you use any off-the-shelf agile software tools? Please comment.

Inspiring and Leading through Storytelling

I just read The Magic Mural and How It Got Built: A Fable for Children of All Ages by Pat Welsh and Betsy Schultz, 2005.

The Magical Mural Book Cover

The Magic Mural is a really entertaining book that describes how the mural in front of the Del Mar library was conceived and built.


The author shares details that are also found in a design brief, such as who’s working on the project and what their roles are. There are also lots of great details about the people in the community and what they treasure, similar to a user profile.

Storytelling and story boarding is a great way to get people to work together and understand a projects common vision. This book inspired me to go to the Magic Mural at lunchtime today and see if I can help. The mural began renovation Dec 2012 and should be completed March 2013.

Postscript:  I went later that day and enjoyed helping out so much that I brought a Troop of Girl Scouts with me the next time. Here is a picture of Pat telling the story of the gnome, the tortoise jungle and the case of the wayward Hollywood parents to the girls.

Pat StorytellingIt turns out that listening to a great storyteller makes mural restoration work very enjoyable too!

Mural Team