High contrast photo in blacks and neon pinks of the back of a person’s head and shoulders. They are wearing headphones and large audio equipment is visible in the background.
Photo by Tanner Boriack on Unsplash

In June of 2021, I started working on a UX 101 doc — a list of all the resources and ideas I’ve leaned on to get to where I am today in UX. I mentor folks who are pivoting into UX at non-traditional points in their lives, and this document is intended to jumpstart their research and self-learning. So I finally got around to putting it together in a semi-coherent, shareable format.

After I got through books and conferences, I started listing podcasts and quickly realized that the most recognized UX podcasts are hosted by white guys.

But more than…


Applying a Testing Mindset

Photo by Vance Osterhout on Unsplash

In Real Life

In late September of 2020, my brother and I compared home renovation projects. I spent several months of COVID-19 quarantine ripping up carpet and laying a floating hardwood floor. I then spent several more weeks measuring, cutting, laying, and nailing in quarter round trim over all the gaps along the edges of the floor. But my house was built in 1913. So you can imagine that a lot of things didn’t line up.

One of the biggest gaps (oof, pun) came at each threshold. There were literal gaps — the living room floor is almost two inches lower than the…


Illustrated hands in many-colored, geometric style, held out with palms up
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

“All that you touch, you change. All that you change changes you.”
- Octavia Butler

In the last couple months, we’ve seen an unprecedented number of white people (myself included) become aware and passionate about Black history in America.

The thing that has struck me most, though, is how late we are to wake up, and how easy it would be for us to slip back into a torpor. One article in particular made me think good and hard about how I can make this awareness and intention a permanent change and not just a trend. …


Thoughts from someone who’s looked at a bunch of em.

Hand-drawn wireframes watercolored in blue, purple, and green
Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

Portfolios are hard. They’re supposed to represent your philosophy, process, work breadth, and skill sets. They’re supposed to tip the odds of getting a job into your favor. But every hiring manager, recruiter, and potential teammate has something specific they’re looking for in a candidate’s portfolio. And you’re working in a limited medium: a website.

Lots of people have already written great advice about the finer points of building a design portfolio. But I want to focus on UX, product, and design, because this still feels like a very uneasy relationship.

We sometimes lull ourselves into a mindset of “as…


Vernus

  1. Equinox

Today most especially
we hover in the balance.
Day meets dark in
equal parts,
but we —
we are tipping into the light.

2. Winter’s End

Out of a season
of pruning, pause, prudence,
of waiting waiting waiting,
we emerge:
bony, ashen creatures
lapping at dregs
weary of cold
hungry for light,
wringing gray flake from our creaking limbs.

3. Below

I want to plunge deep roots
putting out blind tendrils that grope for more
to entwine and bind —
with you —
together holding our dear Earth. …


Photo by Daniel Mingook Kim on Unsplash

Last fall, a coworker approached me with a question. They said, “Now don’t freak out, but — “ and I couldn’t tell you a word of what came next. My brain was stuck. When had I become the one who freaked out?

I started asking people close to me, who I trusted to be honest. Was I freaking out? The consensus was yes — I was testier than usual, quicker to melt down, not really able to think things through. And that was enough for me.

Making New Habits

I decided to stop drinking for a spell and to revamp my diet with…


Underwater view of a coral with twisting lines like a brain
Photo by Daniel Öberg on Unsplash

Sitting in a coffee shop, in wintry pre-dawn light, my friend Nik and I were discussing the idea of positivity. Despite being a popular self-help trend for decades, we decided positivity wasn’t the point. Language was. The language we use shapes our reality.

Ten feet away, the only other customer in the coffee shop walked over to the counter and said, “I better get another cup. It’s gonna be a long day.”

Nik’s eyes lit up. “Did you hear that? He just set the course for his whole day!” We immediately wondered what would have happened if he’d said, “It’s…


Halfway up the Living Room trail, looking out over Salt Lake City.

Recently, I put myself in a very awkward situation. Awkward for me — from the outside, no one could really tell that anything unusual was happening (I asked!).

The experience lasted maybe an hour, but in the space of an hour, I went through an incredible range of feelings: resentful, petulant, annoyed, frustrated, helpless, panicky, relieved, embarrassed, shaky, bemused, annoyed again, and then just drained.

After work, I hiked to the Living Room — one of my favorite overlooks of Salt Lake City. And I thrashed myself up and back down the trail. I did the entire hike in just…


Oh grant me my prayer, that I may never lose the touch of the one in the play of the many. -Rabindranath Tagore, Indian poet, 1861–1941

At first, there was nothingness. But then, a clever one made a circle around a bit of the nothingness, and that became something. Both the circle and the piece of nothingness. The circle, we came to call zero: the empty place. From nothing comes something. From something, everything is formed. We are formed.

Photo Credit

We who are pieces of the universe. The uni-verse, or “one turn” — describing a complete circle. …

Jess Vice

User Experience. Homeownership. Whiskey. Rock Climbing. Books. Spiritual Exploration. Salt Lake City, Utah.

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