The other night, as I sat in my living room watching the latest Game of Thrones episode for the sixth time, occasionally peeking at the dribbble shot I’d started (and abandoned), my mind wandered toward the previous day at work. I had made some good progress on a dashboard design, knocked out some functional documentation, and went out to dinner with some coworkers. Thinking about it, in my short time at 50onRed I already have countless memories and moments of which I’m proud. It’s rare to feel so much accomplishment in such a short amount of time, and I believe it was possible in large part by being part of a workplace culture that keeps its team members engaged, productive, and most importantly, happy.
I felt immensely grateful to be a part of such a place. In fact, it wasn’t so long ago that this kind of environment was merely a fantasy for me, something I’d only read about in blog posts and articles from my favorite UXers.
Earlier this week I attended the RE:DESIGN/UXD conference in Brooklyn. The event was packed with prominent speakers from the likes of Razorfish, Rosenfeld Media, General Assembly, Etsy, and LinkedIn, speaking on topics as diverse as “Better Living Through Sensors and Devices” and “There is No Such Thing as Mistakes: Surprising Insights from Jazz Improvisation”. Stepping off the train in NYC early Monday morning, I was excited to embark on what would be two days of firsts for me:
My first real design conference.
My first time navigating NYC by myself.
My first time in Brooklyn.
My first bowling score over 100 (sad, right?).
There was one first I wasn’t quite expecting, though. By the end of the conference, it was also the first time I realized a lot of the lessons we’re being taught about user experience are being disseminated in a bubble.