Sunday, January 06, 2008

2007 in Review

One year ago this week, I quit my job and (after a bit of interviewing and thought) decided to consult for a while. It's been a good year! Some of the things I'm pleased with:
  • Five excellent clients, and a couple of potentials I had to turn down because I was booked. Two web consumer startups, and one long-term established software company, whom I am still working with.
  • Several opportunities to work on data mining: web log analysis, survey cluster analyses, and quantitative personas. Very interesting work! (I also took 2 classes from to hone my skills.)
  • A couple of web projects for which I provided the interaction design and project management actually launched in the same year, including the extremely successul NASA Tech Briefs Create the Future Design Contest site. (Winners will be announced this week!)
  • Two publications by yours truly on the politics and skills of UI design: An article in interactions on the difficulties in practicing design today, and an essay in a new book, HCI Remixed: Reflections on Works that Have Influenced the HCI Community (MIT Press 2008). This book is hot off the press and a fascinating read.
  • Incorporation for my consulting business, Ghostweather Research and Design, LLC. Followed by a crash course in accounting for small businesses. Who knew that credits were negative and debits were positive? And that Quickbooks is still a bit hard to use?
  • I gave a handful of local talks at software companies, local design or usability meetings, etc, on design practices or online communities. Some of them are here on my essays page.
  • Some technical fun: Opportunity to use Flash (so far just on small personal projects), Illustrator, PHP, mySQL, Excel with a database backend.
I did not do as much conference travel as I wanted to, but plan to go to CHI in Florence this spring, to help make up for missing it last year. I hope to see you there!

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