The first week of my masters program: over! I always knew I wanted to go back to school for another degree, I just never knew when or for what…although the hope for the last few years was for UXD.

Anyway, for my course we’re required to write a post about the class each week so I’m putting mine up on the Copper blog! Week 1 was a lot for me, not going lie. The academic, desperate-for-an-A, type in me is happy to be in school again and I don’t mind (in fact enjoy!) that it’s all online. So different from my traditional undergrad experience. But the desire to want to know my fellow students and read everything that’s posted in the discussion boards means I’m often checking the board multiple times a day, all week. Yikes! Plus, I fear I’m going to burn out talking about UX so much…it is, after all, my full time job, the club board I sit on, and now my masters area. UX is basically my entire life!

Something I’ve really enjoyed so far though is reading “The Design of Everyday Things” by Dan Norman (of NNG fame). Yes, I have somehow gotten this far in life without having read this book. I’m surprised how much it reads like a textbook, despite it’s paperback novel-like look. The first chapter talks largely about how the application of six fundamental psychological principles makes something “discoverable.” I struggled a little with the concept of affordances. I understood the application to physical objects but struggled a little with their application in the digital realm.

Another thing I really enjoyed this first week of class was the “Applying Deign Thinking” discussion. We needed to identifying something in everyday life that you and others have become habituated to. I talked about the elevators at work but others posted some awesome examples. I really enjoyed the posts that related to accessibility or inclusive design. Juice boxes, pill packages, velcro shoes, ice cub trays… As my parents continue to age I think more and more about how the world isn’t designed to include so many types of people. Something “simple” can actually be really difficult for someone not perfectly “able”. Microsoft has a great Inclusive Design Toolkit with the chat below. It demonstrates that everyone, at some time, will face some kind of impairment, although people typically think of permanent impairments like blindness or deafness.