🦆 Interaction Nerds by UXA
This week from Archive & Collection: people! Ageism in UX design, why women are encouraged to go into UX, and respectful & productive design critique.
Table of Contents:
👋 Announcements — XHacks Last Weekend!
Last weekend, UXA held the annual design hackathon XHacks with the theme of Designing with AI! There were 15 teams bringing amazing ideas that inspired everyone. The event documentations and photos will be coming up soon—stay tuned for them! 👀
Thank you everyone who participated in XHacks and made this event fun and inspiring! We hope to see you in next year’s XHacks! ❤
🌾 Opinion — Ageism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice
Nowadays, younger generations are socially expected to “hate” all isms (eg. racism, sexism, etc)… yet it’s considered entirely fine to make fun of age. Why is that, and how is it impacting the way we design?
It’s irrational that younger people are ageist because everyone ages… and us younger people are next.
According to Tom Green, “ageism is thought to be the most common form of prejudice,” and yet we don’t recognize how prevalent and impactful it is.
In day to day life, this often manifests as societies being youth-oriented and the wisdom and experience of elders being written off.
Older adults are often rendered invisible in the research & design of digital technologies, despite many older adults being capable & eager to use technology.
❓What assumptions have you made about elders in and outside of design? Have you ever checked those assumptions?
🍀 Industry — Why Are Women Encouraged to Go into UX?
The stereotype of a computer programmer is a geeky man in an overpriced San Francisco studio… but did you know that as a burgeoning field, tech was considered “feminine”? Women were the ones focused on software, and computer science programs used to be advertised as “for girls”. What changed?
The history of women in tech is a story of stolen valor.
When computing was portrayed as “dull, repetitive” work, it was the domain of women. Yet once it became evident that software was the real future of tech, CS began to be marketed towards men.
Embracing the stereotype that men are out of touch with their feelings, tech was & is portrayed as a prestigious field where logic & rationality rule all. UX design, with its emphasis on empathy & care (traditionally feminine traits), is encouraged for women.
In this article, Daley Wilhelm dives into the true of history of tech and analyzes the disproportionately (relative to the rest of tech) female makeup of UX.
🔨 After the “move quickly & break things” crew has had their fun, user experience steps in to tidy things up.
❓ Huh… somehow this reminds me of a lot of other societal phenomena relating to gender roles… what do you think?
🎯 Resource — Don’t Take Design Critique as an Insult
No matter what kind of design you go into, knowing how to receive & act on feedback will be a part of your job. Yet, humans have a natural impulse to push back on anything that threatens their identity or ideas, resulting in time & emotional energy wasted in illogical arguments & irrelevant details.
Here are some tips for useful & satisfying feedback:
Identifying good vs bad feedback Bad feedback…
👀 Focuses on the solution, rather than the problem
💞 Includes personal likes or dislikes (eg. “I like”)
🗣️ Is directed at the designer instead of the design (eg. “your choice of…”)
⁉️ Ask for clarification - if you don’t understand their rationale, keep asking why. 📝 Write down notes live, in front of them. It shows appreciation & is more useful. 👨🏽🎤 Create scenarios to avoid getting personal.
Acting on Feedback
🧘🏽 Take time to reflect before applying feedback → rushing tends to result in wasted effort.
🎆 Fun — Random Cool Things!
Who’s behind the scenes?
Thanks for reading this week’s Interaction Nerds by CMU UXA! The editors behind this work are Alana Wu and Rebecca Jiang.
🥰 Follow Us
We look forward to co-curating future content with you! Let us know what you think about the content and send us some good vibes through these channels below.
Instagram | Facebook | Linkedin | UXA Website
Looking for participants for your research? Wanting to recruit students to work in your lab or on your project? Advertise on the UXA newsletter! Fill out our opportunity form with some information about what you want to advertise, and we'll feature your project/opportunity on the UXA newsletter!
🌱 Join the Community
Join the Slack channel to get updates on upcoming events, learn about cool resources and opportunities, ask questions about anything HCI, and much more.
Subscribe and stay IN the loop 👍
Really nice newsletter this week, great content. [insert any number of positive emojis here :-)]