Designing Understanding

This week I had a conversation with Andrew Benedict of the Insight Labs about UX for Good in Rwanda this June. I will be taking part in the week-long design challenge as a team captain.

Andrew: This challenge would be a huge undertaking for people from any background. What do you think makes UX design a particularly good fit to take it on?

Lee-Sean: I think of UX design as both applied craft and liberal art, which makes it a particularly good fit for this kind of challenge. UX designers have the ability to craft and make things in their particular area of expertise: web, mobile, etc., but the discipline is fundamentally about people in social and environmental contexts, which is what I meant by “liberal art.” UX design is sort of like rhetoric in a classical liberal arts education. It builds ways to frame our understanding of something with the aim of motivating and persuading people (“users”) around a certain point of view.

Check out the interview here.

UX for Good – New Orleans 2012

Back in May of this year, I had the honor and privilege of taking part in UX for Good in New Orleans. Here is the video documenting that experience:

UX for Good – New Orleans 2012 from UX for Good on Vimeo.

In New Orleans, music can easily be mistaken for a natural resource. It seems to emanate from every cobblestone and corner bar. But every note of every song is a product of human beings, many of whom are living in a system that is increasingly inhumane. At the second annual UX for Good event, user-experience designers from across the country convened in New Orleans, where they applied their unique brand of unrelenting empathy to the problems musicians face in their everyday lives. By the end of the event, the team of designers had devised three original ways to connect New Orleans musicians with the prosperity they deserve. Read more about what they came up with at ux4good.com.