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· Design, Patterns, Social Design, User Experience

About two years ago in April I spoke at BayCHI for the first time. Rashmi Sinha, who was co-hosting the monthly program asked me to come speak about the Yahoo! Design Pattern library and the social patterns research project I had recently begun in earnest.

It was my first time airing a lot of these ideas in public and I discovered that I felt rather passionate about some of the key points. It was scary but it was a great experience. I believe the podcast of that evening will be out in a little while (I shared the program with the legendary game designer and writer Amy Jo Kim, so it was an honor as well as a privilege).

In the meantime, the project turned into a book and wiki and I actually succeeded Rashmi as Paul Sas’s partner in booking the monthly program.

On April 13, I’ll be back at PARC in Palo Alto closing the circle and reporting to BayCHI on what we (Erin Malone and myself) learned from the effort. I’ll still be behind Steve Portigal and a few other multi-time presenters at BayCHI – maybe we can get a little Saturday Night Live type thing going (“Hey everybody, I’m so happy to be back here speaking at a BayCHI program for the eighth time!”).

See you there?

Resisting the baroque temptation and design is harder than it looks, at BayCHI in February

· Design, Events, Games, Social Design, User Experience

This coming February 9 is approximately my one-year anniversary as co-chair of BayCHI’s monthly program and so far I’m enjoying the responsibility a great deal, even with the occasional panic that sets in when each new cycle rolls around.

The BayCHI Program for February features Elaine Wherry from Meebo and Jeff Green from EA. Elaine will discuss What Web Application Design Can Learn from the Harpsichord and Jeff will share some painful but revealing experiences crossing over from journalism to game design in Easier Said Than Done: One Critic’s Painful Transition to Interface Design.

As an aficionado of both music and games, I’m really looking forward to the analogies and lessons these two will share. Elaine is one of the founders of Meebo and she and I have had some really interesting conversations about the history and philosophy and pragmatics of digital product design.

Jeff is something of a famous wit, dating from his days writing the back-page humor column for Computer Gaming World (later Games for Windows Magazine), his various podcast escapades, his Greenspeak blog and of course on on the twitters. He has recently transitioned to a new role at EA, as editor-in-chief (and podcaster) for the EA.com website, and he may still be licking his wounds from his “if you’re so smart” encounter with the challenging realities and tradeoffs of interface design on a deadline.

Should be a great evening!