Even For Grown-ups Work Must Be Fun

[Based off a previous post]

There seems to be this unspoken creed among adults in the working world that goes like this, “If you’re having fun at work you must not be working.” The insinuation is, if you are playing, you’re not getting work done, therefore, you’re wasting time. Likewise, the slogan “Work Hard, Play Hard” is often associated with two different environments 1) Work hard while at work 2) Play hard while at home (or on HR related corporate outtings). Why can’t these environments be the same? Why can’t they co-mingle?

The National Institute for Play says:

Corporate attitudes about play-on-the-job vary immensely. But, the knowledge and ethic to support play-based practices that create innovative, problem solving work teams are virtually non-existent in organizations today.

Executives running organizations do not have the information to understand the true nature of play. Even those who have a natural appreciation and temperament for the benefits of play see play and work as separate. Some believe that play is the opposite of work.

When it comes to business we have to be mature and serious. Right? Yet, we’re jealous of the people that “love what they do” and “cannot wait to get up each morning” because they are having fun at work.

Within some entrepreneurial organizations the concept of fun and play are emerging as viable and needed elements in employee development and competitive business growth. This is especially poignant when it comes to innovation and organizational learning. This is what I call “The Fun Factor” in learning. Below are listed several ways that establishing the catalyst of fun will benefit your life, your team, your work, and your bottom-line.

10 Benefits of the Fun Factor

  1. It is pleasurable and consequently opens the learner to additional learning.
  2. It minimizes defensiveness and a trust relationship is developed with the employee.
  3. It stimulates retention because what the employee likes and enjoys, he/she remembers and practices.
  4. It captures imagination and stirs the creative and innovative nature within the employee.
  5. It engages the employee, gets him/her interacting while not putting them to sleep with mundane routine.
  6. It excites and drives the employee to want to know more on a subject or topic.
  7. It energizes the employee and shapes departmental and corporate culture.
  8. It synergizes as the employee applies “fun approaches” to work.
  9. It changes outlook as the employee begins to see life from a positive aspect.
  10. It increases mental flexibility helping the employee cope with strenuous situations.

What other benefits have you seen? Comment below and let me know.

How UX can get the budget they want


Check out Alan’s post on selling UX to your leadership or potential client. Be warned – you first need to know the numbers and how that equates to the value you bring. Do your homework and then pitch your solution.

Originally posted on Clunky - Alastair Simpson:


If you want to get bigger budgets for your UX work, you have to look at the problem from the eyes of your manager and even their manager.  Just as you look at interfaces from the point of view of your users, what angle is your boss looking at the problem from?  And what is your hook that will make them sit up and listen to you?  An exit rate of 10% due to poorly formatted error messages and form fields? Or $2 million dollars in lost revenue?  Which is more compelling to your manager?  You have to frame your arguments in terms that will appeal to your boss, or face always feeling like they are never listening and you are not getting the budgets you deserve.

View original 658 more words

UX Mentoring

I recently read a short piece by Oz at UX Beginner and feel he is spot-on! The article is about finding a UX Mentor.

Key take-aways for mentors:

  • Help set expectations
  • Be on the lookout for opportunities to network your mentee
  • Be on the lookout for possible job opportunities for your mentee

Key take-aways for mentees:

  • Drive the relationship
  • Show initiative
  • Be accountable to your mentor

Thanks Oz for your insights and this timely post. Read the full article for more details.

Google Soon To Add Mobile UX To Ranking Algorithm

The implications could be enormous for every site on the Web that competes for Google ranking. Good UX is more than look and feel. Make sure you have a seasoned UX professional on your team to maintain a strong Web presence.

Google can currently look at the user interface and not just see specific font sizes but see how a user would see the fonts on different mobile devices. Google is also able to see how a user will see how a page scrolls on a mobile interface; are the buttons large enough to click on; is the interface confusing to mobile users?

If the mobile version of a website has tiny fonts, once GoogleBot renders the page, it can see that because it actually renders the page as a user would. For example, if the HTML has a 14px font size, then once rendered with JavaScript and CSS, it might have modified those to 8px instead. This on a tiny view-port could lead to a bad user experience.

Read more >

New Look & Feel

Finally bringing WeirdGuy blog into the present. I will be playing with the look and feel of the blog over the next couple months but you can still expect the regular awesome content you are used to. Don’t worry, the blog should continue to be responsive to the device you are reading on. Drop me a note and let me know if there is anything you’d like to see or miss from the old blog design.



Repost: A Reply To Greg Zapar’s Article On UX Hiring Strategy

I came across this post on We Can Only Be The Future. The article resonated with me as I had a very similar discussion at lunch today with a tech recruiter. Here are a few nuggets:

  • Articulate your organization’s UX strategy in a manner that illuminates the challenges and opportunities that would be involved in me, taking a career step in your direction. Be bold, explicit, brief and transparent.
  • Great UX comes from people committed to helping others meet challenges and achieve their goals. Tell me how you set up employees for success and are committed to increasing opportunities for me to help create value.
  • Let the people I would interact with most often and that I will rely on if I join the team, write the majority of the job description and be involved in the process of interviewing me.
  • Although there is an passionate debate about the boundaries of User Experience Design, there is little debate about what UX Is NOT. Avoid any language or responsibilities that makes it look like your concept of UX is Programming, Business Analysis, Web Design, Marketing, Project Management, Community Management or, Sales….

I hope you find it informative – read more >