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Editor’s Note: In Search of Inspiration

While hunting for artwork to decorate my new office, I came across the “Drive-thru Gallery” by Thomas Barbéy (see Figure 1). I was immediately drawn to it. Several of Barbéy’s photomontages (created without any editing software!) now adorn the walls of the office reception area and manage to surprise me every time I walk by. These surreal images, together with their clever titles, inspire me to use my knowledge in new ways and apply it to new domains. My most recent obsession: the world of Big Data and the opportunities that it presents to UX and vice versa. (If The Human Face of Big Data by Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt is not on your coffee table yet, you should order it now.)

A photo of cars driving on a bridge, inside a gallery with pictures on the walls beside the road.
Figure 1. Thomas Barbéy’s print entitled “Drive-thru Gallery.”

I’m not the only one in search of inspiration—that was quite apparent to me during UXPA’s annual conference in July (see Figure 2). The most raved about presentations didn’t discuss new tools or methods, nor did they reveal any breakthrough research findings. Rather, those speakers talked about things we already know, but in a way that revealed possibilities and made us pause and think differently about what we do. Katherine Campbell’s session titled “Afternoon at the Museum” was one of those talks that transported us somewhere else (to the Smithsonian Institute) to uncover an exciting area in need of our skills.

Audience members holding up their hands as they watch a presentation.
Figure 2. The opening keynote at the UXPA 2013 conference in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tom Tullis.)

As our field matures, more and more UX knowledge is accessible online and in print (we here at the UX magazine cannot keep up with book reviews—so many UX books are being published every year!) It is therefore understandable that practitioners are looking less for “how-to’s” as they are for things that move them and stimulate their creativity.

We tried to deliver some of that inspiration in a number of articles in this issue. Carl Beien’s story about his experiences in Kyrgyzstan provide a powerful example of user research and service design applied to growing fruit trees (yes, fruit trees), with an outcome that made a difference in the lives of many people on a very fundamental level. This is the first article in the history of the magazine that made me shed a tear. Even though it was the kind of tear that doesn’t quite roll down your cheek (it only makes you want to blow your nose), I still think it counts.

Another article that particularly resonated is Chad Driesbach’s report on how he increased his productivity by making changes to his environment and approach to daily tasks. Chad’s words encouraged me to reflect on my own work habits, identify areas for improvement, and determine how to get better. While finding problems and solutions is our bread and butter, we typically don’t do it when looking in the mirror. It’s invigorating.

I hope this issue of the UX magazine, in addition to conveying important and interesting content, also refreshes your perspective on UX.灵感可能来自任何地方。在本期中,我们将探讨可以激发创造力的一些主题,从吉尔吉斯斯坦的经验到可提高工作效率的新工作习惯,均能给您启发。

随着 UX 领域的逐渐成熟,从业者的目光将逐渐从“具体方法”转移到能够促进自身发展和激发创造力的东西上。在 UXPA 的年会上,最受关注的演讲内容揭示了众多可能性,让我们暂时停下来并从不同的角度考虑我们所做的工作。灵感可能来自各个方面。虽然寻找问题和解决方案是我们的基本所需,但我们反思的时候通常不会满足于此。这非常鼓舞人心。

文章全文为英文版영감은 수많은 출처를 통해 얻어집니다. 이번 호에서는 키르기스스탄에서의 경험부터 생산성을 위한 새로운 작업 습관에 이르기까지, 창의성에 자극을 줄 수 있는 아이디어를 깊게 다뤄봅니다.

UX 분야가 성숙하면서, 실무자는 “방법론”보다는 그들을 움직여 창의성에 자극을 주는 것들에 눈을 돌리고 있습니다. UXPA 연례 회의에서 프레젠테이션에 대해 가장 열렬히 논의된 것들은 가능성을 드러냄으로써 현재 우리의 활동에 대해 잠시 시간을 갖고 다양하게 생각해 볼 수 있게 해 주었습니다. 영감은 가까운 곳에서도, 먼 곳에서도 얻을 수 있습니다. 문제와 해결책을 찾는 것이 우리의 생계 수단이면서도, 거울 앞에 서면 보통 그렇게 하지 않습니다. 고무적입니다.

전체 기사는 영어로만 제공됩니다.A inspiração vem de diversas fontes. Esta edição explora ideias que podem estimular a criatividade, desde experiências no Quirguistão até novos hábitos de trabalho para aumentar a  produtividade.

À medida que a área de experiência do usuário amadurece, os profissionais buscam cada vez menos por manuais e cada vez mais por coisas que os movam e estimulem a sua criatividade.  Na conferência anual da UXPA a maioria elogiou apresentações que revelaram novas possibilidades e nos fizeram parar e pensar de maneira diferente sobre o que fazemos. A inspiração pode vir de perto ou de longe. Embora encontrar problemas e soluções seja nosso cotidiano, geralmente não é o que fazemos quando nos olhamos no espelho. É revigorante.

O artigo completo está disponível somente em inglêsさまざまなものがインスピレーションの源になる。今号では、キルギスでの体験から、生産性のための新しい作業習慣にいたるまで、創造力を刺激するアイデアの数々を探っている。


原文は英語だけになりますLa inspiración proviene de numerosas fuentes. Este número explora las ideas que pueden estimular la creatividad, desde experiencias en Kirguistán hasta nuevos hábitos de trabajo para lograr productividad.

A medida que el campo de la experiencia de usuario madura, los profesionales buscan cada vez menos “consejos prácticos” y más cosas que los estimulen e incentiven su creatividad.  En la conferencia anual de UXPA, las presentaciones más aplaudidas fueron aquellas que revelaron posibilidades y nos hicieron hacer una pausa y pensar de manera diferente acerca de lo que hacemos. La inspiración puede provenir de fuentes cercanas y lejanas. Si bien encontrar problemas y soluciones es pan de cada día, generalmente no lo hacemos mirándonos al espejo. Es estimulante.

La versión completa de este artículo está sólo disponible en inglés