Editor’s Note: This post is part of ACRL TechConnect’s series by our regular and guest authors about The Setup of our work.
Nadaleen Tempelman-Kluit @nadaleen
Location: New York, NY
Current Gig: Head, User Experience (UX), New York University Libraries
Current Mobile Device: iPhone 6
Work: Macbook pro 13’ and Apple 27 inch Thunderbolt display
Old dell PC that I use solely to print and to access our networked resources
I carry my laptop to and from work with me and have an old MacBook Pro at home.
Current Tablet: First generation iPad, supplied by work
One word that best describes how you work: has anyone said frenetic yet?
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Communication / Workflow
Slack is the UX Dept. communication tool in which all our communication takes place, including instant messaging, etc. We create topic channels in which we add links and tools and thoughts, and get notified when people add items. We rarely use email for internal communication.
Boomeranggmail-I write a lot of emails early in the morning so can schedule them to be sent at different times of the day without forgetting.
Pivotal Tracker-is a user story-based project planning tool based on agile software development methods. We start with user flows then integrate them into bite size user stories in Pivotal, and then point them for development
Google Hangouts-We work closely with our Abu Dhabi and Shanghai campus libraries, so we do a lot of early morning and late night meetings using Google Hangouts (or GoToMeeting, below) to include everyone.
Wireframing, IA, Mockups
Sketch: A great lightweight design app
OmniGraffle: A more heavy duty tool for wire framing, IA work, mockups, etc. Compatible with a ton of stencil libraries, including he great Knoigi (LINK) and Google material design icons). Great for interactive interface demos, and for user flows and personas (link)
Post It notes, Graph paper, White Board, Dry-Erase markers, Sharpies, Flip boards
Tools for User Centered Testing / Methods
GoToMeeting– to broadcast formal usability testing to observers in another room, so they can take notes and view the testing in real time and ask virtual follow up questions for the facilitator to ask participants.
Crazy Egg-a heat mapping hot spotting A/B testing tool which, when coupled with analytics, really helps us get a picture of where users are going on our site.
Silverback– Screen capturing usability testing software app.
PostitPlus – We do a lot of affinity grouping exercises and interface sketches using post it notes, so this app is super cool and handy.
OptimalSort-Online card sorting software.
Personas-To think through our user flows when thinking through a process, service, or interface. We then use these personas to create more granular user stories in Pivotal Tracker (above).
What’s your workspace like?
I’m on the mezzanine of Bobst Library which is right across from Washington Square Park. I have a pretty big office with a window overlooking the walkway between Bobst and the Stern School of Business.
I have a huge old subway map on one wall with an original heavy wood frame, and everyone likes looking at old subway lines, etc. I also have a map sheet of the mountain I’m named after. Otherwise, it’s all white board and I’ve added our personas to the wall as well so I can think through user stories by quickly scanning and selecting a relevant persona.
I’m in an area where many of my colleagues mailboxes are, so people stop by a lot. I close my door when I need to concentrate, and on Fridays we try to work collaboratively in a basement conference room with a huge whiteboard.
I have a heavy wooden L shaped desk which I am trying to replace with a standing desk.
Every morning I go to Oren’s, a great coffee shop nearby, with the same colleague and friend, and we usually do “loops” around Washington Square Park to problem solve and give work advice. It’s a great way to start the day.
What’s your best time saving trick
Informal (but not happenstance) communication saves so much time in the long run and helps alleviate potential issues that can arise when people aren’t communicating. Though it takes a few minutes, I try to touch base with people regularly.
What’s your favorite to do list manager
My whiteboard, supplemented by stickies (mac), and my huge flip chart notepad with my wish list on it. Completed items get transferred to a “leaderboard.”
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?
I don’t think I do things better than other people, but I think my everyday strengths include: encouraging and mentoring, thinking up ideas and potential solutions, getting excited about other people’s ideas, trying to come to issues creatively, and dusting myself off.
What are you currently reading?
I listen to audiobooks and podcasts on my bike commute. Among my favorites:
- UIE Brain sparks
- Q: The Podcast (pre knowing about Jian and now post Jian)
- The Big Web Show
- And of course, Serial
In print, I’m currently reading:
What do you listen to while at work?
Classical is the only type of music I can play while working and still be able to (mostly) concentrate. So I listen to the masters, like Bach, Mozart and Tchaikovsky
When we work collaboratively on creative things that don’t require earnest concentration I defer to one of the team to pick the playlist. Otherwise, I’d always pick Josh Ritter.
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
Mostly an introvert who fakes being an extrovert at work but as other authors have said (Eric, Nicholas) it’s very dependent on the situation and the company.
What’s your sleep routine like?
Early to bed, early to rise. I get up between 5-6 and go to bed between around 10.
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions.
@Morville (Peter Morville)
@leahbuley (Leah Buley)
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?