sCoop: Week of April 23

New Hires! 

 

New hires
 
Cooper has expanded its force this week with two new hires, Nate Clinton and Nikki Knox. 
 
Nate Clinton comes to Cooper from Thomson Reuters, where he designed and developed software tools for investment professionals. In his past lives, he was an engineer and product manager for a successful Bay Area start-up (StarMine), as well as a research goon at the Federal Reserve in Washington, DC. He is known to play glockenspiel in the nation’s preeminent Star Wars Cantina Band.
 
Nikki Knox is our new design education intern and her knowledge and experience will be contributing to the further development of CooperU courses. Originally from Kansas, Nikki has a background in design education, healthcare architecture, medical equipment design, and ethnographic methodology. Her design philosophy and process will be a very useful addition to our education team. Outside of the office, Nikki enjoys running, backpacking, and local restaurants. 
 
We are very excited to have them join the Cooper team and use their unique skills to make our work even better. 
 
 

Upcoming CooperU Courses 

There are several CooperU courses coming up in the next few weeks. Register now before they sell out!
 
Visual Design – May 7-8, 2012
Interaction Design – June 19-22, 2012
Interaction Design – July 17-20, 2012
Visual Design – July 23-24, 2012
 
 
 

Cooper UX Bootcamp: A Firsthand Account 

Attendees of the Cooper UX Bootcamp in Columbus, Ohio from Atomic Object have shared their firsthand accounts of the experience on their company blog, in full detail. Check out what they learned and get a look at the fruits of their labor. 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

New and Interesting

Google Drive makes its debut this week. It’s a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all your stuff. Integrated seamlessly within the overall Google experience, this tool could prove extremely useful for those of us who not only work in the office, but are collaborating in airports, cafes, on the train, or at the kitchen table. For those of us who enjoy using Google Docs for sharing files, this extension of that concept will create a comprehensive experience for managing and sharing all your files in the Google cloud. 

Valve’s employee handbook also caught our attention this week. “A fearless adventure in knowing what to do when no one’s there telling you what to do”, this illustrated guide for new hires feels like an old treasure map. We love the illustrations and comics that are scattered throughout. This book certainly helps to takes the nervous tension of being a ‘newbie’ down a few notches. 

Sensubrush, a true painting experience for the iPad, combines a unique artist brush stylus with various painting and drawing apps to create beautiful artwork and sketches. The brush stylus makes it easy to paint or freeform sketch with lighter, more detailed strokes. Alternatively, you can close the brush end of the stylus and use the rubber stylus for a thicker stroke. Very useful. 

Need some new fonts to freshen your typeface collection? Ten Dollar Fonts is a collection of, you guessed it, fonts that cost only $10 each! What a steal for these beautifully drawn faces. The visual designers at Cooper are loving it. 

The Descriptive Camera works like a regular camera, except instead of spitting out a photo, it prints the metadata about the content of the photo. This is a really useful technology that can be eventually combined with current digital cameras, which only record metadata related to the camera’s settings, location, date, and time. Imagine being able to search through an enormous library of images by the subject of the photo! This prototype prints out the metadata, but eventually the creator plans for it to be appended to the photograph on the fly, so it can be searchable later. 


And the week of April 23 concludes with our very own, Mr. Alan Cooper, giving a talk at The Next Web Conference 2012 in Amsterdam. We can’t wait to hear all the details.

Have a happy weekend!  

 

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The sCoop: Week of April 2

Spring 2012 brings with it a new addition to the Cooper family. Meet beautiful baby Eloise Parker Myers! We are beaming with joy for the proud new parents, Nick and Caroline Myers.

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Cooper Spring Break ended with a bang last Friday, with an inter-office challenge to a game (or six) of a spring-breakers classic, Flip Cup. We came with our game faces, but our guests were a force to be reckoned with. Apparently the accountants had some secret skills in this department. Now that we have a team strategy and some practice under our belts, our next opponent may not be so lucky…

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Meanwhile, our first-ever UX Bootcamp: Midwest during March 26-29 has received excellent reviews from its attendees. Big congratulations to our Cooper U directors Kendra Shimmell and Teresa Brazen for pulling together such a successful workshop!

A small group of designers, engineers, and product managers joined forces in Columbus, Ohio for our very first UX Bootcamp workshop and competition. They had four days to learn Cooper U’s design methods, break into teams, and design mobile application concepts that would empower and inspire members of ClubRED (a young professional’s volunteer group within the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus). The final concepts were presented to the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus, and Cooper U donated $1000 to the nonprofit in the name of the winning team (ClubRED Connect).

UX Bootcamp was developed in response to the need for practical design education programs in areas (USA and beyond) where technology and design are on the rise. We’ll be cultivating more of these kinds of partnerships, looking for interesting new problems to solve that could have a real impact on local communities. Ultimately, we’d like to expand this team-based approach to real-world challenges globally.

You can find some great tweets from the students who attended by looking up #UXBootcamp on Twitter.

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This week Glen Davis, Peter Duyan, and Jim Dibble facilitated a lecture on visual design, talk-show format, at Rock Health. Glen educated a group of non-designers about the principles of visual design and how to more effectively communicate with a design team. The lecture was very intimate, conversational, and even inspired a bit of educative debate. The discussion ended with Visual Design for Non-Designers, an exercise that challenged participants to sharpen their visual vocabulary and translate attributes into style studies.

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Speaking of debate, a hot topic this week in the design community is AIGA: Unjustified. This article draws to focus an important issue in every designer’s mind: evaluating and justifying the success of graphic design. With the evolution of the design profession, AIGA refocuses its renowned annual design competitions around a common goal: justifying a project’s success with the client, not only it’s level of ingenuity, creativity, and innovation as a piece of graphic design. The article discusses an age-old dispute between elevating the quality and creativity of design itself and proving the value and profit of a design to a client. One can argue that there are appropriate formats for each type of criticism. Paula Scher, partner at Pentagram and highly-valued member of AIGA, provides a very apt piece of advice, “The original goals of AIGA were sound. Our goal is to raise the level and the expectation of the level of design in our society. Stay there.”

On a lighter note, even international travel and hectic research schedules cannot keep our IxD ladies from blowing off some steam. From the streets of Detroit, Christina Worsing asks, “Have you done your 20 today?”

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Who doesn’t enjoy a quick game of Angry Birds on their commute? “Stupid” games have recently reached a high level of popularity and accessibility, and they have been an effective way to relieve the stress of the everyday grind for years. Check out this stupid game that allows you to shoot and kill banner ads! Alas, Tetris will forever be my “stupid game” of choice.

Futuristic Google Glass is an inspiring concept that aims to liberate users from staring at a screen, instead putting them back in the moment with a real-time augmented reality interface housed in a pair of eyeglasses. This idea could open up a multitude of new possibilities that could be a game-changer in the near future. Or, it could be the final nail in the coffin of carefree, serendipitous experience. We’ll soon find out, anyway.

Happy Spring everyone, and have a great weekend!
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