For about 6 months last year, ending when the pandemic hit, I was working at Party City to help make ends meet. I noticed that whoever made the registers and other internal tools did not do a great job with the design within the constraints of a retail business.

I tried to figure out who to speak to about this, either at Party City or at the suppliers of the devices in question (Bluebird Corp), but had no luck. …


It’s been a while since I last posted here, so I thought I’d catch people up to what I’ve been doing.

Contract work

I am back to job hunting after a 6 month contract at a local Business to Business (B2B) Real-Time Location System (RTLS) startup. The position was not a great fit for my skillset, as it was astonishingly difficult to get access to customers and users and I was the only UX person there. There were other problems, too, but those were the two major ones.

That said, it was hugely helpful to be able to do full-time UX work…


I was recently asked what I would do if I didn’t have to earn money.

That was an interesting question, especially given that it’s difficult to say what that actually means. For example: If I don’t have to earn money, does that mean I’m able to do things that are more expensive than everyday things? Can I travel?

I decided to interpret it as if I had enough to be comfortable. For me, that includes at least some travel.

Season Matters

The first thing that came to mind with this was the significant difference in my mental state in winter and summer…


I recently applied for a job somewhere, and found the initial application process confusing and dismaying.

The reason, I think, is that it was not clear a) if the entire process actually happened, and b) what all I was actually submitting. So, I decided to take a bit of time and add some redesign to make things a little less confusing. I’ve also blurred out the company name for politeness’ sake.

What did it look like at first?

When you look at a job description, you get something like this (with a bright orange ‘apply now’ button that is not visible in this screenshot). This seems fine.


UX folks may be in the best position to identify ethical issues in their companies. Should it be their responsibility?

This is the final piece of the story I’ve been telling. It started with an explanation of some of the problems currently present in the implementation of UX practices. I then described various ethical problems in technology companies today.

I will now explain how UX folks are uniquely situated to notice ethical concerns. I will also explain how, despite their unique perspective, I do not think that UX folks should be the gatekeepers of ethics. …


UX folks may be in the best position to identify ethical issues in their companies. Should it be their responsibility?

In the previous section, I described the state of UX practice at technology companies, and the need for high-level buy-in for successful UX integration.

There is a concerning — and increasingly evident — lack of ethical consideration in the processes of most software companies. In this section, I will describe some of the ways in which this has recently become more apparent.

Digital Ethics

The software in our lives are not generally designed with our health and well-being in mind. This fact…


User Experience (UX) folks may be in the best position to identify ethical issues in their companies. Should it be their responsibility?

This will be a multi-part story.

In this first part, I’m going explain some of the problems inherent in the implementation of UX practices at technology companies today, to provide the background necessary to make my point.

You can also skip ahead to part two, in which I talk about ethics in the tech industry today.

First: Why do Businesses want UX?

Poor user experience = burning your money

Businesses are starting to realize that they need to incorporate UX to retain and increase their customer base. Discussions with Boston-area user…


I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around the fonts section of the “Thinking With Type” book.

I started by hunting for family trees for common font families. Failing to find those — likely because there’s an astonishing number of fonts out there — I started doodling around trying to get something on paper for myself.

Without further ado, here’s my best approximation of the information in the section I’ve read, with some space available for further exploration. Mostly, I think I’m baffled by how one selects a font or font family, in part due to the sheer number of…


A lot of companies out there seem to want UX visual design skills more than they want UX research skills. I’ve often felt like I’m missing something important and useful by not having a strong grounding in visual design, and have been searching far and wide for some ideas of how to learn it.

One of the more interesting suggestions I have had relates to typography: many websites have typography and grid principles incorporated into them, so that is a good place to start. I’ve also had a number of suggestions to just make things, with pointers to where to…


I’ve been up to a lot of different things, focused mostly on increasing my chances of getting a job.

Organizing my links

I have a lot of UX-related links. They aren’t even all in the same place, as some are in bookmarks, some are in OneTab, and some are in email.

To handle this problem, and to offer others the chance to benefit from them, I’ve been sorting them into Enboard pages:

If anyone has any thoughts on how to…

Suzanne Hillman

UX Designer (https://suzannehillman.com/portfolio.html) who was previously a Linux quality assurance engineer, unofficial doc writer, and a psych grad student.

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