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  • Writer's pictureSarah Coloma

Progress Report No.1 - "I tried welding!"

*This post was originally published on November 1, 2020.

I wanted to create a potentially bi-weekly series where I talk about some of the things I've been working on that don't necessarily get their own blog post. I post weekly on my blog at once a week on Sundays. Every now and then I'll do a bonus post on Wednesdays.

I tried welding! Ok this was really cool. One of my professors is Director of Engagement at a company called Building Momentum, and she asked all of us if we wanted to visit her and her colleagues at their company. I signed up expecting only as much as a tour of their facility but about 30 minutes into my visit when she had me come into their workshop to get a demo on welding. I was nervous at first but I wanted to try and really looked forward to it. So she handed me a helmet, a pair of gloves and gave me the run-down of safety tips including turning around and making sure no one was near me and screaming "WELD!" beneath my helmet before beginning. The type of welding I got to try was called MIG (metal inert gas) welding, and as she described the welding torch, it's basically a giant hot glue gun. I made a name plate for my desk which reads more like "Saran" than "Sarah." Despite it all, I'm proud of my first, and hopefully not my last, welding project.

Halloween! I'm watching Harry Potter and painting pumpkins all while designing an authorized guest notification system for my house with an Arduino, an RFID tag, and LCD screen. More details on that to come.

Talking with a UX Designer in Healthcare. This week I spoke with a UX designer as part of an alumna Q&A. It was great to hear her insights into healthcare UX and helpful to get her insights on working with developers and reconciling business metrics and user needs.

What I'm Reading.

  1. How an Algorithm Blocked Kidney Transplants to Black Patients (WIRED) I think the headline is a little problematic and requires some unpacking. An algorithm is like any product/service, designed by people. It's a tool and any tool can have positive and negative impacts. It's important to design for mitigating negative impacts. From the article it sounds like there are people in the medical field warning about the negative impacts of the specifications of the algorithm.

  2. Wealthy Millennial Women Tend to Defer to Husband on Investing (NYTimes) This was really sad to read. As a woman, it's important for me to understand the implications of saving and investing for myself. I'm trying to be more intentional about what I want and how I'm going to save for it.

  3. Bad Design Kills Eight This was an important blog on the importance not just on training of a device but on the design of the device. Alan Cooper discusses the implications of the design of the PLGR in a war zone in the early 2000s and how its design and functionality contributed to the loss of American soldiers.

  4. CityLab University: Zoning Codes (Bloomberg) Have you ever heard of the Euclid v. Ambler case and how that established the constitutionality of zoning codes in the US? Me neither until this month. This is an important gateway article with information for designers who are interested in the user experience of cities to understand why cities are the way they are.

Happy Sunday!

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