So it’s about time I updated my blog isn’t it?


…I don’t have a plan but it looks like I’m back. I think I’m going to be less glossy and a bit more gritty from now on.

You’ll not only be hearing about my adventures in Experience Design but whatever’s rocking my world right now.

I’ll reveal more about my personal life, thoughts and dreams.

Let me know how it’s going because I’m sometimes not sure.

On, why I stopped blogging…

2010 was awesome. I’d been blogging here for 7 years, had regular followers in the tens of hundreds, built up the confidence to enter my blog into a competition and won.

Then my website was hacked.

I don’t know if this was just coincidence but the timing sucked. I tried to roll the site to a backup but somehow the blog posts came back looking like scrambled tofu.

In the meantime (due to the hackers) my website was/still is blacklisted by Google and anyone who comes across search results for my site may see adverts for pharmaceutical drugs instead. Don’t take them.

Despite fixing it and my numerous requests – Google still aren’t listening.

But I soon bounced back, and had a few months of blogging infographics experiments.

Then life got a bit dire. Not just for me but a lot of people.

The economy was bombing, friends were losing their jobs, and I was freaking out about my own situation with the reality of being the primary income earner for a family of four (I’ve been very fortunate to have an employer who rode out the storm and now we’re doing great).

At the same time a family member came down with a serious illness which redirected a lot of energy, time, money and emotion (amazingly, despite the odds, she’s still with us).

On my own realisations…

My own health hasn’t been great either.

I’ve been on swings and roundabouts from hyperthyroidism (over-active) to hypothyroidism (under-active). Fortunately I’m now getting good treatment and on a more even keel.

Since I was around 16 years old I’d been smack-on 57kg (9 stone) – no matter how much I ate – probably because my body was in constant overdrive.

I was a vegan junk food addict

Then, suddenly, I shot up to 85kg (13 stone)! Nothing fitted me anymore, and the clothing bill sky-rocked too.

It’s actually a good thing I’ve put on weight (I was far too skinny anyway). I got away with looking fit and trim when, actually, I was a Homer Simpson hidden in a skinny vegan’s body.

So for the past year I’ve been concentrating on my health – going to the gym a few times week, skateboarding (never too late to start) and walking at least 30min a day. I’m also eating better – less junk food – and I have the secret ambition of becoming a vegan athlete – like these rather overly gorgeous people.

Just give me another couple of years 🙂

I feel really great when I exercise and my constantly recurring back problems have also greatly diminished. Anyone who works at a desk-job should try it – you’ll become sharper and perhaps happier – the best career move you can make!

On green-tech…

Even though I apparently consume 2.5 planets*, I’ve always been a pragmatic greenie and now it’s even cool to be green.

In the 1970s as a toddler I rode on the shoulders of giants in protest marches – in the 80s I wrote letters to politicians to support the establishment of protected forests and wrote letters to the Editor about the dangers of lead in petrol.

In the 90s I came up with ideas on how internet technlogy could change the world and a few people thought I was daft.

“No money in that” they said.

No planet, no money either.

In the 2000s I tried again and even sought investors to back my ideas. I got a bit more interest this time but I obviously didn’t try hard enough.

Turns out who I needed all along was the Terminator.

Arnie – you're 15 years late mate.

Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger is backing Sustainia. It’s a new social innovation push to help people envisage a sustainable future using low-carbon resources.

It’s really really really similar to the concept I had around 15 years ago, even right down to a virtual world where you can explore the impacts of eco initiatives.

So, while admittedly I’m a bit grumpy that Arnie didn’t think to look me up, I’m glad it’s happening anyway.

The gooder news is that, now, in the 2010s, I’m finally getting a chance to really get my hands stained with green-tech and perhaps even help people to make more informed decisions about what they consume.

The project is called Copono and it will allow you to scan any product with a barcode and see if it matches your personal values. For example, you might want to know if the product is fairtrade, vegan, cruetly-free, carbon-neutral or kosher. There are some similar products around the world including Good Guide, but ours has a different approach. Hat-tip to David Moskovic for the referral.

I’ll keep you posted on progress here.

On the state of UX, CX, IxD, SD in New Zealand…

Like many parts of the world ‘user experience’ or ‘customer experience’ or ‘experience design’ is now in hot demand. That’s great.

Many websites, apps and services have gotten much better in recent years. I think, on the whole, we’ve finally cracked web-forms.

Not many people sat up and listened when I made a noise about it back in 2006, but they certainly did when Luke Wroblewski wrote a book on the subject.

There you go, it’s that California crowd again (he must know Arnie).

At the same time nothing seems to change and other things have gone backwards.

The emerging trend in the evolution of UX, here, as in the UK and US, is Service Design. For many industries their services are a fragmented mess and the problems are obvious to most people who work in my industry (the first step is to help businesses realise they need to fix it).

Some industries, such as trading banks, are trying to do good but still stuffing up every time I ‘touchpoint’ with them. Maybe I should do yet another blog about my appalling experience (again) with Kiwibank. But I’m over it. I tried again, they failed, again. Maybe we just have bad karma or something.

In this electronic age all too often I’m still forced to fill out paper forms, told go somewhere to stand in a queue or asked to ‘fax’ a copy.

What the fax?

What I will be posting here soon is my experience with the Wellington public transport system – apparently one of the best in the country – so why do I have to have four different types of tickets for two modes of transport and services that don’t even connect?

Oh, they have excuses. Lots of them!

So, my ramble is over…

I may have lost dozens of you by not blogging for so long, but hopefully I’m still on your RSS feed and we can start afresh!

* So I apparently consume 2.5 planets even though I use public transport, eat only plants and recycle. I’m also told that that I have about a dozen slaves working for me. I plan to taker a closer look at all this in a future blog.

One response to “So it’s about time I updated my blog isn’t it?”

  1. matt Avatar

    I’m looking forward to this Zef. Welcome back.