Jonathon Colman

Product UX & Content Strategy at Facebook

Clearleft Says

One day in late September I received three separate emails from prominent speakers and authors imploring me to invite Jonathon Colman over to UX London. Either the bribe money had just cleared or we were on to something special. We’ll let you decide.

Fri 20 May, 2016, 12:15

Wicked Ambiguity and User Experience

How do you solve the world’s hardest problems? And how would you respond if they’re unsolvable? As user experience professionals, we’re focused on people who live and work in the here and now. We dive into research, define the problem, break down silos, and focus on people’s intent to create solutions.

But how does our UX work change when a project lasts not for one year, or even 10 years, but for 10,000 years or more? Enter the “Wicked Problem,” or situations with so much ambiguity, complexity, and interdependencies that—by definition—they can’t be solved.

Using real-world examples from NASA’s Voyager program, the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, and other long-term UX efforts, we’ll talk about the challenges of creating solutions for people whom we’ll never know in our lifetimes. The ways we grapple with ambiguity give us a new perspective on our work and on what it means to build experiences that last.

About Jonathon Colman

Jonathon Colman isn't ignoring you, he's just introverted. Despite this, he's a Webby Award-winning UX content strategist at Facebook—the social network. Yeah, he’s surprised by that, too.

Jonathon served overseas in the Peace Corps and worked in conservation nonprofits for almost a decade. Previously, he was the principle user experience architect at REI and managed global digital marketing for The Nature Conservancy. And he’s presented at over 70 events on five continents. All of that makes him a nerd, but don't worry—he's one of the good ones.