Hello World.

Brian Christiansen

November 9th, 2006

Hi. I’m Brian.

Who am I, and why am I here?

Excellent questions all. I’ll start by telling you that I’m a new UIE employee, joining the company one month ago. But from there, it gets cloudy.

Since I’m filling a new role here at UIE, they’ve asked me to suggest a title for myself. It seems that CEO is taken, and I’ve never been really great with math so CFO might not be such a good idea. That’s why I need your help.

Help me choose a title for my role at UIE.

What do I do here, anyhow? For the past few weeks I’ve done a little bit of everything, and that is my mandate. I’ve been editing podcasts, designing marketing materials for the UIE WebAppSummit, and spearheading the (85%) company-wide switch to Mac. Going forward I will be doing more of those things, maintaining IT, contributing to marketing, and working with the design and development of the website. I will be producing virtual seminars and as with everyone here at UIE, doing plenty of heavy lifting for our conferences and events.

Some ideas for a title include the pedestrian but descriptive “Content Developer,” or perhaps “Communication Designer?” “Chair of the Lunch Committee,” anyone?

Think about it and let me know in the comments. I look forward to hearing your suggestions, serious or fun…

Since this is an introduction post, you may also be interested in some third-person, biographical stuff…

Brian Christiansen has worked previously for Apple Computer, the University of Connecticut, and on his own as a freelance web developer. Brian is a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a BA in Visual Communications. He focused on digital media with courses in graphic design, communications science and journalism.

He currently makes his home in Medford, Mass with his lovely wife Amanda and their overly-cute miniature schnauzer puppy, Greta. When he’s not on his Mac at work or home, you might find him riding one of his bicycles. Or banging on something. Brian is a percussionist of 20 years and has performed for crowds of thousands. They weren’t specifically there to see him, but they were there…

11 Responses to “Hello World.”

  1. Ian Roberts Says:

    I do similar things for the National Visualization and Analytics Center. My title is “Director of Digital Media” :) It’s a bit pompous, but fun to say. Enjoy your new job. ~Ian

  2. Justin D-Z Says:

    I used to have a position where I did everything from development to sys admin to conference planning to copy editing. I had to put this succinctly on a resume, so I ran through a list of possible titles:

    Production Manager
    Production Designer
    Project Coordinator

    I ended up going with something more technical, like “Systems Integrator” based on the job for which I applied, but I had to have a list ready.

    In this case, you don’t have to sell yourself to an employer, you just have to explain yourself to the consumers (me, etc.). So, don’t worry about common business titles unless they happen to serve your purposes. You could just call yourself the Chief Getting Things Done Officer or CGTDO. Or, something like “Flexible Project Ninja.”

    Welcome aboard. As a Product Manager, I would support you using that title simply on the principle that you are positioned to do everything that isn’t in someone else’s job description. Which is, quite often, a lot.

  3. Hugh G. Says:

    Nice to meet you Ian. Will you be working on a redesign of this site in the near future?

    I’ve been a big fan of UIE because of their awesome research on usability, etc. But disappointed that the site doesn’t look better than it does.

    I think it’s time a usability company show that good usability doesn’t have to mean sacrificing the visual look and feel. It would certainly set you guys apart from Jacob’s nasty site.

  4. Hugh G. Says:

    Ha! Sorry, I meant Brian!

  5. Brian Christiansen Says:

    Ian, I like it! It’s going on the list!

    Hugh, we’re always open to suggestions. If you’re a long time reader, you might have noticed a recent refresh of our visuals. Of course, it’s kind of like the cobbler’s kids not having the nicest shoes in town… the cobbler is of course busy repairing everyone else’s shoes and not his own…

    Let us hear your suggestions!

  6. Jenn B. Says:

    How about “Chief Employee Experience Facilitator?” Or, “Lead Jack-of-All-Trades”? LOL — nice post! :)

  7. Hugh G. Says:

    Brian, I like that analogy!

    Honestly, I don’t have any specific suggestions, just an overall redesign. Speaking personally as a UI/Visual designer, a project like this would be nice because all the architecture and usability is already done by the experts, you guys, so all the focus can go towards the design.

    I think in the past a lot of designers ignored recommendations from people like Nielsen because his site was so awful visually. It’s a sad truth that a lot of designers turn their noses up at things they don’t find visually appealing regardless of how useful it is. (It’s a curse.) You folks have some really important things to tell us designers, and I hate to think of people skipping over your site because the design turned them away. (Especially when it’s a relatively easy thing to fix.)

  8. John Says:

    a little less scrolling on the home page maybe? I don’t mind extra clicks, but I’m way to lazy to use the scroll bar… Have a great time and welcome!

  9. carl Says:

    factotum

  10. Tania Says:

    All Knowing Guru? Oh no, wait. That’s _my_ title…

  11. Adam Darowski Says:

    Hello, Brian. Congrats on the new job.

    So, I work for a company where I find myself doing a little bit of everything on the creative side. When we finally hired a second person to fill the same type of role, she suggested “Creative Specialist”. It kinda says “I do a little of everything.” Sounds good, too!

    Anyway, look forward to seeing the new developments.

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