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Alex Proaps is a design psychologist, consultant, entrepreneur, professor, and speaker. She uses what she knows about human perception and cognition to help design and development teams who create human-centered technology. This means that, while a lot of her writing is extremely academic and technical, she often needs to write and present in a way that takes these very high-level concepts and processes and breaks them down into easy-to-understand conversations.
Due to the nature of her work, and her location in Norfolk, Virginia, Alex ends up working on a lot of classified and NDA-laden projects, where she serves as a conduit between different teams and departments to make the whole thing come together in a way that serves the end user. When she’s not getting super techy and applying human psychology to the user experience, she still gets her creative juices flowing with occasional blog posts and “fun” articles, and her online Etsy shop, which prominently features some pretty shiny pieces, with a heavy focus on dinosaurs and robots.
What You’ll Learn About Writing This Week:
- The ways that humans consume and use information completely differently from what the creator may have intended
- Distilling down huge projects and academic papers into takeaways for a broader audience
- How hard it can be to step back into the experience of your audience when you’ve become an expert on a subject
- Balancing your creative side with your technical side by using creative problem-solving
- Why it’s always so important to talk to your audience, and jump into the trenches with them, to understand their point of view
- Reading different materials in different settings to help you reset your mind
- Why painting dinosaurs and reading comics can help you stay on top of your professional game
- Asking the right questions to get the information you need from your audience
Mentioned in This Episode (Links and Resources!):
You Can Find More of Alex’s Research and Writing on:
Special shoutout to RevolutionConf, the non-profit Alex works with in Norfolk, VA.
Tweetable Quotes From This Episode:
Thanks to our Season 4 sponsor: Coworker.com
Elisa Doucette is a writer and editor who works with professional writers, entrepreneurs, and brands that want to make their own words even better. She is the Founder of Craft Your Content, and oversees Client Strategy and Writing Coaching. Her own writing has been featured in places like Forbes, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Yahoo! Small Business, and The Huffington Post, among others. She also hosts the Writers' Rough Drafts podcast here on CYC. When she isn't writing, editing, or reading words, she can usually be found at a local pub quiz, deep in a sun salutation, or binging TV shows for concept ideas and laughs.