If there’s something that being left-handed has taught me is how product designers often forget that we are also part of the user base; perhaps because lefties (~10% of world’s population) are statistically marginal.
In my recent talk at the Inter-American Development Bank titled The All-Inclusive World Wide Web, I show how blind assumptions about users’ circumstances on the Web can alienate and exclude those in the low-end of the tech market, and explain how the path to inclusion in software begins by designing and creating with empathy.
At the end of last year, I wrote up a post on LinkedIn about how sharing CV’s as static PDFs documents will most likely be regarded as a process of antiquity as the Internet Of Things infrastructure matures and robust API’s are developed for data transfer (perhaps facilitated by blockchain platforms) that enable the sharing of real-time career development data.I thought it was about time to share it here as well.
What if our CV’s were smart? Think about it: no more boring, static PDFs, but dynamic web experiences that update themselves automatically, in real time, with new information about our professional and academic growth.
Sure, you have a LinkedIn. That’s great. It’s on the Web, it’s digital, it’s mobile accessible and, above all, its network-building algorithm has been great for you to connect with peers, colleagues and potential employers. In fact, the algorithm is so effective that it shows you “people you may know” that perhaps you did not even remember you did, and every week or so it automatically does a job search for you.
Yet, despite these technological advancements, our personal profiles mirror our PDF-bound CV’s in their dumbness: inert layered boxes where we manually input information when (and if) we remember to do so. Herein lies an opportunity to design a solution that could better communicate and mirror the ever changing nature in the “course” of our “life” or — to put it elegantly in Latin — in the Curriculum of ourVitae (see what I did there?).
As the the information systems of the world move towards a mature IOT (Internet Of Things) infrastructure, I believe it inevitable, that in a not-so-distant future, your CV will transcend the confines of the PDF and become an autonomous interface powered by web services and APIs, fed by real-time data, and of course, protected by encryption technologies.
I’m the type of web developer who appreciates good type on screen. I mean, just think about it. Typography is such a mysterious design tool. Designers spend substantial time deciding on the right family, the right emsize, the right kerning, the right leading, the right weight, etc. And yet, despite the effort and thoughtful decisions backing a well designed web page, most readers do not internalize the visual vernacular being transmitted through typography in every single heading and paragraph. Type, in a weird philosophical way, is visibly invisible.
Even though I think typography is crucial to good design, I must also admit that I, too, forget to consciously appreciate typographic decisions most of the time. Being part of the fast-consumption paradigm that rules the modern web has conditioned us to simply enjoy the hyperlinked nature of the internet; jumping from page to page we visit a site and a few seconds (or minutes) later we’re gone. Users (including myself) do not pause to admire ligatures and font contrast. They, we, just want to read– and fast.