Lego storm trooper sitting in the sand while contemplating life.
Lego storm trooper sitting in the sand while contemplating life.
Photo by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash

I’ve been working in product management for a bit over a year now and I can hardly believe it sometimes. I set out to be a UX researcher after spending over 15 years as a paralegal. And by luck and happenstance, I’ve found myself in product management.

Funny story — I had actually applied for a UX role with my current (contract) employer. They didn’t think I was a good fit for that, but they were impressed enough by my UX research skills that they offered me a contract as a Business Analyst.

That Business Analyst role was just the…

Vulnerable — Susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm. Since UX doesn’t involve the use of long-range, melee, or magical weapons, or ferocious animals for that matter, let’s talk about being emotionally wounded.

Neon “open” sign with white text, surrounded by orange ring, on a black background. Image has dim reflection.
Neon “open” sign with white text, surrounded by orange ring, on a black background. Image has dim reflection.
Image by Finn Hackshaw via Unsplash:

I’ve been working on “improving” my vulnerability for at least a decade now. It’s become a popular concept in recent times, mostly thanks to Brenee Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability (I think). To be honest, I’ve only heard snippets of the talk but haven’t sat down to listen to the whole thing. What I’ve heard of the TED talk resonates with what I have known about myself all my life.

For me, the biggest lessons on vulnerability that I had to learn are rooted in asking for help when I need it, second-guessing myself, and knowing when to take a…

Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

Yes, corporations of America should try to increase the number of Black employees on their payroll. Yes, please prioritize making them feel more comfortable at work. Do create employee networks that benefit them by providing a sense of solidarity with the few Black people who you do employ. All of this is great. But I have to ask, exactly what roles will your new Black hires be filling at the company? What are you doing to contribute to the growth of Black employees that you currently have? …

Photo by Will Turner on Unsplash

I’ve been watching videos of myself conducting user interviews for a project. While watching one I was struck by several thoughts.

Me: “Wow, I really sound black in this interview.”

Also me: “What will my managers think of this.”

Also me: “This is great; I sound black!”

Code switching is an essential part of life for a “successful” black person. And when I say successful black person, I mean that one has even learned to code switch and that they can use it to their advantage. Hearing myself conduct user interviews confirmed a suspicion that I had about myself: I…

An emotional journey of one cat’s struggles with self-loathing and finding love

Photo by AK¥N Cakiner on Unsplash

Those of us who own black cats might have to put up with some less than desirable cat shenanigans and traits: very talkative, very interactive, big on theft and destruction of your personal property, too smart (or so they think) for their own good…

Am I stereotyping cats? Maybe.

I feel like our Ivan is extra quirky due to his extreme neurosis. His neurosis is an invasive force that leads him into this manic rollercoaster of love, self loathing, and paranoia that everyone in the house has to…

Photo by Anna Docking on Unsplash

I got married over 4 years ago and my wedding dress is still hanging up in a closet in a garment bag. Uncleaned at that. Yes, I’m aware that you’re supposed to have your dress cleaned right after the wedding, but life happens.

My wedding dress has lived in its garment bag while so much has happened. Sickness. Death. Job change. Pregnancy. Miscarriage. Pregnancy. Moving. Birth. Home purchase. Moving. Career change.

A lot has happened.

Many times I’ve sat down and contemplated what to do with the dress. The biggest question being, to keep it or donate it. In truth…

A tool has a prescribed use, but it can be used for many purposes. Take a flat-head screwdriver for example. The flathead can turn a flathead screw, but it’s also useful for opening paint cans. The handle of the screwdriver can also be a substitute for a hammer in a pinch. Trust me, I have effectively used a flathead screwdriver in all of these ways.

In December, I officially finished the UX Design Immersive at General Assembly. All of my rigorous training and proverbial blood, sweat, and tears were put to the test in a final team project for a…

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

No, this is not about Gestalt principles. It’s about problem spaces, competitive spaces, and opportunities. It’s about my 4th project UX project at General Assembly, which was also my 2nd group project for the UX Design Immersive course. As our instructors put it during the project kick-off, the training wheels were off. The only things they controlled were who we were in a group with, a few deadlines, and appointing people to act as “stakeholders” at the “design firm” our team “belonged to.”

Other than those details, our team had free rein. We found our own problem space, identified a…

I lost my mother to lung cancer in 2015. About 4 months passed between the time she told me about her cancer and the day she died. It was a fast and terrible ordeal.

My mother placed a lot of trust in me during her battle with lung cancer, so she looked to me to help her make decisions about treatment. Sometimes, I feel that if I had not allowed her doctor to push us into treatment so quickly, I could have elongated and/or improved the quality of her life during those final months. Her doctor, who on paper was extremely qualified, made it seem like if we didn’t do something to treat the cancer immediately, she would die from complications caused by the cancer. …

We just wrapped up our first group project. I’m both relieved and sad that the time with my team has come to an end.

I’m not going to lie. I had mixed feelings when I found out who I would be working with for our first group projects. I had thoughts and expectations about what it would be like to work with each team member. I took a few minutes and thought about these preconceived notions that I had, and then I put them aside. Just that simple. I acknowledged my feelings, and then I set them aside. My first impressions and presumptions about my fellow classmates had no place in the project. Though there was a voice inside saying “oh boy,” I silenced…

Triceara J. Heydt

Product Manager, researcher, and writer with a wicked sense of humor. Deeply interested in understanding my fellow humans. @triceara

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