— sarah makes a blog

Very proud that my User Experience of a Heartbreak project is continuing to find its way to people! The past month has been a blast. My most recent interaction with an admirer of the project was so touching:

And I was a little head-over-heels to see that Timothy Goodman liked the project. If you have seen his Forty Days of Dating project with collaborator & design giant Jessica Walsh, you’ll get absorbed in no time.

ux3.us was most recently featured in Beautiful Decay, Huffington Post, and The Metro (digital and print!). Thanks again to Katherine Brooks of HuffPo and Lakshmi Gandhi of The Metro for publishing the work.

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I also did [what I consider] a pretty tell-all interview with Ellen Huerta for her site Let’s Mend. I was a little reluctant at first, but Ellen is a total pro and made it such a great experience.  Special thanks to her as well for featuring the work and taking interest in the more human part of my story.

I’m excited to be working on a v2 of the site, which will include a lot more content, mobile support and additional menu features. More to come! Stay tuned.

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I’ve been completely floored by the overwhelmingly positive response User Experience of a Heartbreak has received. I had hoped it would resonate with people, and it seemed to do so when I showed friends and colleagues the early versions. But I didn’t expect to see so many people embrace the project after it was published. I did snoop twitter quite a bit (not incognito, either!) to see what people thought. Here are some of my favorite responses:

The process of creating ux3.us has been difficult, but so incredibly rewarding. When I first began making it, I didn’t realize I would end up feeling so wonderful about something that initially made me feel awful. I’m really fortunate to have been able to share that with people. Also worth mentioning– the project is ongoing! I still have bunches of content to add, and will continue to update it as interfaces change. In addition to the emotional connection, I hope it’ll be an interesting look at how the design of these sites and interactions change over time.

Thank you again to Jessica Leber and FastCo.Exist for getting the site out there, and to Design Taxi for sharing it. Was also great to see it up in Brainstorm9 and Yorokobu, and to know that the experience seems to be universal.

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I’m very proud to be *officially* publishing my project User Experience of a Heartbreak.

UX3.us is a series of animations that describe what it feels like to use technology while going through breakup, and how evidence of you and your past partner seems to turn up almost everywhere. Not unlike the stabbing feeling you get in your gut when a song comes on that reminds you of your recently departed lover, technology holds evidence of your relationship that it can spring on you unannounced. These moments, though typically very mundane, can suddenly become irritating or even extremely amusing. Like somehow your phone and apps and computer and browser are all in the know about your personal life & emotions. (Which they kind of are.)

While going through a breakup last year, I decided to start taking screenshots to document these moments. I was surprised that it hurt to be “blocked.” I didn’t realize how many times I’d programmed his name to be the answer to my password security question “Who is your best friend?” And, to put it lightly, I did not appreciate his new partner being recommended as a “suggested friend.” In the smallest of ways, the internet seemed to have preserved our relationship (and its demise) in some sort of limbo–  with what had become these very superficial connections. It was the first time that my life online didn’t feel at all like my real life.

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In addition to documenting, I also did some searching. The first thing I googled about my breakup was “does blocking someone on facebook end relationship.” But before I had finished typing, Google’s suggested query results appeared, and I stumbled upon this remarkable phenomenon of incredibly heartbroken people online– and they were trying to help each other! I’m talking Yahoo Answers forums from 2008, everyone cloaked in an anonymous avatar, saying things like “my ex wrote me an email and i don’t know if i should write back what should i do?”  And then a series of answers like, “dude don’t do it, step away” or the more insightful “Even though you still care for the person, you should really take the time to think about how this affects you.”

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I was kind of awestruck. Here were all these people experiencing this insanely painful thing, and these moments in time where they had trusted the internet to help them solve their problems. And it’s all archived for what I can only imagine is a very, very long time. All of these snippets of time, where this person or that was feeling so extremely vulnerable, is saved in some server somewhere. Even if that person is no longer heartbroken, or has been healed and heartbroken 3 times over since that post, that snippet is still alive. Whoa.

(Here’s one of my personal favorite sites. Even at a glance you can see how many people have shared story, after story, after story.)

It’s kind of wonderful that people look to Google for answers on anything from 2+2 to something incredibly personal.  Like, Google’s goddamn amazing ‘Parisian Love’ ad from 2010 was not messing around. I wanted that experience to be the landing page for my site so anyone who visited could identify with this heartbroken character who was just trying to find answers and get better. All the queries used on my site are taken from real searches. The animations are all versions of moments I experienced or that I imagine someone else has. There are so many more to add! I illustrated everything by hand, but of course all design is credited to the corresponding sites and applications.

I’ve read quite a few interesting articles related to my project. Here’s a handful:
Tangled Web of Memories Lingers After a Breakup,
Chat History Remembering a Relationship, One Chat at a Time
,
Bubbles Carry a Lot of Weight, and
People Feeling Insecure About Their Relationships Post About Them More on Facebook

I was also so incredibly inspired by
What Love Looks Like,
Screenshots of Despair,
AutocompleteMe,
Google Poetics,
Coding in Love,
Sorry I Haven’t Posted,
Old Loves,
The Ex-Lover’s T-Shirt photo series,
Holy Cow Lisa, and
the writing of Sasha Fletcher & Marie-Helene Bertino

And am very grateful to Alvaro Trigo and whoever made this for sharing their code to help the rest of us build sites that look half decent.

And of course so so many thanks to these folks who helped way more than they realize.

XO

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Had such an awesome time presenting my work at the Dumbo Arts Festival this past weekend that I forgot to document! I kept nervously looking over at my piece all night, seeing groups older folks who “got it,” friends and couples LOL (or argue!) and teens taking selfies in front of my work. I also saw people walk away with a very specific “UGH INTERNET ART” look on their faces, which was somehow equally as satisfying. Next time I’ll take more #picsoritdidnthappen.

It was such a great opportunity to test my site and to see how people reacted to the printed versions of my illustrations. More work to be done before I publish! SOON. I’m so grateful to have been a part of DAF 2014, the Front Street Galleries & the Office Hours group show with my fellow 2013 ITP Residents! What a killer way to end our time together.

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A few awesome instagrams I found:

(comments worth reading on this one)

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I’ll be showing my work called User Experience of a Heartbreak as part of DUMBO Arts Festival, opening tonight from 6-9pm. I’m not releasing the URL just yet, but here’s a sneak peak of some prints I’m showing and some behind the scenes action. See you there!

111 Front Street, Suite 216 in DUMBO

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My partner in crime for this show, Crys Moore, cutting her flat file in the streets of NY so it fits in our cab.
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Doing some last-minute print doctoring by clamp-light.
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The setup!
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This week I started a mentor position with General Assembly for their online Web Design Circuits course. The course covers design and basic development over 12 weeks. So far it’s been a whirlwind of debugging HTML + CSS remotely, which is a great challenge that’s helping me communicate and articulate effectively to brand-new, shiny, smiley programmers.

Excited to see what my students make!

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Very excited to announce that I’ll be a part of the Dumbo Arts Festival, September 26-28! Along with my fellow 2013 ITP Residents, in a group show called ‘Office Hours,’ I’ll be presenting my project User Experience of a Heartbreak: a design study of the ways in which couples are intertwined on the internet, and can remain tangled even after separating. Our group was mentioned in the official press release, so it’s great to know DAF is looking forward to having us! Come on out to our opening at 6pm on the 26th.

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Showing my students glitch techniques with the scanner using Kimye’s Vogue cover.
#hiremekimye

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I’m posting this way too late for you to register, but if you’re already in come check out my workshops! I’m running an Illustrator session, and there are a few seats left for my glitch photobooth workshop too. See you there!

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Crys and I created the ID cards for the first year students this year, using a pack of 2014 Garbage Pail Kids cards. It’s probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I don’t really have anything else to say about this.

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Web

Tic-Tac-Joelle
Tic-Tac-Jung-Ho
Adventure Eunjin
Jugglin’ Jiwon
Fishbowl Federico
Justin Time for Dinner
Fletcher the 13th
Risky Xinyi
Lok Yu Gladys Slipper
Salem Smella
Stung Jung Hyun
Stung Jung Min
‘Capitated Karam
Served Susanne
Scorched Sharon
Zapped Zoe
Airy Amanda
Airy Arielle
Dana Danish
Pastry Vicci
Cthu Yu
Cthu Yu
Jay-Walkin’ Juo-Hsin
Runny Ran
Jumpin’ Jaewoong
Gangnam Kyle
Boxed Bing
Mimin’ Megan
Colorless Chrisanthy
Colorless Clio
Inpyo Eyes
Isioma Eyes
Da-Da-Diana
Jawin’ Julia
Origami Eojin
Origami Uttam
Armpit Allison
Armpit Claire
Pamela Vator
Tessa vator
Batu Bag
Binh Bag
Gem Jerllin
Precious Pedro
Ben Stalk
Jason the Bean Stalk
Artsy Alina
Artsy Amelia
Jammin’ Jiaying
Smashing Sagar
Complex Caitlin
Condo Kelly
Bad Pitch Michelle
Bad Pitch Michelle
Excalibur Edwin
Boogie John-ster
Boogie John-ster
Jake Charmer
Jake Charmer
Scuba Saki
Octo WoonYung
Mudflap Monique
Tired Thomas
See no Eamon
Three Wise Ken
Dog’s Day David
Lonely Leslie
Satellite Samuel
Qingyuan Chimes
Rattlin’ Rucha
Atlas Abraham
Atlas Alexander
Anglin’ Aankit
Anglin’ Adarsh
Clownin’ Clara
Clownin’ Corey
Dan D. Lion
Tan D. Lion
Changin’ Chin-Hsuan
Changin’ Chinazo
Serpent Seiya
Serpent Sharang
Slobberin’ Hsiang-Ying
Slobberin’ Sabrina
Fecal Michael
Fecal Michael
Hairy Hongeun
Mustache Maximo
Attractive Alejandro
Magnetic Margaret
Hellyn Fish Sandwich
Jeffrey Fish Sandwich
Zombie Zhuoying
Zombie Ziv
Kate Skate
Speedy Sheri
Skiin’ Adrian
Downhill Devin
Yellin’ Yiyang
Bailed Barbara
Bailed Brian
Dizzy Danqing
Dizzy Dimelsa
Canned Kina
Canned Kristina
Wrinkly Rodrigo
Wrinkly Rodrigo
Nordic Neil
Nordic Nevena
Bony Jayati
Bony Jinyi
Aaron Bomb
Alon Bomb

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