At a user experience talk today, sitting in front of me was a woman taking up three seats. She sat in the middle, her purse on the seat to the left of her and her jacket draped over the chair to the right of her. (I knew it was her jacket because she pulled her phone from one of the pockets.) Never mind that the talk was full and people were filling up at the back of the room. I thought how ironic that a person listening to a talk on UX would create such a horrible UX for the other people in the room. At first I figured she just wasn’t aware that she was taking up excessive space but later decided that it was clearly deliberate. This tale doesn’t have a mind-blowing moral, but her behavior still tells me far more about her approach to user experience than any presentation.
I will be speaking at R/Finance 2011 in Chicago at the end of April regarding the futile.paradigm, my R language extension for functional dispatching. The focus of the talk will be on why analytical applications are particularly suited to functional programming and how to leverage the futile.paradigm to achieve declarative code in R. My presentation aside, it is shaping up to be a good conference.