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Content strategist & writer @Lullabot. I love great UX and content, from books to blogs. Also: Bookworm, kayaker, crocheter, cat-mom. https://bit.ly/2O5hhH9
Mom got diagnosed with stage II breast cancer in August 2020. How could I support her during a pandemic and from 100 miles away?

Mom’s journey started with a misdiagnosis by her hometown hospital. An abnormal mammogram turned into a biopsy, and shortly after, a phone call that she was “in the clear.”

But a month later they called to say that her sample was actually inconclusive, and likely cancerous.

Her doctor offered to see her again, or gave her the option to wait another six months for another mammogram. As a retired nurse, she didn’t waste time and scheduled a second opinion with a larger health system 50 miles outside of town.

She was quickly put through imaging and biopsy again, and the…


Woman wearing a face mask holding her cell phone
Woman wearing a face mask holding her cell phone
Photo courtesy of Pexels

I have a vacation planned for November, and am still weighing airline tickets. I’m shopping for groceries. I’m purchasing things I need around the house for our potential move next year.

But of course, as I type this, we’re still in the midst of the pandemic of the coronavirus, or COVID-19.

We’ve all been on various levels of restrictions since the beginning of the year, and in America, states are slowly lifting their guidelines. But a second wave is a big possibility, experts say.

So as we’ve been “transacting” mostly online — from airline tickets to bridal showers to grocery…


Two women looking at their smartphones
Two women looking at their smartphones
Photo courtesy of pexels.com

When Google rolled out its “mobile-friendly algorithm update” in 2015, it became trademarked as “Mobilegeddon.” Marketers and data analysts raised their brows at what this change could mean for their websites. It was even more of a concern for those whose websites weren’t yet responsive or mobile-friendly.

Why?

Because almost everyone has a mobile device.

Most people have smartphones

According to 2019 data from the Pew Research Center, nearly 96% of Americans own a cellphone of some kind — and that trend is happening around the world, too. More than 80% of those cellphones are smartphones, used for online tasks. Globally, it’s estimated that…


It’s easy in the user experience (UX) industry to get overwhelmed. Overworked. Over-stressed.

On any given day as a content strategist, I’m wrangling stakeholders to get feedback that moves my project forward. I’m in meetings with my cross-collaborative team of rock stars, trying to deliver a better product that solves a client’s needs. And maybe I’m just trying to get a foothold on a new skill, approach, or deliverable I’ve not done before.

By the end of the week, I’m a bit out of steam. And sometimes, I’m a bit out of steam by the end of the day.

That’s…


Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

You joined LinkedIn with the best of intentions.

Maybe it was a singular place to build your resume, something you could reference for future job applications. Maybe you’d heard it’s a great place to meet clients, build your talent pool, or establish connections in your industry.

You set up your profile and quickly start connecting with past and current colleagues. You’re excited about meeting new people in your industry.

But now that little icon for “My Connections” has a red notification every other day. You check to see who’s reached out. It’s an unfamiliar name and face.

But hey, building…


Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

“It feels like I’m tied to train tracks, but there’s no train coming.”

That’s how I described my insomnia, hyperventilating, dizziness, and intangible, crippling fear to my childhood psychologist when I was 12 years old.

“It sounds like you have anxiety,” he said.

And here we are — some 20-plus years later — and I’ve learned to adapt to my unhappy fellow passenger called anxiety. The panic comes when it wants. I take deep breaths, I follow my mindfulness techniques to “let my thoughts pass by like clouds in the sky.”

But sometimes, I get online and look at… anything……


As my husband and I prepared to “cut the cord” with cable, we experienced free trials of a number of streaming TV providers. Here’s our experience with the winner: YouTube TV.

Photo courtesy of Esther Vargas, Flickr.

It was about three days before the annual Iowa v. Iowa State football game when my husband, Andrew, and I got a notice that ESPN and Disney-owned channels would be suspended by DirecTV. The suspension would go into effect the day before the big game, one of the most-watched events in the state.

“I’ve had enough,” Andrew said. “I know it’s not DirecTV’s fault that these networks are so greedy, but I feel like we go through this way too often. I’m ready to cut the cord.”

I applauded. I’ve been ready to drop our over-expensive cable for years. But…


Image: Pixabay.com

I took a road trip with my husband recently and because it’s summer in the Midwest, U.S.A., you can bet that this summer — as always — comes in a love/hate package: Fun in the sun, time in the pool, kayaking on the lake…and construction zones.

If you’re not familiar with construction zones, they add time to road trips with their slower speed limits and one-lane roads. But as we drove along, I took note of the signs that whizzed by — Road Work 1,000 Feet Ahead, Reduced Speed Ahead, One Lane Road.

Road signs don’t need many definitions. They’re…


Only when you attempt to track down your internet breadcrumbs do you realize how far your digital footprint has traveled.

I had a moment of panic and concern on Sunday, May 26, 2019.

I was logging into my Amazon Prime account. My husband and I were aiming to watch Black Sheep, a 1996 comedy starring the late/great Chris Farley and David Spade.

But my Amazon Prime account had kicked me off my Roku, and I had to log in again.

Except I couldn’t, because I couldn’t remember my password.

I tried everything — all the common denominators I usually rely on for my passwords. No big deal, I’ll just use the password reset.

Then it hit me: How many passwords…


Photo courtesy of pexels.com

When you attend a dinner party at a friend’s home or visit your family for the holidays, do you sit back with a glass of wine and look at the ceiling? Unlikely. At some point, you probably ask, “What can I do to help?”

And when you see tragedies on the news, such as people suffering or putting the pieces together after a natural disaster, you probably ask yourself, “What can I do to help?”

And of course, if you’ve worked with customers — from food service to retail — you’ve probably asked them, “What can I do to help?”

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