"No person truly becomes a fool until they stop asking questions." -Charles Steinmetz (Electrical engineer)
Empathy comes from serving. When the stories of others become ours, we are both enriched. I am a UX craftsman, serving as scout leader, community theater stage / program designer, commute cycling advocate and a civic and religious volunteer. It can be hectic at times, however, in each role I gain valuable insights, broadening my perspective.
Patents, Medical kardex, Landscape design, architecture
Annie Dillard, author of "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek," exclaimed, "Nature is like one of those line drawings of a tree that
are puzzles for children: Can you find hidden in the leaves a duck, a house, a boy, a bucket, a zebra, and a boot? Specialists can find the most incredibly well-hidden things."
While most of my patents are still pending and relate to ecommerce, one of my favorites was inspired by watching my teens using their mobile devices. Coupling 2 low-energy sensor grids, I elevated the interactive region above and around the screen, enabling predictive interactions (near and far gestures) and environment recognition by topography.
While my wife worked at Intermountain Healthcare as an RN, I noticed the pile of index cards she emptied into the trash after her shifts. She shared that the scribbled notes documented medications, care received, and progress for patients. After a 12-hour shift, documenting the unwieldy stack could take an extra 30 minutes, for which RNs were not paid.
Over the next 2 months, I volunteered with nurses at 3 hospitals to create a new kardex:
|More time with patients||Check boxes and data fields require less time to complete|
|More thorough / consistent notes||Filling in the care-process model standardizes notes and highlights uncompleted tasks|
|Less chance of missing important clues||Common issues, such as mother / baby Rh compatibility, are laid out for comparison|
|Less overtime||Kardex can be unfolded, punched, and included directly in the patient record|
|More comfortable||No more bulging scrubs; 1/2 sheet per patient - less cumbersome than standard kardex and thinner than index cards|
|Look more professional||Patients and families perceive the RN as better prepared if using professional-looking forms|
The experience revealed how care differed by hospital. The kardex spurred discussion and cross-pollination between units, leading to standardized care incorporating the best ideas from each hospital. Word spread among the nursing community and the kardex was adopted by many hospitals in Salt Lake County.
Before starting construction of our home, I diverged from the standard layout and designed living spaces based on our family's lifestyle. Keeping track of our activities over 1 month, several patterns emerged:
Based on these findings, I designed a layout that included:
Why do yards have lawns?
In Utah, unused stretches of Kentucky blue grass are commonplace. Departing from the Better Homes and Gardens approach, I developed a usable yard.
To begin, I studied professional and government landscape architecture, pouring over textbooks, studies, and government guidelines. Furthermore, the planners at the University of Utah and city of South Jordan were excited to share their research on the evolving discipline of xeriscaping, a form of drought-tolerant landscaping using native flora.
Since the yard would be used by my wife, children and their friends, I asked them to help me compile a list of activities they wanted to do in the yard. Using this list and the federally-recommended space allotments for outdoor activities, I designed 5 multipurpose living areas to accommodate volleyball, badminton, tent-camping, picnicking, playing hide and seek, growing fruits and herbs, and more. Some highlights include:
When it was all finished, there was very little waste (95% less than average yards), and while it contained 42 trees, winding walkways, and two bridges, the three-year cost of the yard was hundreds less than the standard, Kentucky blue-grass, maple-tree yard common in the area.
Open minded, open-hearted.
Watching my children and their friends play, I realized toys have a limited lifespan:
I noted that un-defined toys, such as boxes, blocks, or non-specialized Legos had longer life spans.
Inspired by these findings, I started a local volunteer effort where we help kids build toys out of recyclable materials. Not only do children and their parents get to plan and build something together, but when the toy has outlived its usefulness, every part can be recycled. Projects have included:
One of the projects, a 5ft-long spaceship, dubbed the "Deep Space Explorer" or DSE, was featured on Amazon's campus.