Karol Czyrka

UX Practice Director
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I am 15+ year veteran of designing user experiences. I started my career in the field of interior design and architecture and have transferred my skills to the digital space. In general, I love beautiful things. Specifically, I am passionate about making things easy to use. My philosophy is that I am the advocate for the user, and I need to make sure their goals have equal voice at the table with technology and business goals. When I am not working, chances are you will find me planning a vacation to a far flung corner of the world. My hobbies aslo include cooking, baking and eating. Photography plays a role in both of these and I have plans to create my own cookbook soon. Last, but not least, my personal philosophy is that a new pair of shoes is always a good idea.

Recent blog posts written by Karol Czyrka

Off the Grid for 8 Days

I had the chance to go on an amazing vacation this past August. Part of it was an 8- day safari in Botswana. The beauty of visiting countries in different continents is that mostly likely they will be vastly different than your own. That is certainly true with Botswana. While 80% of the country is [...]

Pragmatic Poet

Pragmatic Poet According to the Merriam Webster dictionary,  pragmatic is defined as dealing with the problems that exist in a specific situation in a reasonable and logical way instead of depending on ideas and theories. And poet is defined as one (as a creative artist) of great imaginative and expressive capabilities. It might seem strange [...]

Let’s Cooperate

Let’s start off with the best part of this blog post. Watch the following video. The Count’s first appearance on Sesame Street Back in 1972, the Count showed up on Sesame street. In this, his first appearance, Sesame Street again teaches us a valuable lesson. And, no, it’s not just about cooperation. What I love [...]

Mixeling it Up; a Little Reminder to Infuse some Fun

I have slightly redefined my role here at UX Sears. I now lead a team known as the Experience Frameworks team. We have a charter, thanks mostly for the work that  Tracy put into it. It is exciting as we further leverage our amazing research team and use their insights to drive our work around Patterns and Guidelines. [...]

Old Habits Die Hard

I recently had the kitchen counters replaced in my kitchen. I was without a kitchen sink for only about 24 hours. During that time, do you know how many times I tried to rinse some out in a sink that no longer had a faucet let alone a working drain?  I was lucky enough not [...]

April Fool’s Surprise: Sears circa 1897

  Did you see the Sears home page today?  It looked similar to other days. But, wait – what’s that peeking out beneath the ad for tires?   April Fool’s!     How did this become a part of the Sears’ Customer Experience? To find out how this takeover was created, I sat down with [...]

Useful and Usable

Back when I was in architecture school, I was introduced to the phrase “dead cat corners”. It was how our design professor described areas in floor plan that were basically un-usable, or, in her opinion, only a place to throw dead cats.  This was probably one of first time that I became aware that things [...]

Feedback Friday @State St

The UX Research team might be small, 5 people, but they are very efficient. In one year, they can conduct about 150 studies which equates to 122,000 minutes of video of 6,000 shoppers. Tests of a wide variety – remote, in the lab, in the field – are conducted depending on the question being asked. At [...]

Wow Bao: Case Study where Computers Outperform Humans

I like going to Wow Bao.  Granted, I have a bias toward all foods Asian or Asian-influenced, but I also find the service fast, the restaurants fun, and the price right. Being in the technology field, I was certainly happy to have the Wow Bao app on my iPhone for ordering a take out lunch [...]

Does routine really kill creativity? Or is it something else

I look back at my days as a traveling consultant and tend to think that it was the variety of travel Monday to Thursday to various locations that spurred me on. But, then again, I know that if I was staffed too long (e.g. a year) at one client, that became routine and non-motivating.  Then I [...]