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 also 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

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 […]

It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask

As I have mentioned in previous posts, UX standards are part of my general purview here at Sears. People are for, against, on the bandwagon, or off in left field with regard to following or even liking standards depending on the day or week – or, probably more accurately, the design problem they are trying […]

Don’t Fence Me In

  I am at work, at home, in a store, riding a train, riding in a car, sitting on my couch. I have a smart phone, a tablet, a laptop, a desktop. I multi-task ALL the time. I am transient, I am never in one spot for very long. I watch TV and shop online […]

Please Don’t Take the Name of the Customer in Vain

Your client says, “We are doing this for our customer.” Your response is somewhere between, “But, of course“ and ”Yay!” Then your customer continues,  “Our customers are visual, this visual navigation will be so much better.”  or  “Our customers told us they want to filter by these 25 different attributes.” You are just biding your […]

Despite our Natural Fear of Change, We Still do It

Why do we resist change when someone else suggests it? Is is inherent in all of us just to be stubborn?  Is it pure human nature?  Is it because the person promoting the change doesn’t clearly articulate the benefits to us?  There have been many articles written about people resisting change and the potential trouble […]

Using Survey Feedback as an Input, not a Mandate

This past weekend was a big one for the city of Chicago. Not only did the city host the Big Ten Basketball tournament, but it was St. Patrick’s day which came filled with its traditions (dying the river green) and shenanigans.  We are also in the beginning of Spring Break season. What this means to […]

Go Ahead, Look at Things Upside Down

As a kid, I used to lay on the couch and imagine what it would be like if the house were flipped upside down, that the ceiling was the floor, and the floor the ceiling. Getting from room to room would be more challenging that’s for sure; you would have to step over the upper […]

How to Wrangle a 30 Lb Turkey

My husband and I  participate in a chicken & egg CSA from a fantastic farmer, Paul Soule of Paulies Pastures.  He has the best eggs in town, in my opinion. They have gorgeous, tall yolks of the most beautiful goldenrod color. In addition, on certain occasions, we are able to purchase other locally, sustainably raised […]

Moving Offices; how to Move the Culture, too

The inspiration for this post comes from a chat I recently had with Rod, the director of our Digital Innovation Group. While I have been tasked with helping to make sure our move to our new offices is seamless and fun, that the offices are clean and welcoming, and that everyone knows where they sit, […]

Putting Your Website on a Diet

Every Wednesday here at agencyState we have a design review with our VP. While he claims to be an engineer and defers on passing judgement on most aspects of design, he does bring a pair of fresh eyes to all of our work. One of his common opening lines is, “in a world where every […]