matthew oliphantThis is me. As of right now anyway.

UXer For Hire

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    matthew at xhipi dot com
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I am available for hire to consult on User Experience. Everything from UX research and strategy, to interaction design and usability testing.

I am available to speak on these topics and also offer training on Interaction Design and Usability Testing. The primary audience for this training is non-UX people, such as Developers or Business Analysts.

You can find out more about how I work on my For Hire page.

Previously, I dayjobbed as a Senior Interaction Designer/Usability Specialist on mathworks.com (located in Natick, MA) from July 2006 to May 2009. Before that I spent 7 years designing web applications for State Farm (located in Bloomington, IL). Before that I lived (in reverse chronological order) in Oregon, Alaska, Oregon, Alaska, Oregon, and Alaska where I was born. I moved back and forth quite a bit.

What is this place?

This site shall be a place to read about things I like (designing usable and cool things) as well as things I don’t like (things that are unusable and not well designed). I take a “big D” approach to design. Which is to say I think anything that is created goes through a design process; even design processes. You start with a problem or opportunity and need to create something to fill a perceived gap. How well one perceives a gap usually influences how well one bridges it.

Basically, everything is fair game here.

What’s With the Name/Logo?

Name story. Many years ago I sat in a team meeting with about 40 people. We were all UI people and thinking about changing the name of our group. It was Interface Design Specialists (IDS), but that didn’t really capture all we did in the company. This was before User Experience was hip. Or talked about.

I wrote down all the things we did and tried to find a name for it. I couldn’t. So I used the acronym (roughly): Human Interaction and Performance Improvement Specialists (HIPIS). I also cleverly figured that the people who didn’t like us could call us Damn Hippies.

Now that we’ve been given User Experience I mixed it up a bit. eXperience, Human Interaction, and Process Improvement (XHIPI). I pronounce it ex-hippie, and it’s all the things I do.

Logo story. I don’t remember where I first saw the Chinese character for Poetry, but it stuck with me. Likely because long ago I wanted to be a poet. I started using it on my blog many years ago for what it meant broken down: the first character is Word and the second one is Temple. Word Temple.

I figured all blogs should be Word Temples and it stuck.


This site is slightly monetized. An Amazon Associates link appears on many of the products linked in this site. There is also an Amazon aStore used to promote and sell books related to User Experience topics. I do not link to items/products that I do not consider to have some value.