October Reading is a monthly feature where I post interesting links of things I’ve read. I’m holding myself to publish at least once a month, and I’m riding a four month streak.

Stephen Bolen headshot

Stephen’s new head shot

Here’s to habits, I guess.

In other news, I have a new professional head shot, taken on my new iPhone 11 Pro. I’m leading two workshops and speaking at a company event in both Orlando, Florida and Athens, Greece in November.

The smirk is real.

The seasons are finally changing here in St. Louis. As we ease in to my favorite time of year, I’m beginning my slow march to 40. Looking back, it’s been a wild ride — college, relationships, tattoos, marriage, kids, career. It’s been a full life, and I’ve got plenty more to go.

So, without any further sappy reminiscing, here’s October reading — things I find interesting in the month of October. If you’re interested, you can view an archive of all of the Monthly Reading posts by clicking or tapping that giant button below:

View Monthly Reading Archive


Trump’s impeachment is really starting to accelerate. The past few weeks have been absolutely bonkers, and I am here for it.

User Experience

  • Fast Company: How googly eyes solved one of today’s trickiest UX problems. Love this story of how a design team solved a human-computer interaction problem through giant googly eyes. I’d love to have a helpful robot that gets bored when people don’t interact with it, or gets excited when it can help someone. This robot owns.
  • User Testing: Why Designing for Delight Doesn’t Always Work. Here’s an important reminder about how your experiences should be useful before they are delightful. Ally Bank – my personal bank of choice – has a pretty feature-light interface, but it’s quick, responsive, and offers features in an unobtrusive way. This is what I want to see in a bank, not a billion features or UI elements that add noise and slow down the key tasks I have to execute.


  • Recode took a look at how remote work is quietly remaking our lives. I’m fortunate to be working at a company that encourages remote work — which is great, because I have a 58 mile round-trip. In traffic, that really sucks. I agree with most of the pros and cons of the piece. The most underrated Pro is that I can absolutely crank up my music and not annoy co-workers (just my cats). The other huge perk is that my coffee is > office coffee.
  • Bloomberg wrote about Volkswagen’s $50 Billion Moonshot Bet on an Electric Hatchback. We’re getting solar panels on our roof sometime before the end of the year, and reducing my carbon footprint is top-of-mind. Plus, as stated above, I’ve got a 58 mile round-trip. So I’ve been looking at an EV as commuter-car, trading in my 2014 Subaru Forrester for something I can plug in at work or at home. The 300 mile range of the VW ID.3 sounds awesome, as does the hatchback VW Golf-feel, but because America is a Crossover SUV market, they aren’t bringing the ID.3 to the U.S. Too bad, because I’d probably buy one!


Happy Halloween!

Photo by Travis Grossen on Unsplash

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