Notes on Scott Belsky’s Crafting the First Mile of Product

(from Scott’s 6/21/16 post on medium.com, link here) Over time, product leaders can become more focused on a small group of existing power users than on widening the group of new users and their “first mile” (onboarding) experience of the software This top-of-the-funnel experience is often slighted out of haste to initially release the software and never gets updated or iterated to match the evolving user base Users onboarding want to know: Why they’re there What they can accomplish What to do next. They don’t need to know everything at this point, too much to remember! Optimize your onboarding for … Continue reading Notes on Scott Belsky’s Crafting the First Mile of Product

Notes on Paul Adam’s Future of Product Design

(From a podcast between Amy Jo Kim and Paul Adams on Amy’s site, getting2alpha.com, link here) Paul runs product at a fast-growing customer communications startup called Intercom Paul and his colleagues use Job Stories that are inspired by the Jobs-To-Be-Done approach first developed by Clayton Christensen Job stories use the format “When I want to….so I can…” (read more about how they are used at Intercom here) They include Job Stories in their initial design briefs then use them as check ins throughout the design process Job Stories are better than personas in product development because they are less limiting—sticking too closely to … Continue reading Notes on Paul Adam’s Future of Product Design

Notes on Melissa Perri’s Creating Effective MVP Experiments

(from Melissa’s slideshow for Lean UX NYC 2014, which I was at but somehow missed summarizing, link here) This summarizes only a portion of Melissa’s great talk—check out the link for more great insights Don’t think of an MVP as a Product Lite version of your product—that’s not it An MVP is an experiment you run to learn something you need to know to effectively move forward in creating a product The general creation flow is Problem Exploration (discovery) > MVP experiments > Feature development HOWEVER, if your MVP can’t fail and your product idea can’t be heavily modified or discarded, than this type of … Continue reading Notes on Melissa Perri’s Creating Effective MVP Experiments

Notes on Cynefin for Designers

(from James O’Brien’s 6/26/16 post on medium.com, link here) First things first–cynefin is a Welch word that’s pronounced K’nevn. Thanks to James’ post, I can see more clearly how I could use this in my UX practice James has customized Dave Snowden’s concept of cynefin (which I summarized this last summer) specifically for designers Essentially, cynefin is a framework for assessing problems and possible solutions Evaluating your work flow against these categories can help your identify true priorities, see where more research is required and figure out where “good enough” is actually good enough Cynefin categorizes problems into 5 types: Disorder This is the pot … Continue reading Notes on Cynefin for Designers

Notes on Melissa Perri’s Rethinking the Product Roadmap

(from a 5/19/14 blog post by Melissa Perri, link to her blog here) Melissa argues the the product roadmap needs to be replaced with the problem roadmap Product roadmaps: Are built on arbitrary estimations Lack built-in time for validation and research Allow little room for change Focus solely on solutions and features, ignoring problems (read the post for a thorough explanation for each point above) Problem roadmaps: Focus on problems to be solved, rather than on features to be developed Can be planned over any period of time (quarters in her example) Are broken into two phases: Discover & Experiment Build & Validate … Continue reading Notes on Melissa Perri’s Rethinking the Product Roadmap

Notes on 3-12-3 Brainstorming

(From a 10/27/13 post by Dave Gray on gamestorming.com, link here) The name derives from the amount of time devoted to each portion of the exercise If possible, boil concepts to be brainstormed down into two words: instead of “How will tomorrow’s television work?” use “television’s future” to evoke thinking about defining aspects first, rather than solutions Distribute index cards and markers to team members 3 minutes of making observations (individual) Write down characteristics one per card Include both nouns and verbs No filtering! No bad ideas! Just ideas You may find it helpful to do a quick card sort … Continue reading Notes on 3-12-3 Brainstorming

Quickie: Disney’s Creative Strategy (for idea development)

There are 3 main stages in Disney’s Creative Strategy: Focus on creativity: share creative ideas and solutions without worrying about how they would get implemented. (Perhaps try the 100 Post It technique—everyone puts one idea per Post It in a brief, though maybe slightly too-long, period. This quickly surfaces the obvious ideas but also pushes people to get creative) Focus on reality:  how to turn the idea into an action plan with measurable success metrics Focus on critique:  what could go wrong, what could be difficult to implement, what’s missing etc One team could perform all three stages, or you could assign one team per … Continue reading Quickie: Disney’s Creative Strategy (for idea development)

Notes on Maria Giudice’s Remaking the Making Company: Moving from Product to Experience

(From Maria’s session at EUX 16: The Politics of Innovation) Maria’s identified several key themes to affecting change in large orgs: Build community Design isn’t a noun—it’s an active verb, a multidisciplinary effort shared by the team. Everyone’s a designer at some level! The ultimate goal of design isn’t to create artifacts, it’s to build something new or create change in something that exists Design tools aren’t for our exclusive use—they’re the org’s tools for everyone to share (Ok this is my point) Don’t get hung up on the preciousness of design artifacts Create them in a democratic tool (like Excel or Word) … Continue reading Notes on Maria Giudice’s Remaking the Making Company: Moving from Product to Experience

Notes on Danforth’s Conducting a Solid UX Competitive Analysis

(From a post on danforth.co’s blog, link here.) Do a competitive analysis to: Understand what your competition is doing in the space to handle usability and UX and where you might find an edge for your experience Idea generation Survey of what you think works—and doesn’t work— well To keep a (say) yearly eye on the market Shoot for 5-10 sites Sites can also be comparative—outside your business area but with similar functions, needs etc Write a few hypotheses about the experience you’re planning for Create a list of criteria to be considered in the analysis Example: in eCommerce, you might … Continue reading Notes on Danforth’s Conducting a Solid UX Competitive Analysis

Notes on Paul Campillo’s How to Validate Your Next Big Idea

(from Paul’s post on typeforum.com, link here) Paul has organized the process of creating an MVP into 3 stages: Market validation Idea validation MVP validation Paul thinks numbers 1 and 2 can be inverted, but both should be part of the overall process Stage 1: Market validation Don’t find your passion project first, since there might not be a market to monetize it Find a problem you are passionate about and add in your unique knowledge, skills and interests Find a market that’s willing to pay Do some keyword research Open a Google Adwords account and use their Keyword Planner tool, which … Continue reading Notes on Paul Campillo’s How to Validate Your Next Big Idea