Notes on Sabrina Ngai’s Designing a Universal App

(From Sabrina’s 7/26/17 post, link here) Capital One recently relaunched their flagship app as a universal app for iPhone and iPad This visuals didn’t change much—most of the changes were restructuring the code Most of the upfront work went into re-platforming the app with modular, adaptive layouts Benefits to C1: Smaller future development efforts Able to ship new features more quickly Parity of experience across devices No more lag time as one device ships features before the other one does Better prepared for the next gen of devices Benefits to customers: Customers can now use split view multitasking scenarios—like … Continue reading Notes on Sabrina Ngai’s Designing a Universal App

Notes on Kate Rutter’s Making the Most of Metrics

(From‘s All You Can Learn library) Kate’s 3 languages: What are we trying to accomplish? Words What does that look like? Pictures How will we measure the work and track progress? Numbers UX expertise horizons “Your metrics will be as unique as your business” —Josh Porter Metrics Number of downloads, average time on site, number of new sign ins etc are not the metrics we need They might be early indicators But they don’t actually answer the question of whether users find value in our product These are the places we want to go looking for metrics for measurable value … Continue reading Notes on Kate Rutter’s Making the Most of Metrics

Notes on Dan Saffer’s The Robots are Coming (to Services)

(Dan gave this talk at Adaptive Path’s Service Experience Conference on Nov 4, 2016, link here. Watch the video if you can, Dan is quite funny to listen to…) Dan defines a robot as any device that has autonomous movement and can make decisions about how it moves Robots have in the past tended to do the 3 Ds: dirty, dangerous, dull work Over the next 10 years, Dan expects many robots to be integrated into services due to improved computer vision, machine learning and natural language processing Looking further ahead, Dan expects in-demand AI and improved human-motion style manipulations to cause another … Continue reading Notes on Dan Saffer’s The Robots are Coming (to Services)

Using OKRs (Objectives and Key Reports) to Judge Performance

Implementing an OKR (Objectives and Key Reports) Methodology This summary was based on Christina Wodtke’s Introduction to OKRs,, written for O’Rilly Media. Check it out for more details on transitioning into using OKRs, common pitfalls to avoid and an approach to setting OKRs on a departmental or group basis. OVERVIEW OKRs, a method of defining and tracking objectives and their outcomes, are used by Google, Twitter and many other Silicon Valley companies to ensure overall team focus, alignment and velocity. The form of OKRs (Objective and Key Reports) has been more or less standardized: the Objective is qualitative, and the Key Results are … Continue reading Using OKRs (Objectives and Key Reports) to Judge Performance

Notes on Dave Malouf’s UX Strategy for Design Leadership: A 4-Step Guide

(From a post on, link here) Design leaders can’t make assumptions and expect to reach goals Design leaders need to: Have a Purpose and set goals for achieving it (like hiking to the top of a mountain) Identify an objective (the Peak) Determine the best Path to reach that goal Create a Plan with a strategic framework 5 core elements of strategic frameworks are: Purpose: What I am climbing? Is the goal clearly stated and understood? Validated as worth pursuing? For whom? Does the team understand their goal’s purpose? Peak: Pick a destination or at least a general direction, your “North” Path: How … Continue reading Notes on Dave Malouf’s UX Strategy for Design Leadership: A 4-Step Guide

Notes on Cynefin for Designers

(from James O’Brien’s 6/26/16 post on, 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, 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

Love Esther Derby’s 7 Ps of Profound Change

So simple yet covers it all! Understand the problem. What is preserving the pattern? What possibilities exist? What principles apply? Design probes. What might you perceive about how your probe is working? How will you permeate the innovation to other areas? A few other nuggets from Esther: Creating conditions where a team can effectively manage itself is a powerful act of leadership. The variables include: Clarity People know what to to work on and how their work fits into the larger context Conditions Folks have the means to do the work. Org structure/policy supports the work Constraints People know what should … Continue reading Love Esther Derby’s 7 Ps of Profound Change

Lean Product Management Manifesto by Melissa Perri

(From a post on Melissa’s blog, link here.) Melissa boils down the complexity of product management to its essence: Customer problems and needs over internal requirements Data driven experiments over preconceived solutions Customer problem roadmaps over feature roadmaps Idea generation and collaboration over solution mandates About Melissa (from her blog): Melissa Perri is a Product Manager, UX Designer, speaker, and coach. Working along side product development teams around the world, Melissa helps them create product strategies that satisfy users and drive business goals. She coaches Product Managers to answer two important questions – “Should we build this?” and “Why?” Harnessing knowledge from Agile, Continuous Improvement, and … Continue reading Lean Product Management Manifesto by Melissa Perri