When you don’t want to do something, you often build it up in your mind to be worse than it really is. But once you get started, you get to realistically appraise how long and hard the task is going to be.
A design manager’s energy is better spent overseeing the decisions behind the work setup and managing the teams themselves, unblocking members and bridging gaps across teams, not managing or owning the design output and strategy.
Speaking only helps who’s in the room, writing helps everyone. This includes people who’s couldn’t make it, or future employees who join years from now.
It’s now minute 55 of the 60 minute meeting, you finally have time to ask the two questions you came here initially to discuss. Before you do, however, someone else raises their hand and asks a different question. This takes up the remaining time in the meeting.
When we unbundle a physical retail store, for example, the pleasant nuances of shopping in person and interacting with other people falls through the cracks. […] And while such feelings could be dismissed as mere misremembering of the inconveniences of the past, they also reflect the loss of something that was too subtle to preserve.
I routinely skip past pages that are mostly big pictures with short captions. If you’re showcasing professional photography or artwork that’s fine, but for most things, I’m looking for well-written copy with images to complement or expand on the text. A well-chosen image can certainly improve a web page, but it’s the written word that draws me in.
“The longer the loop is, the harder it is for the player to understand the consequences of their actions”, he explains.
Although writing code once sounds like a great bargain, the associated overhead made the cost of this approach outweigh the benefits (which turned out to be smaller than expected anyway).
The exploration needs to happen anyway. Asking for visible progress will only push it underground. It’s better to empower the team to explictly say “I’m still figuring out how to start” so they don’t have to hide or disguise this legitimate work.
Those technologies may seem boring, but boring is fast. Boring is usable. Boring is resilient and fault tolerant. Boring is accessible.
Are you arbitrarily setting targets to create an artificial sense of “urgency” or “accountability”? Or are you trying to create a supportive environment that is truly helpful for a person getting to where they need to be?
Bluetooth headphones are likely the future. But I still have more love for a set of standard headphone with a regular cable and headphone jack that has been working reliably for decades.
The basic idea is that verbal communication in a group setting only allows for one line of conversation at a time. You have a speaker, and a bunch of listeners. By not relying on speaking, a “Silent Meeting” can instead offer multiple conversation threads simultaneously, allowing for a greater volume of feedback to be received in a shorter period of time.
There’s no absolute definition of “the best” solution. The best is relative to your constraints. Without a time limit, there’s always a better version. The ultimate meal might be a ten course dinner. But when you’re hungry and in a hurry, a hot dog is perfect.
When the scope isn’t variable, the team can’t reconsider a design decision that is turning out to cost more than it’s worth.
Willing to admit when they’re wrong, and aren’t afraid to say “I don’t know”.
Translation is not a science; it is an art. One must take liberties with the text to capture the essence of the words, in an attempt to recreate the feeling of the original for a very different audience with a very different cultural background.
All AR experiences have, at their core, some notion of planes and anchors. Planes are flat surfaces on which content sits, and anchors are spatial markers relative to which content distance is measured.
Then it hit me—a content object is defined by two things: (1) its format (the properties it exposes), and (2) where it is located relative to other content.
The first step was to understand how consultants used and interacted with this data in its native web-based form. The different ways that users consumed the data determined the design of its mobile counterpart.
Humans inherit convictions mimetically from each other—we learn what to value by imitating our peers. As my desire to excel academically grew, I spent greater amounts of time in and around the physics department. The more time I spent there, the greater my desire to excel.
Some of the most worst missteps have involved training data that is faulty or simply used with no recognition of the serious biases that influenced its collection and analysis.
Once you’ve identified your key output metrics, build out the constellation by breaking those outputs down into their input metrics. Drill down until you’ve got a set of actionable input metrics that you can impact directly, and then build your experiments to move those.
If you feel like you’re getting hung up on components too early at an exploratory stage of your project, worry about them later—don’t let it hinder the fluidity of your design process.
Siesta naps, rich in NREM sleep, result in a significant increase in alertness that will be highly appreciated by people in creative professions. By various measures that boost may be as high as 50%!
Programming by nature is functional, reusable, extensible, and version controlled. Modern design systems aim to accomplish much of the same and more, and therefore can take direction from how programming already functions.
Unfortunately, at some point we start to fear failure, but that fear is just holding us back. Failure is really the learning process. Every loss at chess, every falling down when we’re learning a backflip… those are lessons.
The good side of having a learning plan is focus. I’m not searching for information and I have a plan to follow. All the hard work of planning and research is done.
On the other hand, telling someone to never give up is terrible advice. Successful people give up all the time. If something is not working, smart people don’t repeat it endlessly. They revise. They adjust. They pivot. They quit.
Confined by the limited space on a page, we are often tempted to force all the data we have into a slot that’s way too small. Although this saves valuable space on the page, it has consequences […].
We have three states for new features. Now, next, and probably never. Whatever we’re working on now is the most valuable thing we can think of. Whatever’s next is the next most valuable thing.
Like proto-personas, a proto-journey can help bootstrap empathy and team alignment.
He wasn’t a bad person (he was a lovely person, in fact.) But having him as a boss showed me exactly the kind of boss I didn’t want to become. I took his template of leadership and whittled my own—a relief carving in opposition to his.
De Bono’s “hat” represents a certain way of perceiving reality. Different people are used to “wearing” one favorite “hat” most of the time, which limits creativity and breeds stereotypes.
The benefits are strong. You understand the big architectural choices before sinking money into building them. You empower designers by giving them space to explore multiple options and do rapid iterations. This leads to huge progress, quickly.
So it’s often better to encourage the behavior you want, than discourage the behavior you don’t. Instead of punishing a player that is too slow, reward a player that finishes the level quickly.
There’s an extremely successful Netflix documentation about decluttering your house—this is directly applicable to software as well. The main essence is that if we did not use something for e.g. three months, it’s not worth keeping it.
But I think there’s a lot of value in actively questioning the need for complexity. Sometimes the smarter way to build things is to try and take some pieces away, rather than add more to it.
Critically missing from the core scrum team, and necessary for the integration of UX design, is a full-time designer on the team. The only way the tactics in #3 can happen in parallel collaboration with developers, product managers, and scrum masters is if there is a full-time designer on the team.
Jeff P advocates for 2 types of work, not 2 teams. The type of work the team is doing fluctuates over time. In some parts of the initiative more discovery is needed. In others, more delivery is needed.
This meant analyzing search trends in order to generate key phrases—everything from “What time is the convention” and “Watch Trump’s speech live” to “How to pick up women”—and assigning those key phrases to a staff of SEO writers, who then reverse-engineered stories around them.
Facebook is such a big distributor of traffic that no news operation can afford to ignore it, but it is not a neutral distributor. It’s a bit like if the paperboy went rogue, decided to put a gun to the temple of a newspaper editor and barked that unless he gets a cut of the sales he’ll pull the trigger.
In other words, clickbait, personalized to my psychological profile, as determined chiefly by an analysis of my online behavior. Anyone who has followed the recommendation engine on YouTube knows that after delivering one or two innocuous videos, the “Up Next” cue serves up increasingly extreme content. The algorithms push us to become caricatures of ourselves. They don’t merely predict our behavior; they shape it.
Facebook et al. became the primary sources of news and the primary destroyers of news. And they refused to deal with it because their business is predicated on the fallacy that technology is neutral—Silicon Valley’s version of “guns don’t kill people”.
As you can see, an important rule of thumb is to personalize around the main content, not the entire page. There are a variety of reasons for this, including the risk of getting the audience wrong, effects on search indexing, and what’s known as the infinite content problem, i.e., can you realistically create content for every single audience on every single component? (Hint: no.)
In order to successfully model content, we must create content environments that stand up to the pressures of production.
Another exercise is asking the question, “What is the evil version of this feature?” Ask it during the ideation phase. Ask it as part of acceptance criteria. Heck, ask it over lunch. I honestly don’t care when, so long as the question is actually raised.
Error rates climb with hours worked and especially with loss of sleep. Eventually the odds catch up with you, and catastrophe occurs. When schedules are tight and budgets are big, is this a risk you can really afford to take?