Effective Remote Design

Jared Spool

July 7th, 2017

In this week’s article, Jim Kalbach outlines four key recommendations for successful remote design teams.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

There are numerous benefits to remote work: flexibility and better work-life balance for employees, and wider talent pools and reduced costs for employers, to name a few.

But what about remote design? Surely, designers won’t be required to work in distributed contexts. After all, our work is highly visual in nature. We need to be able to draw and point and gesture. We’re meant to work shoulder-to-shoulder.

…With a little forethought, remote design can be as productive as working in person.

Read the article: Effective Remote Design.

How has your company taken steps to improve its remote design implementation and collaboration? Share your thoughts with us below.

Execution is Everything

Jared Spool

June 30th, 2017

There are thousands of good ideas thrown about daily, but to execute just one good idea takes considerable effort. It requires that a team stays focused and in tune with the goal. It requires a system for execution – OKRs. That’s what Christina Wodtke brings in this week’s article.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

I almost never hear a new idea. In fact, it’s rare I hear an idea I haven’t thought of myself, unless it’s in an industry I’m unfamiliar with. It’s not because I’m a genius (I’m not). It’s that ideas are easier to come up with than you think. What’s hard — really hard— is moving from an idea to a reality. It’s hard to find the right form of an idea, a form that will let consumers see its value, understand how to interact with it, and feel excited enough to pay for it.

Read the article: Execution is Everything.

Have you taken any ideas from concept to reality? Leave us a note below.

Ideas Are Worthless Without Action

Jared Spool

June 27th, 2017

Deliver scalable, cohesive, and elegant designs that delight your users

At the UI22 Conference November 13 – 15 in Boston, you get exposed to intensive material that will challenge how you think about and practice design.

Regardless of how many days you come, your registration gets you:

  • Your choice of two daylong workshops and/or a day of featured talks
  • One month of complimentary access to UIE’s All You Can Learn that starts right when you register
  • All the workshop materials and presentations
  • Video recordings of all the featured talks
  • Time with the UI22 workshop leaders and featured talk speakers to ask your UX questions
  • New skills to move your UX design initiatives forward

Set Your Design Direction With Confidence

Getting a Clue: Journey Mapping and the Rashomon Effect

Sean Carmichael

June 23rd, 2017


[ Transcript Available ]

We often talk in terms of silos in organizations, where information isn’t readily shared and communication leaves something to be desired. Another way to think of a team who is heads-down working on the overall journey is to imagine swim lanes. Each department is so focused on their own part of the experience that they might not be fully aware of each step a user has to go through to complete the journey.

In this episode, Conor Ward, Head of UX and Design at Centrica & British Gas, tells a story of how mapping out the journey to acquiring a quote for boiler insurance revealed some unexpected insights. Jim Kalbach, author of Mapping Experiences, also joins the podcast to share his expertise on the subject of journey mapping.

Recorded: June 2017
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Replacing “Requirements Gathering” with Something That Works

Jared Spool

June 16th, 2017

In this week’s article, I discuss the process of gathering requirements to inform the project’s design.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

You’ve seen the box on the project schedule a hundred times. It always has the same label: “Gather Requirements”. And it’s always remarkably short — scheduled for just a day or two (or sometimes less!).

When I ask the project manager what this step involves, they inevitably tell me they’ll interview the major stakeholders and gather up the requirements that emerge. It’s going into the fields and picking berries needed for the project.

How do these major stakeholders know these requirements? Well, they just do. They’ve been thinking about it for a while (except for the ones who haven’t). They’ve talked to customers (except for most of them, who never talk to customers). They’ve talked to the sales people and the technical folks and the business modeling folks, who told them exactly what’s needed to make this product successful (but how do those folks know?).

Read the article: Replacing “Requirements Gathering” with Something That Works

How have you dealt with requirements gathering? Let us know below.

Sticky Situations and Unexpected Solutions — Lean UX Outside the Lab

Sean Carmichael

June 8th, 2017


[ Transcript Available ]

Sometimes, the world of user experience design requires creative solutions. There are numerous methodologies and an even greater number of myths about where and when they are supposed to be used. Lean UX is one such process that is associated mostly with startups and very early stage projects.

But what if you were to apply Lean UX to an existing site? And what if that site was a multinational industry-leader with millions of users?

In this episode of the UIE Podcast, Austin Knight, Senior UX Designer at Hubspot, discusses how the Hubspot team employed Lean UX to tackle their website’s redesign. Jeff Gothelf, the co-authour of Lean UX and Sense & Respond, joins us to offer his insights on Austin’s efforts.

Recorded: May 2017
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Lead Your Organization Into The Age of Experience

Jared Spool

June 7th, 2017

Lead Your Organization Into The Age of Experience

UI22 is tailored to raise your design practice to new heights. Gain the super powers to tackle today’s most challenging design problems. Full-day workshops reveal the nuance and insight necessary to deliver great designs.

Choose from these full-day workshops:

Marc StickdornMarc Stickdorn

Service Design: Creating Delightful Cross-Channel Experiences

Abby CovertAbby Covert

Heavy-Duty Information Organization Techniques for Seriously Messy Designs

Whitney QuesenberyWhitney Quesenbery

Storytelling for User Experience

Kim GoodwinKim Goodwin

Using Scenarios to Solve Problems

Nathan CurtisNathan Curtis

Building Scalable Design Systems

Steph HaySteph Hay

Content-First UX Design: A Lean Approach

Dan MallDan Mall

Design Workflow for a Multi-Device World

Richard BanfieldRichard Banfield

Leading Design Sprints to Jumpstart Team Collaboration

Hear their wisdom and transform what you build and how you’ll build it. The eight master-grade workshops will push you beyond your old practices, propelling you down the road to mastering your design craft.

Change The Way You Design

What is Good Product Strategy?

Jared Spool

June 2nd, 2017

This week’s article is on the topic of product strategy by Melissa Perri, where she discusses how product initiatives can solve your customer’s problems and reach your business objectives.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Most companies fall into the trap of thinking about Product Strategy as a plan to build certain features and capabilities. We often say our Product Strategy are things like:

  • “To create a platform that allows music producers to upload and share their music.”
  • “To create a backend system that will allow the sales team to manage their leads.”
  • “To create a front of the funnel website that markets to our target users and converts them.”

This isn’t a strategy, this is a plan. The problem is that when we treat a product strategy like a plan, it will almost always fail. Plans do not account for uncertainty or change. They give us a false sense of security. “If we just follow the plan, we’ll succeed!” Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of success here. (I wish there was, our jobs would be SO much easier!)

Read the article: What is Good Product Strategy?

What is good product strategy to you? Please comment below.

New Technologies to Consider for Interaction

Jared Spool

May 26th, 2017

In this week’s article we reprint an excerpt from Christopher Noessel’s “Designing Agentive Tehcnology” on unlocking agentive technology’s massive potential for design.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

One of the fun things we get to consider when dealing with artificial intelligence is that in order to enable it to carry out its seeing, thinking, and doing duties, we must include cutting-edge technologies in the system. Trying to list these authoritatively is something of a fool’s errand, because by the time the book is published, some will have already fallen out of use or become unremarkable, and there will be some new ones to consider. Also, I wouldn’t pretend to have collected a complete list. But by understanding them in terms of seeing, thinking, and doing, we can more quickly understand their purpose for an agent, and thereby the user. We can also begin to think in terms of these building blocks when designing agentive technologies—to have them in our backpack. We can also have a frame for contextualizing future technologies as they become available.

Read the article: New Technologies to Consider for Interaction

How have you designed for agentive technology? Let us know below.

Building Products with Story

Jared Spool

May 19th, 2017

In this week’s article Donna Lichaw discusses how story can be thought of as a tool to enhance experience.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

What’s great about story and its underlying structure is that it provides you with a framework—a formula, if you will—for turning your customers into heroes. Plot points, high points, and all. Story is one of the oldest and most powerful tools you have to create heroes. And as I’ve seen and will show you in this book, what works for books and movies will work for your customers, too.

Read the article: Building Better Products with Story

Have you built better products with the help of story? Comment below, we’d love to hear from you.