Author's Posts

When designing a product, terminology can be as important as a product feature or content. Using unrecognizable terms for navigation can make features and content impossible to find. After all, if you can’t find it, it doesn’t exist. To that end, it is generally good UX practice to avoid jargon. But what happens when your users are steeped in jargon?. What should UX practitioners do?
Let’s start with a definition. Merriam-Webster defines jargon as…
Continue reading Jargon guidelines in product design

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Spitwads is a general-purpose brainstorming workshop designed to elicit ideas, achieve group consensus and identify follow-up action items.

– from – The guys from the 56 Geeks Project

Start with a question

Pose a question to the group, like “How can we improve performance of X?” or “What is the most important thing we are missing in our process?” The question should be thought provoking and open ended.

Continue reading Spitwad Brainstorm – Facilitator Guide

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The following guidelines are recommended for Agile teams who are responsible for company wide release demos. While in person demos are preferred, it can be challenging to get all your employees to stop what they’re doing and attend a presentation. To that end, a video webinar is a great alternative. They can provide the same value, they can be viewed by remote employees and they can generate more feedback and engagement than in person presentations.

Consider the objectives

There are three general objectives for presenting product updates to employees…

  • Generate enthusiasm for the product updates
  • Promote the value of features being released
  • Gather high-level feedback that may be added to an enhancement list or backlog

Continue reading Webinars and release demos

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Use this guide to help make your meetings more effective.  Whether you are the facilitator or a participant, follow these best practices to make the most of your time.

Ask yourself the following questions after your next meeting…

  • Did I understand the goals of the meeting
  • Were all the attendees engaged and focused on the goals of the meeting
  • Were there any actions items as a result of the meeting
  • Was this the best use of my time – everyone’s time?

Continue reading Meeting Guidelines for Organizers and Participants

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by Matt Webb, CEO of the design studio BERG. The studio specialises in product invention and strategy

The following summary was pulled from, Matt Webb’s blog. The article outlines considerations for product designers working on digital or “virtual” products. Here are some key considerations.

A product is just like a product when the product is…

  • shelf demonstrable – their value and utility are self-evident, with no interaction
  • sociable – explainable in a  sentence or 140 characters or less
  • audience specific – fulfilling a known need  or purpose for a defined persona
  • measurable – success metrics are defined, built in and used to inform direction
  • predictable – products should behave as expected. Understand expectations framed by experience and metaphor
  • holistic – the service, brand and product compliment each other throughout the customer experience

Read the original post here…

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A few years back I was hired to build an internal UX practice and redesign a legacy ad serving platform for a large Digital Agency. Like all of my projects, I started with highly visible, collaborative customer and technical research. I created the video below to summarize my first 3 months on the job and demonstrate how the research would guide the design.

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Anticipation Explorable Interfaces Metaphors
Autonomy Fitts’ Law Protect the User’s Work
Color Blindness Human-Interface Objects Readability
Consistency Latency Reduction Track State
Defaults Learnability Visible Interfaces
Efficiency of the User Limit Tradeoffs

Designing interfaces can be challenging, especially when working with a large team. Adopting a core set of design principals is a good way to objectively manage team feedback. Bruce Tognazzini’s First Principles of Interaction Design (copyright 2003 by Bruce Tognazzini) to be an excellent foundation to use when designing with large teams…


Continue reading First Principles of Interaction Design

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“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works. The design of the Mac wasn’t what it looked like, although that was part of it. Primarily, it was how it worked. To design something really well, you have to get it. You have to really grok what it’s all about. It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it up, not just quickly swallow it. Most people don’t take the time to do that. Continue reading To design something really well…

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