Archives for March 2016

03/31/2016 - No Comments!

Leveraging Benchmark Usability Tests, part 1/3

Internal User Experience Training

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In last week’s edition of my Product Design Newsletter, I wrote in detail about conducting regular benchmark usability tests. The described process worked quite well within my agile software development team to ensure the ongoing high quality of our software. If you haven’t read that article just yet, go here and read about the process behind monthly benchmark user testing.

As the data from months of these benchmark tests accumulated, my team realized there were some additional positive, though unintended, consequences of the new testing schedule. Once these were realized, we were able to leverage these and attain even more results from the regular testing schedule. These results included:

- 01 — Internal User Experience Training
- 02 — User Testing Awareness
- 03 — Increased Team Empathy
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03/24/2016 - No Comments!

Benchmark Usability Testing

Benchmark Usability Testing A baseline strategy for core user flows Paul, an early supporter of my product design mailing list recently reached out to ask me about the specifics of my process & strategy surrounding new features. Simply put, how did I get new feature ideas ranked, validated and built? 


A fantastic question and one that led to some introspection about my validation process from past projects. What worked and didn’t work? What could I recommend to a fellow product designer to save him time? In short, the answer is to talk with your product’s target users. Then talk with them some more.

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03/17/2016 - No Comments!

Soft + Hard Skills = Professional Designer.

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 11.13.40 AM

Tie optional.

The development of each skill set is equally important

Hard Skills

Let’s first discuss the hard skills, as these are the more commonly talked about and taught in the design industry and thus easier to define. I’m defining hard skills are those of a more technical nature. This is what you need to do your job as a digital product designer. These can be learned in both formal training via schooling as well as self-taught through tutorials and dedicated practice.

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03/10/2016 - No Comments!

5 Career Insights from Learning to Snowboard

What a newbie learned by falling down the mountain

Slack for iOS Upload

New friends and first-time snowboarders at the Montues event in Tahoe.

I’ve just returned from the stunning mountains of Tahoe where I was lucky enough to participate in the first ever Epicurrence Montues event. Epicurrence is a design non-conference by Dann Petty aimed at getting creative folks out of their offices and into inspiring situations in nature.

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03/03/2016 - No Comments!

The tools don’t make the designer


The process distinguishes the designer.

Designers are makers. As tinkerers and craftspeople, we’re always hungry to try out the next and newest tools that enable our work. While this can be a driving force for good and continuous personal improvement, the constant pressure to understand tools can get in the way of the bigger picture.
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