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All Posts in Product Design

03/23/2017 - No Comments!

A Brief Information Architecture Primer

A Brief Information Architecture Primer

Recently, I co-delivered a webinar detailing the basics of information architecture, specific to the design of human machine interfaces (HMIs). We discussed the basics of Information Architecture (IA) and the benefits made possible when you add or invest in an information architecture stage for your product/project. The primary benefits being 1) Meaningful content organization and 2) Intuitive layout organization. I’ll be writing in detail about each of these subjects shortly, but for now let’s focus on IA itself.

This is a quick primer on the subject and the concepts involved – I’ve worked to distill down a ton of information into simple, actionable concepts for you. If you’re interested in more depth–grab a book–but for now, lets get started!

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03/22/2017 - No Comments!

Design for Style Guides

How to craft and document modern component libraries

A primary point of contention in the product design to development workflow comes at the point of hand-off. As a project deadline looms, designers are typically scrambling to write specifications and export the necessary graphics to ensure the intended pixel designs are fully realized in the browser. This stage of a project is fairly fragmented industry-wide with each team doing their own thing with their own tooling. It’s a difficult stage that is regularly underestimated in terms of the time needed for proper completion.

In my experience as a product designer, front-end style guides are the missing deliverable at this stage of a product’s development. When supporting teams of developers, a style guide as design documentation is invaluable in contributing to a project’s long-term success.

When supporting teams of developers, a style guide as design documentation is invaluable in contributing to a project’s long-term success.

That said, I’d like to outline my approach to designing component-based systems with style guides in mind. Each project and the folks involved are unique, so be sure to bend and mold this process to your own situation. Design documentation doesn’t need to be perfect or even beautiful. It’s sole purpose functional, to ease the transition from designers to developers.

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03/22/2017 - No Comments!

Using Social Proof in User OnBoarding

Boosting conversion rates while improving the user’s experience.

During a recent project’s research phase, I spent some time exploring the use of social proof as it relates to product design. After studying the subject and using it as a tool to effectively boost conversion rates in this recent project, I’d love to share what I learned through this article. When used correctly, I’ve seen first-hand how social proof can be leveraged as a powerful tool in the hands of a product designer.

So, what is social proof?

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10/10/2016 - No Comments!

Boosting User Experience Awareness Company-Wide

You’re convinced, some folks within your team are convinced but there’s still a few hold-outs to incorporating user feedback sessions into your product’s development cycle. Over my years as a designer on various software teams, here are some methods I’ve found to be successful in gaining larger buy-in for the UX processes within an agile environment.

In a nutshell I recommend that you clarify any misconceptions of UX testing, iterate in public and then stay consistent with your processes.

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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? 

pablo

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.

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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

pablo

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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02/25/2016 - No Comments!

Transparency in process

pablo

Showing unfinished work and demystifying the design process is a trust-building exercise that designers can use as a tool to their advantage.

The more often you are able to show your unpolished, incomplete work to a client alongside the rest of your team, the more trust everyone involved is able to build with one another. Trust is good. Trust me. This is especially true in the professional design world, where audience subjectivity can sometimes be difficult to remove from the equation of criticism.

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02/18/2016 - No Comments!

What makes a product designer?

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While titles in the digital design space continue to be a hot topic of debate, some things remain constant. Designer’s primary disciplines are less and less clear cut as our industry shifts and there is increasing demand for those who can spread themselves thin and touch many aspects of the creative cycle.

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