Product Management is a Team Sport
The bottom line is that everyone in the company owns the product, and its success or failure lie in the hands of everyone who touches it. A product manager’s job is to lead the team to tackle the product challenges together, to get the best out of everyone on the team when building the product, and to provide a gentle hand to keep it all consistent and going in the right direction.
6 minutes ago
Defining Mobile: 4-5.5 Inches, Portrait & One-Thumb
So when designing for mobile today, it’s very worthwhile to consider a 4-5.5 inch smartphone, in portrait (vertical) orientation, being used with one-thumb. Of course, there many variants as well but making sure your mobile experiences work well in this context is a great baseline to start from.
19 minutes ago
"It's Alive!": Apps That Feed Back Accessibly
This article is an excerpt of Heydon Pickering's eBook "Apps For All: Coding Accessible Web Applications" that outlines the roadmap for the accessible applications we should all be making. Today.
23 minutes ago
How Do We Protect New York City’s Pedestrians?
In pursuing Vision Zero, New York is embracing a relatively new approach to cities, one with a focus on walkers over drivers. Most city planners now see the era of the car’s urban supremacy as a brief, misguided phase in city culture. Rather than competing with suburbs, cities are capitalizing on their own traditional strengths, recognizing pedestrians as arguably their most economically invigorating (not to mention energy-efficient) form of traffic.
urbandesign  traffic 
Rise of the Product Managing Designer
The design team at Skillshare does a lot more than just design. We’ve learned that to be as effective as possible we nee…
3 days ago
Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley Can’t Stop Believing
Nobody — not Facebook, not Google— is as good as figuring out where you are at a given moment.
foursquare  location 
3 days ago
In praise of the Utilities folder's unsung heroes
Placed inside the Applications folder, Utilities is the subfolder where Apple banishes apps that it wants to keep as a standard part of OS X without giving them the exposure that the main Applications folder supplies.
apple  osx 
3 days ago
How To Become A UX Leader
Refuse to play along with bad ideas. Refuse to stop voicing your concerns, your ambitions, your evidence, your knowledge. Your passion for UX got you here. If they don’t want it now that they’re paying for it, get out. Refuse to work in a place that refuses to consider sound arguments formed by someone who cares deeply for them. If something is bad, and you can back up your opinion with insight, you need to be able to speak up. If you can’t, find someplace you can.

Progress is made when people push hard for it. They stand for things. They forge good arguments. They convince, they challenge, they prove.
ux  management  leadership 
4 days ago
UX Designers: Why are we Wasting Time?
No amount of text or slides will ever replace the richness of observing your target audience first-hand. Take your client/team out in the field with you, or you’re greatly reducing the value of your research. Seeing a user point out the flaws in your product is the quickest way to convince a CEO to drop his pet feature.
lean  leanux 
4 days ago
Why one-way streets are bad for everyone but speeding cars
To the extent that vice flourishes on neglected high-speed, one-way, getaway roads, two-way streets may be less conducive to certain crimes. If they bring slower traffic and, as a result, more cyclists and pedestrians, that also creates more "eyes on the street" — which, again, deters crime. A decline in crime and calmer traffic in turn may raise property values — which may also increase the demand of residents to police and care for their neighborhood.
traffic  urbandesign 
6 days ago
Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard Deconstructs the Science of Songwriting
I think one of the many reasons people gravitate toward sad music and melancholy is that, when you’re listening to a sad song and you’re feeling that way, it gives you the impression that you’re not alone in your melancholy. That’s a really empowering feeling when you’re going through something difficult and you feel like you’re a freak or you’re all alone, if you’re feeling this way. And then you’re listening to a song that’s echoing a similar sentiment, it’s very empowering.
6 days ago
Designing Settings
Settings however used very infrequently are an important aspect of your product. When designing settings use clear titles and helper texts for not so straightforward settings. Make sure the settings are easy to find, make use of a search or group settings in a structured manner. A snapshot of the current status of the configuration helps users to choose the right setting.
6 days ago
Why the Best Wireframe Style Is No Style
The best wireframe style is no style. The result of no style is monochrome – one color against white. This is the clearest form of wireframing that matches its function.

When viewers look at a monochrome wireframe, all they see is structure. There aren’t any colors or shades on particular elements that fight for their attention. Instead, everything is equal weight so you can focus on the whole user experience. This forces viewers to debate the arrangement of elements, rather than how they will look.
6 days ago
Are You Just LARPing Your Job?
Slack is where people make jokes and register their presence; it is where stories and editing and administrating are discussed as much for self-justification as for the completion of actual goals. Working in an active Slack (or Campfire for that matter!) is a productivity nightmare, especially if you don’t hate your coworkers. Anyone who suggests otherwise is either rationalizing or delusional.
6 days ago
Jon Ronson’s ‘So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed’
Ronson is always careful not to ­overly whittle his conclusions lest they snap under pressure. But he appears to have come to believe two things. One is that people are much kinder in the real world than they are on the Internet. The other is that online, we are “creating a world where the smartest way to survive is to be bland.”
7 days ago
The Next Big Thing In Design? Less Choice
Technology has revolutionized the way we live our lives and do business, but it has done a terrible job reducing the stress of so many decisions. Industry by industry, great digital design has eliminated middlemen from the economy and put users in control, making it fast and easy for us to determine what we want and purchase it directly, whether on a computer or over a phone. Now, with unlimited opportunities for decision-making, we have essentially made ourselves the middlemen in our own lives.

The enjoyment, and even fetishization, of the beautifully designed experiences we rely on to make these decisions has distracted us from our original goal of simplifying our lives. We’ve forgotten that the ultimate purpose of an interface is to make things simpler. In the future, the best interface will be no interface at all and the best decisions will be made without me having to make them (but according to my preferences and goals).

And in a future where brands compete and survive based on the quality of automated services, today’s manually decided experiences will seem as obsolete as yesterday’s do to us now.
simplicity  design  automation  ui 
7 days ago
Fooled by Experience
Experience seems like a reliable guide, yet sometimes it fools us instead of making us wiser.

The problem is that we view the past through numerous filters that distort our perceptions. As a result, our interpretations of experience are biased, and the judgments and decisions we base on those interpretations can be misguided. Even so, we persist in believing that we have gleaned the correct insights from our own experience and from the accounts of other people.
7 days ago
Hey, Kids, Look at Me When We’re Talking
Dr. Nass told me about research he was doing that suggested young people were spending so much time looking into screens that they were losing the ability to read nonverbal communications and learn other skills necessary for one-on-one interactions. As a dorm supervisor, he connected this development with a host of popular trends among young people, from increased social anxiety to group dating.
parenting  technology 
7 days ago
That robot who bought ecstasy and a fake passport online is finally out of prison
It’s been a hell of a ride for the Swiss robot sent to jail in January after buying ecstasy pills and a fake Hungarian passport on the dark net. The bot was finally released back into the world on Wednesday, after spending three months in the clinker.
robots  darknet 
8 days ago
Jon Stewart: why I quit The Daily Show
Whether it’s standup, the show, books or films, I consider all this just different vehicles to continue a conversation about what it means to be a democratic nation, and to have it written into the constitution that all men are created equal – but to live with that for 100 years with slaves. How do those contradictions play themselves out? And how do we honestly assess our failings and move forward with integrity?
jonstewart  dailyshow  tv  journalism 
8 days ago
The Machines Are Coming
Today, machines can process regular spoken language and not only recognize human faces, but also read their expressions. They can classify personality types, and have started being able to carry out conversations with appropriate emotional tenor.

Machines are getting better than humans at figuring out who to hire, who’s in a mood to pay a little more for that sweater, and who needs a coupon to nudge them toward a sale. In applications around the world, software is being used to predict whether people are lying, how they feel and whom they’ll vote for.

Machines aren’t used because they perform some tasks that much better than humans, but because, in many cases, they do a “good enough” job while also being cheaper, more predictable and easier to control than quirky, pesky humans. Technology in the workplace is as much about power and control as it is about productivity and efficiency.

This is the way technology is being used in many workplaces: to reduce the power of humans, and employers’ dependency on them, whether by replacing, displacing or surveilling them. Many technological developments contribute to this shift in power: advanced diagnostic systems that can do medical or legal analysis; the ability to outsource labor to the lowest-paid workers, measure employee tasks to the minute and “optimize” worker schedules in a way that devastates ordinary lives. Indeed, regardless of whether unemployment has gone up or down, real wages have been stagnant or declining in the United States for decades. Most people no longer have the leverage to bargain.
automation  robots 
8 days ago
Press me! The buttons that lie to you
Some would call this a “placebo button”– a button which, objectively speaking, provides no control over a system, but which to the user at least is psychologically fulfilling to push. It turns out that there are plentiful examples of buttons which do nothing and indeed other technologies which are purposefully designed to deceive us. But here’s the really surprising thing. Many increasingly argue that we actually benefit from the illusion that we are in control of something – even when, from the observer’s point of view, we’re not.
ui  buttons  industrial 
8 days ago
Workers Seeking Productivity in a Pill Are Abusing A.D.H.D. Drugs
“It is necessary — necessary for survival of the best and the smartest and highest-achieving people,” Elizabeth said.
work  culture 
8 days ago
Common Agile Practice Isn’t for Startups
There’s something very different about this process loop: the primary measure of progress during discovery isn’t delivery velocity, it’s learning velocity. And sadly, we can’t measure it features or stories completed. And, even worse, we can’t plan two weeks of it in detail because what we learn today can and should change what we do tomorrow.

When you’re doing discovery right, it could look a little like this team at the Nordstrom Innovation Lab.

Notice the Nordstrom Lab still uses time-boxes, 1 week in this case. But, they didn’t start the time-box by predicting how much they’d deliver, but with learning goals in mind. Then they iterated around the build-measure-learn loop as fast as they could.
agile  discovery 
10 days ago
Meet the lawyer taking on Uber and the rest of the on-demand economy
In recent months, Liss-Riordan has filed lawsuits against Uber, Lyft, Homejoy, Postmates, and Try Caviar—five of the largest on-demand start-ups in the world. These suits all boil down to a rather simple allegation: these companies pay the people who supply the equipment and manpower that power their businesses like independent contractors, while burdening them with the work expectations of employees.
uber  sharingeconomy 
10 days ago
The Full-Stack Employee and The Glorification of Generalization
Hidden inside that “full-stack employee” manifesto is the idea that tech equals work and work equals life. Despite all the talk of learning and growing, the full-stack employee is primarily focused on conquering domains within the tech industry. But there have always been ways to impact the world outside the workplace. Unfortunately, the continuous pursuit of professional skillsets tends to diminish the boundaries between work and everything else, leaving you with less and less time to actually grow as a human being.
10 days ago
How GitHub Conquered Google, Microsoft, and Everyone Else
Today, Google announced that after ten years, it’s shutting down Google Code. The decision wasn’t hard to predict. Over the past three years or so, the company has moved about a thousand projects off of the site. But its official demise is worth noting. Google Code is dying because most of the open source world—a vast swath of the tech world in general—now houses its code on GitHub, a site bootstrapped by a quirky San Francisco startup of the same name. All but a few of those thousand projects are now on GitHub.
github  google 
11 days ago
The Eternal Return of BuzzFeed
BuzzFeed is a successful company. And it is not only that: BuzzFeed is the rare example of a news organization that changes the way the news industry works. While it may not turn the largest profits or get the biggest scoops, it is shaping how other organizations sell ads, hire employees, and approach their work. BuzzFeed is the most influential news organization in America today because the Internet is the most influential medium—and, in some crucial ways, BuzzFeed demonstrates an understanding of that medium better than anyone else.

Culturally, economically, even politically: BuzzFeed is so influential because it is still in ascendance. We don’t yet know how big this publication will get, how sweeping and lasting its effects on the American media sphere will be. “We're still really small,” Peretti insists. “You have Disney and Viacom and Time Warner—the really big media companies are giant compared to us.” But BuzzFeed’s growth has been relentless in recent years. It shows no signs of slowing. Peretti is deliberately and aggressively building his company to be big. “The Internet isn’t for small companies,” he said last year.
buzzfeed  journalism  media  publishing 
11 days ago
Instagram’s TMZ
Angie explained to me that Instagram perfectly suited her vision for The Shade Room: image-centric and interactive. For her purposes, Instagram was the equivalent of WordPress. When she started the feed a year ago, her goal was to accumulate 10,000 followers in the first year. She accomplished that in only two weeks. Angie started by posting about people at the bottom of the celebrity hierarchy (minor reality stars, mostly) and worked her way up to bigger names, building her loyalties slowly. Eventually, readers started sending her tips and videos via Instagram’s direct-messaging feature. Now, The Shade Room has more than half a million followers on Instagram alone.
instagram  journalism  publishing 
11 days ago
7 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about Accessibility
Accessibility enables people with disabilities to perceive, understand, navigate, interact with and contribute to the we…
11 days ago
What does Google need on mobile?
The key change in all of this, I think, is that Google has gone from a world of almost perfect clarity - a text search box, a web-link index, a middle-class family’s home - to one of perfect complexity - every possible kind of user, device, access and data type. It’s gone from a firehose to a rain storm. But on the other hand, no-one knows water like Google. No-one else has the same lead in building understanding of how to deal with this. Hence, I think, one should think of every app, service, drive and platform from Google not so much as channels that might conflict but as varying end-points to a unified underlying strategy, which one might characterize as ‘know a lot about how to know a lot’.
mobile  google  android 
11 days ago
Death Cab for Cutie Frontman Ben Gibbard Slams Indiana and Talks Divorce
“If I had been Jay Z, I would have brought out ten artists that were underground or independent and said, ‘These are the people who are struggling to make a living in today’s music industry. Whereas this competitor streaming site pays this person 15 cents for X amount of streams, that same amount of streams on my site, on Tidal, will pay that artist this much,’” Gibbard says. “I think they totally blew it by bringing out a bunch of millionaires and billionaires and propping them up onstage and then having them all complain about not being paid.”
12 days ago
The Art of a Good Customer Journey Map
A customer journey map, by all intents and purposes, is a story of how a user interacts and engages with your brand. Specifically focusing on online, it indicates the initial contact points, the engagement factors and from there we can indicate how to leverage this information to persuade the user to convert.
journey  ux 
12 days ago
Apple’s Emojis and the Problem of White Logic
Apple’s emojis can’t solve the race problem. They never could.
apple  emoji 
12 days ago
Autonomy vs. Ownership
The alternative model is informally known as the “open source” model although to be clear this is not about open sourcing your code, it’s just called that because this is how much of the open source community operates. In this model, if the drivers team needs a change to the riders team’s code, then they could either wait for the riders team to do it, or they can actually make the change themselves, and then request that the riders team review the change, and include it if they’re okay with it (known as a “pull request”). This means that you are telling the software management system that you’ve made a change to the software, but the owner of that software needs to review the changes before they are actually approved and incorporated.
autonomy  culture  engineering  prdmgmt 
12 days ago
Inside the Brian Williams Scandal at NBC News
Since Comcast bought NBCUniversal in 2011, NBC News has been plagued by debacles. Who is to blame?
13 days ago
Engineering our Design Teams
This can result in (at best) decent designs that could be better, and (at worst) requirements lost in translation, or wasted work on the part of one or both of the designers. Overall, the VsD and IxD should have constant communication, so that designs are influenced by both minds from the start. Regularly scheduled partner work fosters that communication for better cohesion and quality designs. There are several ways that design “pair programming” can happen:
Designers can spend a half hour discussing which requirements to tackle first, and how they plan to tackle the tasks, before each begins to design separately.
Designers can divide the workload, and clearly define who will work on which interactions or visual elements.
Each designer can create both visual and interaction specs for a specific feature or platform (i.e. iOS and Android use different patterns, but the functionality should be the same).
One designer can take the lead on a task, sketching out ideas on a whiteboard while the other offers input.
agile  design  ux 
13 days ago
How Your Brain Decides Without You
We form our beliefs based on what comes to us from the world through the window of perception, but then those beliefs act like a lens, focusing on what they want to see.
13 days ago
A/A Testing: How I increased conversions 300% by doing absolutely nothing
Running an A/A test for every email for 8 months really gave me a feel for how misleading A/B test “results” can be. Check out some of the “results” I got from changing nothing at all.
testing  data  design 
14 days ago
In Search of a Living Design System
This led to my “zomg!” moment. I realized that Sass + Style Guides = Awesome. I no longer needed to update color swatches when colors changed because it used the same variables — so swatches would already change automatically. It became a sandbox for new components and elements. I’d design in the browser from within the style guide itself, and document it in place. This I found would kill 2 birds with 1 stone (create the new object and already have it documented in the style guide). Then there’s no waiting until later (which never happens). It also became a quality assurance test; if it was broken in the style guide, it’s most likely broken in the app since it’s all the same code. Anytime I refactor something, I check the style guide to make sure everything’s still working & looking the way their supposed to.
styleguide  design  css 
14 days ago
Exposition. Climax. Resolution.
This makes linear narrative (exposition, climax and resolution) the perfect framework for constructing product experiences — for simple or well understood experience such as user on-boarding or e-commerce purchase flow, where the process is end-to-end at its most ideal, it’s easy to see where the concept of a linear narrative can be applied.
storytelling  productdesign 
14 days ago
The Detail-less Project Plan
Once the team has identified all project phases and associated task categories we connect them to show workflow, or identify a dependencies. We use swimlanes, both vertically and horizontally, to associate duration with classes, denote team member roles responsible for completing the actual tasks associated with the class. When all of the elements come together we have a high level overview of the project approach associated with time and project roles that is easy to speak to with your prospective client, or with your project team.
14 days ago
Avoiding Process Hell
Document what everyone is doing. Not what they say they are doing; not what they want to be doing; not what you wish they were doing; what they are actually doing. That’s your process. Compliance? Dead easy. They are already doing it. Documentation? It’s not exactly rocket science. Make sure people put version numbers on documents.
process  engineering 
14 days ago
An Apple Watch Meta-Review Reimagined
In the end, only Word of Mouth matters. After two or three months of actual availability, real humans will talk amongst themselves and decide the future of the Apple Watch, just as they did for the iPod and the iPhone. And, come to think of it, their conversation explains sagging iPad sales.
applewatch  apple  journalism 
14 days ago
The prudent technologist
Whether or not it draws on new scientific research, technology is a branch of moral philosophy, not of science.
technology  philosophy 
14 days ago
Seven Plus or Minus Three
A common question I am asked, “How big should the team be?” My immediate response: Seven plus or minus three. There is a not a lot of hard theory behind this guideline, just common sense.
team  culture  prodmgmt 
14 days ago
The Truth About Black Twitter
So those hashtags in so many ways are indicators of a certain degree of cultural competency. To understand some of them, and I stress “some,” you have to understand African-American vernacular English. To understand others, you need to have historical perspective on the issue. And so a lot of that rises out of a common experience of living as a black person, and specifically to living as a black person in the United States.
15 days ago
What the Apple Watch Means for The Age of Notifications
Done right, notifications are a wonderful Feed of Feeds, weeding out the stuff you really need to see from all the usual chaff in the stream.

But it’s hard to do this right when every single app wants to send you notifications. Even given that the system will limit itself to notices worthy of instant notice   there are just too many notifications elbowing their way into what should be a narrow passage labeled, “Stuff I absolutely need to see.”

This decreases the value of all notifications.
notifications  applewatch 
15 days ago
This start-up promised 10,000 people eternal digital life—then it died
You can’t achieve immortality if you’re dependent on a company that might go out of business.
immortality  virtualreality 
18 days ago
An Asshole Theory of Technology
There seems to be something similar going on with the Apple Watch: an assumption not just that watches don’t do enough, or that other smartwatches are bad, or that an Apple Watch might allow people to do new things, but that the Apple Watch can, and must, fix the way people behave. It is, in this view, a tool for correcting problems created by the device to which it must be paired to operate. The Apple Watch is supposed to be a filter between you and your gaping attention-suck hellworld smartphone; we will give it permission to intervene because it is slightly easier to look at while reducing our what’s-going-on-over-there-by-which-I-mean-in-my-pocket anxiety just enough to keep us sane. It provides a slight buzz, hopefully just enough, at a lower social cost. So it’s a little like… methadone?
apple  applewatch  technology 
18 days ago
Look and Feel and Feel
Every scroll through Twitter puts at least one person’s bad day, shitty experience, or moment of snark in front of me. These are good happy people – I know many of them in real life – but for whatever reason, Twitter is the place they let their shit loose. And while it’s easy to do, it’s not comfortable to be around. I don’t enjoy it.
twitter  instagram  socialmedia  feels 
18 days ago
Apple Watch and the induced demand of communication
In the entire history of the world, if you make it easier for people to do something compelling, people don't do that thing less: they'll do it more. If you give people more food, they eat it. If you make it easier to get credit, people will use it. If you add another two lanes to a traffic-clogged highway, you get a larger traffic-clogged highway. And if you put a device on their wrist that makes it easier to communicate with friends, guess what? They're going to use the shit out of it, potentially way more than they ever used their phones.
applewatch  apple  society  technology 
19 days ago
What's Wrong with Social Collaboration Tools? Everything
As companies flatten, and work patterns shift to more lean and agile patterns, work has become more self-managed, with small teams making more decisions on their own. There is a growing interest in tools that help people to get work done at a smaller social scale, rather than tools organized around coordinating the work of others, and focused on larger social scale. I think this is the case with work chat apps like Slack, Hall and Hipchat.
workbettertogether  collaboration 
19 days ago
4 steps to make experimentation a repeatable process in your business
Most new products fail, and most frequently because they do not meet user needs. Running experiments helps product managers validate customer demand for a product concept earlier in the product lifecycle.

By running experiments instead of launching a minimum viable product, product managers in large organizations can gain more autonomy, limit risk and brand exposure, and gain user insights even earlier in the product lifecycle. With this speed to user insight, product managers become better informed to build successful products.
mvp  leanux  prdmgmt  enterprise 
19 days ago
Resist the Redesign
Yet, designers are quick to jump on redesign opportunities — after all, it's exciting to start anew. In reality, however, a redesign isn't always the right solution to the problem. The roadblock for users may lie in the pricing of your product, which could be discovered through customer development. Or your messaging isn't compelling and could be saved by some clever copywriting. Or maybe customers feel compelled to convert, but the checkout process is too long and needs to be streamlined. Any number of changes could generate dramatic value for the business, and though they likely involve some design decisions, they rarely require a clean slate.
redesign  design  ux 
19 days ago
Gender in Play: How Toca Boca Creates Apps for All Kids
Toys have a large impact on how kids play together and relate to other kids. But kids of today are fostered into watching different shows and playing with different toys according to their gender.

We know that when a toy reaches a child a choice has already been made for them, someone has picked a blue or pink toy, an action figure or a doll. We believe this is limiting to kids, not to be able to decide on your own what your interests are, and that gender-targeted toys create an unnecessary barrier between girls and boys. And we believe that girls and boys, brothers and sisters want to play together!
kids  parenting  daughters 
19 days ago
Apocalyptic Schadenfreude
First of all, Mother Nature didn’t intend for 2 million people to live on Manhattan Island either. Mother Nature would also be baffled by skyscrapers, the Delaware Aqueduct, and the Lincoln Tunnel. Anyone living anywhere in the United States — apart from the most radical of the off-the-gridders, most of whom are probably in northern California anyway — is dependent on a vast web of human engineering designed specifically to mess with Mother Nature’s intentions.
drought  california  environment 
19 days ago
Living Style Guide Tools In-depth Overview
Living Style Guides are here to help us transform our Front-end codebase into well-described pattern libraries with minimal efforts. But to make them really efficient, we need to choose the proper tools, so let’s have a closer look on what community has prepared for us.
19 days ago
Features do not a Product Roadmap Make
When a roadmap is being used to communicate “what” the product will be, it should be in the language of describing which problems will be addressed, for whom, or in what context.  This is the most important type of theme which would be part of a thematic roadmap.  Other themes could be “improve our positioning relative to competitor X” or “fill in a missing component in our portfolio strategy.”


A backlog – a prioritized list of features – is not a roadmap. It is a reflection of a set of design choices which happen to fulfill in product what the roadmap sets out as a manifestation of strategy.

A roadmap tells you both “why” and “what;” a backlog tells you only “what.”
prdmgmt  roadmap 
20 days ago
Autonomy vs. Mission
In healthy teams and organizations, the way we normally reconcile these views is that the leadership has control of two major inputs to the decision process.  The first is the overall product vision, and the second are the specific business objectives assigned to each team.

Problems arise if the leadership does not provide clarity on these two critical pieces of context.  If they don’t, there’s a vacuum and that leads to real ambiguity over what a team can decide and what they can’t.

The product vision describes the big picture of the customers you are working to serve, and the services you wish to provide each type of customer.  That product vision is in support of a business strategy.  For example, if you have a business strategy built around a low-touch sales model, this drives a very specific type of product vision.  If a team were to try to build a product that strays from this vision and model, they would have a very hard time getting the product to market.
autonomy  team  culture 
20 days ago
The three lenses of usability evaluation
Over the last few months, I’ve worked with three clients who have each adopted a different approach to usability evaluation. These approaches are like different lenses used to observe the customer experience. No single approach is adequate on its own, but in combination the three approaches form a powerful strategy.

One-to-one moderated usability testing solves the problem of getting the design team exposed to customers so they make better design decisions. Remote, unmoderated usability testing solves the problem of having quantitative data to choose between design ideas. Measuring real-world use solves the problem of knowing how customers use your system right now.
research  usability 
20 days ago
Considering the Consideration Funnel
Great article on designing for complex purchases:

> Once someone has entered a purchase funnel, you assume there is a commitment and momentum that is your job to maintain. Funnel abandonment is usually seen as a bad metric; but consumers rarely make these purchases in one sitting. They need time to do additional research, talk to a spouse, friend, or advisor. You must support the ability for people to complete the consideration process at their own pace, ensuring they aren’t starting from scratch when they revisit, and are instead ready to move farther down the funnel
funnel  conversion 
20 days ago
There's no longer a place like PlayStation Home
Text and a minimum of tinkering were the interfaces of choice for people connecting over the internet. Making a doll body to wander around a bunch of shiny virtual plazas just so you could chat with friends and play some freaking SOCOM wasn’t just unnecessary; it was counterproductive.
playstation  virtualreality  secondlife 
21 days ago
A Rake Too Far: Optimal Platform Pricing Strategy
High volume combined with a modest rake is the perfect formula for a true organic marketplace and a sustainable competitive advantage. A sustainable platform or marketplace is one where the value of being in the network clearly outshines the transactional costs charged for being in the network. This way, suppliers will feel obliged to stay on the platform, and consumers will not see prices that are overly burdened by the network provider. Everyone wins in this scenario, but particularly the platform provider. A high rake will allow you to achieve larger revenues faster, but it will eventually represent a strategic red flag – a pricing umbrella that can be exploited by others in the ecosystem, perhaps by someone with a more disruptive business model. As Jeff Bezos is fond of saying, “your margin is my opportunity.”
monetization  pricing  business 
21 days ago
The Making of Alto’s Adventure
But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered how the game could look if we took a more sensitive, stylised approach – to try and capture the feeling of being high up in the mountains, where the environment and characters felt like just a small part of a much larger world, with it’s own history and culture. And finally, to tie it all together with a bold, minimalist art style that conveyed a lighthearted charm and a little hidden depth…
altosadventure  games 
21 days ago
The Gig Economy Won't Last Because It's Being Sued To Death
What’s at stake with these lawsuits and protests? The very definition of "employee" in a tech-enabled, service-driven 21st century American economy. Gig economy companies do not own cars, hotels, or even their workers’ cleaning supplies. What they own is a marketplace with two sides. On one side are people who need a job done—a ride to the airport, a clean house, a lunchtime delivery. On the other are people who are willing to do that job. If Uber and other companies are going to be as big as some claim, a new deal has to be brokered, one that squares the legal rules governing work with new products and services. What benefits can you expect from a quasi-employer? What does it mean to be both independent and tethered to an app-based company? The social contract between gig economy workers and employers is broken. Who will fix it, and how, will determine the fate of thousands of workers and hundreds of millions of dollars.
21 days ago
How 3 Million Hours Of User-Testing Fixed The Jawbone Up
Their own internal product testing was coupled with what Jawbone calls "one of the largest ethnographic studies you could imagine." While they say most consumer gadgets might see eight weeks of limited field testing, theirs lasted 46 weeks, or just short of 3 million hours of beta testers living with the Up.

"Someone was playing with their kids, and something traumatic happened to the band. It ends up, the child had simply grabbed the band in a strange way," Bogard says. "Or someone bumps into you and spills Jack Daniels all over you—one of our tests became seeing how the Up reacted to Jack Daniels."
21 days ago
The Lost Art of the Mixtape
The art — and make no mistake about it, it is an art — of making a mixtape is lost on a generation that only has to drag and drop to complete a mix. There’s no love or passion involved in moving digital songs from one folder to another. Those “mixes” are just playlists held prisoner inside a device. There’s no blood, sweat and tears involved in making them.
21 days ago
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