Goodbye Fiftytwo
I soon felt that I had to both let go of my own assumptions: it’s your users that will define and shape a product and its direction.
The way of the tweet
Disenchantment begins with the realization that, even with all the formal innovations, Twitter remains a restrictive medium. The twitterer begins to sense that she has explored all the exciting or intriguing formal and social qualities of the medium, and now the limitations begin to grate. Tweeting begins to feel at best routine and at worst like an exercise in recycling. A contempt for the medium begins to grow silently within the twitterer.
twitter  facebook  socialmedia 
Colonizing Mars
NASA’s One-Year Mission and Elon Musk’s SpaceX are two endeavors dedicated to the human race’s future in space. Elizabeth Kolbert reports.
space  mars 
Doing user research in the discovery phase | User research
If you haven't discovered you were wrong about some things, you probably haven't done it right. Discovery is not for validation. The point of research during discovery is to work out what people need, and what you need to do to meet those needs. It's not to prove that a project should proceed. If you set out to validate, you won't learn what you don't know. What you don't know is the thing that will ultimately make your project fail. It's fine to have some hypotheses about what the project will be, but go into discovery to test those hypotheses, not to validate assumptions. The way you frame the user research in discovery will make all the difference.
research  discovery 
The Normal Dudes Of ‘Weird Twitter’
“We’re all very very normal,” Hendren says. “We’re all self-aware. We know how absurd it is, and just how horrific it is.”
2 days ago
I was an undercover Uber driver
The contrast is so striking — Morake, who accepted a ride against his own best interests out of human kindness, and Uber, which treats him and so many other drivers as utterly disposable numbers in an equation.
3 days ago
The Wicked Craft of Enterprise UX
I suggest we shift our thinking about craft towards something I call a facilitative anchor — a paradoxical phrase, I realize — that grounds you in the fuzzy chaos of Enterprise UX. We need to evolve our notion of craft from the beautiful finalized object, to a powerful anchor for guiding crucial conversations with wily or wary Enterprise stakeholders, thus setting up a culture of making, in effect a participatory approach to wrestling with wickedness, where Sales, Marketing, Engineering, Business Development are all “making their way” (literally) towards understanding & resolving the complexity of Enterprise apps & services.
3 days ago
The way Uber fares are calculated is a mess
All of these fares are, presumably, optimized to maximize some kind of combination of growth and income for Uber. Uber is a two-sided market: it needs to encourage as many drivers as possible to sign up for its service, while also encouraging as many passengers as possible to use it on any given day.

But either Uber has no idea what the best fare structure is for doing that, or else it has realized that the optimum fare structure can and should vary wildly from city to city. Not just in terms of how much to charge per fare — you’d expect prices in expensive cities to be much more than prices in cheap cities — but also in terms of the relative weight between charging per minute and charging per mile.

Fare-setting is an incredibly important and difficult thing for Uber to optimize, given the number of dependent and independent variables it has to juggle, including the sensitivity of surge pricing to demand, and the effect of pricing changes on the types of trip that are taken. (My intuition would be that reducing fares tends to decrease the average distance traveled.)
3 days ago
Understanding The Power of Story To Build a Product That Sticks
When I think of a product and the story it tells, I like to break it down into a few major components:

Product Promise: This is every place you mention the product and how you explain it. It’s the product’s Promise. This includes advertising, podcast interviews, blog posts and most importantly, the copy on your home page. It’s what sets up the expectation for the user and what they think will happen (hat tipped to Sean Ellis for teaching me this).

User Onboarding: This includes the setup steps required to sign up, the tutorial you might show a user to get oriented and the mechanisms you use to get them to come back and activated (ex: notifications, emails, etc.).

Core Value: This is that ONE THING – the thing you do differently, better or uniquely. It’s the value you can consistently deliver to users that solves their problem better than anyone else in the market.
onboarding  prodmgmt  3as 
4 days ago
Bots Thanking Bots — 500ish Words — Medium
Late last week, it was revealed that Facebook has seemingly taken either lazy or apathy to a whole new level. Yes, you c…
4 days ago
Babe Ruth and Feature Lists
When you ask your customers to tell you what’s important, give them a blank sheet. Don’t ask them to react to a list. Having a real conversation allows you to ask follow-up questions like “but if you had to choose, would you rather have A or B?” Use the time to deeply understand the problems they’re encountering.

If you do share a feature list with customers, keep it short and cap the length. Tacking low priority requests onto the end of a bloated list causes it to become unmanageable and dilutes the significance of the top themes. Be clear and descriptive, and separate bugs from features. Keep a separate unranked pile for requests that haven’t been prioritized yet or slotted into a theme. Make sure everyone understands the criteria for removing something from the list.
prioritization  prdmgmt  research 
4 days ago
Clive Thompson to Texters: Park the Car, Take the Bus
So what can we do? We should change our focus to the other side of the equation and curtail not the texting but the driving. This may sound a bit facetious, but I’m serious. When we worry about driving and texting, we assume that the most important thing the person is doing is piloting the car. But what if the most important thing they’re doing is texting? How do we free them up so they can text without needing to worry about driving?
texting  driving  transportation  urbandesign 
5 days ago
Google’s Quest For Complete Control Of Your Digital Life
Let us know everything about you. We promise it’ll be worth your while.
5 days ago
Interface Experience Maps
An Ix Map is a pretty simple concept for anyone to come to grips with, making it a fantastic tool for enabling mixed teams—designers, developers, content folks, business strategists, etc.—to brainstorm ideas and build a strategy around progressive enhancement.
5 days ago
No one cares about your jetpack: on optimism in futurism
In the end, the lacklustre performance of Tomorrowland at the box office has nothing to do with whether optimism is alive or dead. It has to do with changing demographics among moviegoers who know how to spot an Ayn Rand bedtime story when they see one. There are whole generations of moviegoers for whom jetpacks don’t mean shit, whose first memories of NASA are the Challenger disaster. And you know what? Those same generations believe in driverless cars, solar energy, smart cities, AR contacts, and vat-grown meat. They saw the election of America’s first black president, and they witnessed a wave of violence against young black men. They don’t want the depiction of an “optimistic” future. They want a future where their concerns are taken seriously and humanely, with compassion and intelligence and validation. And that’s way harder than optimism.
movies  generations  culture  society  future 
5 days ago
We need to talk about user needs
You are not your user and you cannot think like a user unless you're meeting users regularly.

Our delivery teams and various stakeholders never accurately represent our end users. Not even when our end users are civil servants. Treat any user needs you get from stakeholders as assumptions.
research  needs 
6 days ago
Daring Fireball: On Jony Ive's Promotion to Chief Design Officer
A simpler way to look at this would be to see Ive having been promoted to, effectively, the new Steve Jobs: the overseer and arbiter of taste for anything and everything the company touches.
apple  jonyive 
6 days ago
The Web of Alexandria (follow-up)
It doesn’t make sense to make blanket statements like “content on the web should be persistent” or “content on the web should be ephemeral”. Instead, we need to recognize that this “web” thing is conflating two very different forms of discourse, forms that used to be clearly and deliberately distinct.

The “web” is not a part of nature. It was not discovered; we don’t have to just accept it. The “web” is an infrastructural system that was built by people, and it was built very recently and very sloppily. It currently has the property that it forgets what must be remembered, and remembers what must be forgotten. It manages to screw up both the sacredness of the common record and the sacredness of private interaction.
6 days ago
Get off my lawn
If you discover a cool technique, by all means, please share it! But try to avoid presenting it as if it’s the only or best way to do things.
6 days ago
Messaging is just getting started
In fact the real shift happening in user habits today isn’t away from the web, or towards a specific replacement device. The change has been to move from one screen to a constellation of screens, regardless of whether it’s a desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, watch, or whatever pops up next. That’s why an app-based channel for cards may make even more sense than an OS-specific one like notifications. No longer tied to a specific platform or device, your conversations and the features they enable can move around with you.
6 days ago
Johnson: Grammar: What exactly are our rules comprised of?
The hopeless quest against the past perfect and the hapless quest against “comprised of” show that correctness may better be considered a spectrum than a black-and-white affair. A rule’s place on that spectrum is essentially determined by the number of people—and especially the number of experienced writers and editors—who observe it. On one end of the spectrum are rules virtually every speaker of English can agree on: the standard third-person singular of to have is has, for example. On the other end are rules that almost no one would endorse: Mr Johnston may well be the only person in the world who thinks that had developed is ungrammatical.

In the middle are countless disputed rules: if “comprised of” is a stark line, it is an odd one. It divides Mr Henderson, his admirers and sympathetic grammarians (who include Bryan Garner) from Hitchens, Melville and 47,000 Wikipedians. A “rule” like that hardly deserves the designation of a “rule”—but our black-and-white thinking about language has not given us a more accurate way to describe it.
grammar  language 
7 days ago
Why Robots Will Always Need Us
We should view computers as our partners, with complementary abilities, not as our replacements. What we’ll lose if we rush to curtail our involvement in difficult work are the versatility and wisdom that set us apart from machines.

The world is safer than ever, thanks to human ingenuity, technical advances and thoughtful regulations. Computers can help sustain that progress. Recent train crashes, including the Amtrak derailment this month, might have been prevented had automated speed-control systems been in operation. Algorithms that sense when drivers are tired and sound alarms can prevent wrecks.

The danger in dreaming of a perfectly automated society is that it makes such modest improvements seem less pressing — and less worthy of investment. Why bother taking small steps forward, if utopia lies just around the bend?
7 days ago
You are Thinking of Your Career Trajectory Wrong
Maybe after your Jupiter mission you get a job with less managerial responsibility, scope, or money. That is ok, because you should not measure your career in terms of a things like scope, money, or seniority on the Y-axis of a ballistics graph. Instead you should measure your career on the missions you undertook, the places they took you, and what you learned
7 days ago
The science behind Netflix’s first major redesign in four years
Changing covers is one of the least crazy things Netflix is doing to gather data. Last year, the company sent a dozen researchers out to conduct more than 1,500 interviews in people’s homes to understand how they use Netflix. They also sent out 15 million email surveys, sometimes with fake shows and star ratings to determine which is more effective in getting someone to watch. The exercise has the potential to tell Netflix any number of things, like if people really care about half star differences in ratings, down to if they’re still checking their email.
netflix  ethnography 
7 days ago
Mobile Isn’t Killing the Desktop Internet
According to data from comScore, for example, the overall time spent online with desktop devices in the U.S. has remained relatively stable for the past two years. Time spent with mobile devices has grown rapidly in that time, but the numbers suggest mobile use is adding to desktop use, not subtracting from it.
7 days ago
Everything in the Music Industry Has Changed Except the Song Itself — Cuepoint — Medium
Clever people are playing with these ideas already, of course, and we’ll all see if it remains a stunt or becomes the new normal.

A personal favorite was Vulfpeck, an indie band that released Sleepify, a collection of silent tracks they persuaded their fanbase to stream while sleeping. Spotify paid out $20,000 in royalties, but pulled the album for unspecified reasons. Meanwhile, John Cage’s “4:33,” a pillar of modern music, is available on Spotify, in several versions. It’s silent, though Cage argues that there’s no such thing. (His book, Silence, goes into it in depth.) I have never understood why no one took the Vulfpeck issue seriously enough to consider the Spotify takedown an act of censorship, which, by definition, it is. Instead, it was branded a stunt. This, while people pay to see Duchamp’s urinal in the Tate Modern.
7 days ago
Come for the tool, stay for the network
A popular strategy for bootstrapping networks is what I like to call “come for the tool, stay for the network.”

The idea is to initially attract users with a single-player tool and then, over time, get them to participate in a network. The tool helps get to initial critical mass. The network creates the long term value for users, and defensibility for the company.
9 days ago
The 10 Commandments of Good Form Design on the Web
Learn how to design good looking, accessible forms for the web.
9 days ago
Forget the internet of things – we need an internet of people | Technology | The Guardian
This is the true potential of the internet of things. It could put our vast stores of tacit, embodied knowledge to work online. It could unite the physical and digital worlds. And it could put us in control of our own information and contextual integrity, against a moral and political backdrop that is resolutely committed to human rights, the rule of law and social cohesion. It could become an internet, not of smart things, but of smart, empowered people.
9 days ago
Organizational Debt is like Technical debt – but worse
While technical debt is an understood problem, it turns out startups also accrue another kind of debt – one that can kill the company even quicker – debt. Organizational debt is all the people/culture compromises made to “just get it done” in the early stages of a startup.

Just when things should be going great, organizational debt can turn a growing company into a chaotic nightmare.

Growing companies need to understand how to recognize and “refactor” organizational debt.
debt  culture  organization 
9 days ago
America's trailer parks: the residents may be poor but the owners are getting rich | Life and style | The Guardian
It’s an unusual but potentially lucrative investment: billionaire Warren Buffett is heavily invested, and his and others’ success is prompting ordinary people to attend Mobile Home University, a ‘boot camp’ in trailer park ownership
urbandesign  poverty 
9 days ago
The Future of Web Design is Hidden in the History of Architecture — Medium
The history of Western architecture can teach us a lot about the evolution of web design. As forms of art, both are defi…
design  architecture 
9 days ago
Monica at Mozilla: Tracking Protection for Firefox at Web 2.0 Security and Privacy 2015
This paper is the last artifact of my work at Mozilla, since I left employment there at the beginning of April. I believe that Mozilla can make progress in privacy, but leadership needs to recognize that current advertising practices that enable "free" content are in direct conflict with security, privacy, stability, and performance concerns -- and that Firefox is first and foremost a user-agent, not an industry-agent.

Advertising does not make content free. It merely externalizes the costs in a way that incentivizes malicious or incompetent players to build things like Superfish, infect 1 in 20 machines with ad injection malware, and create sites that require unsafe plugins and take twice as many resources to load, quite expensive in terms of bandwidth, power, and stability.
advertising  performance  publishing 
10 days ago
The Ryanair approach to progressive enhancement
Progressive enhancement is not about adding more work to your product. It is about protecting the main use case of your product and then enhance it with new functionality as it becomes available. Google is a great example of that. Turn off JavaScript and you still get a form to enter information in and you get a search result page with ads on it. This is how you find things and Google makes money. Anything else they added over time makes it more convenient for you but is not needed. It also offers them more opportunities to show you more ads and point at other services.

Use progressive enhancement as a means to reward your users. Don’t expect them to do things for you just to use your product. If the tools you use means your users have to have a “modern” browser and load a lot of script you share your problems with them. You can only get away with that if you offer them a cheaper version of what others offer but that’s a risky race to take part in. You can win their current business, but never their hearts or support. You become a necessary evil, not something they tell others about.
10 days ago
The Inside Story of How the iPhone Crippled BlackBerry - WSJ
Only Mr. Lazaridis didn’t regard Storm as a failure. To him, it was RIM’s first crack at a new technology. When he looked at Storm, Mr. Lazaridis saw its technical achievements: It had a good camera, video-streaming capabilities, a great speaker and a replaceable battery. It was Verizon’s first 3G device. Most of all, he loved the clickable screen. Mr. Lazaridis hated the sensation of typing on glass, of using a touch-screen keyboard that didn’t physically respond to every click. He couldn’t fathom that consumers might not love his clickable screen—it had to be the fault of his staff for delivering a poorly built product.

“We let Mike down, in his mind, because he made a request and we didn’t deliver,” says Mr. Morrison. “Whether the request is reasonable or not is not part of that sentence.”
10 days ago
How Indie Rock Changed the World - The Atlantic
In the end, it was the geeky boys with computers, not the geeky boys with guitars, who dethroned the major record companies. But the path mapped by indie-rock nerds exposes the prehistory of the broader cultural shift that we now take for granted. A bold start-up ethos, intensively nurtured networks of the like-minded, and the innovation-from-below that goes by the overused term disruption—indie rockers present another pedigree for our own decentralized, everyone-is-a-producer era. Who would have thought that these prickly outliers would help bust open the mainstream, creating the space for self-expression and outright weirdness that has come to seem, well, normal? It was an unlikely role for the upstart flamethrowers, who were a mostly homogeneous group and who, as these memoirs serve to remind us, were defiantly loyal to their marginal status.
11 days ago
An Analysis of Nespresso
Speciality coffee doesn’t offer anything to the consumer who wants to drink great espresso at home, but doesn’t want a new hobby.
11 days ago
2014 Design Value Index Results and Commentary
In fact, the Design Value Index (DVI), a market capitalization-weighted index comprised of design-driven companies, shows 10-year returns of a remarkable 219% over that of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (“S&P 500”) from 2004-2014.2
design  business  validation 
12 days ago
This is what causes people to purchase.
For the job, the situation is critical. As Clayton Christensen says: “the customer is the wrong unit of analysis.” It’s the job in a situation.

Also, the job is stable over time. I’m repeatedly hungry, but in different situations. The solutions you choose to hire change. This is critical to your differentiation efforts. If you understand the stable job, you can understand how your solution could be disrupted let alone how to improve (and not improve) your existing product or service.
12 days ago
Machines, Work, and the Value of People
So, to sum up: Some time ago, identity and a sense of self-worth got hitched to labor and productivity. Consequently, each new technological displacement of human work appears to those being displaced as an affront to the their dignity as human beings. Those advancing new technologies that displace human labor do so by demeaning existing work as below our humanity and promising more humane work as a consequence of technological change. While this is sometimes true–some work that human beings have been forced to perform has been inhuman–deployed as a universal truth, it is little more than rhetorical cover for a significantly more complex and ambivalent reality.
14 days ago
Just Don’t Hire 0x Engineers
Their About page may say otherwise, but — drumroll, please — the average company is pretty average. Not everybody can hire exclusively top-tier people. And you know what? That’s fine. Quality of individuals is only one part of what makes an organization great. Sports is rife with examples of the nimble, well-connected team triumphing over the team of individual superstars.
14 days ago
Designing Features Using Jobs To Be Done
Focusing on causality, anxieties, and motivations of users is called Jobs To Be Done. Job Stories help you apply this when you design features, UI, and UX.
14 days ago
The Cost of Paying Attention
The benefits of silence are off the books. They are not measured in the gross domestic product, yet the availability of silence surely contributes to creativity and innovation. They do not show up explicitly in social statistics such as level of educational achievement, yet one consumes a great deal of silence in the course of becoming educated.
attention  psychology 
14 days ago
Rejoice: Tomorrow's Tech Will Probably Stop Nagging Us
Although counterintuitive, organizations can extend their longevity by creating products that can be neglected. Contrary to metrics that quantify success by tracking the amount of time engaged with a product, the future of connectivity demands integrated solutions that deliver sustainable value rather than short-lived wins. What if success was measured as a reduction of users’ stress? Or a decrease of time engaged? Companies shouldn’t just ask how their products can be more efficient for customers; they should champion solutions that save customers’ time without the need to engage with the product at all.
14 days ago
Absolute vs. Relative Timestamps: When to Use Which - UX Movement
Each type of timestamp has their benefits. If you don’t want to lose the benefits of one for the other, you can combine them together. This way users can make use of both if they need.
15 days ago
Video Games Are Better Without Characters
Such was the payload of SimCity: not a game about people, even though its residents, the Sims, would later get their own spin-off. Nor is it a game about particular cities, for it is difficult to recreate one with the game’s brittle, indirect tools. Rather, SimCity is a game about urban societies, about the relationship between land value, pollution, industry, taxation, growth, and other factors. It’s not really a simulation, despite its name, nor is it an educational game. Nobody would want a SimCity expert running their town’s urban planning office. But the game got us all to think about the relationships that make a city run, succeed, and decay, and in so doing to rise above our individual interests, even if only for a moment.
games  urbandesign 
15 days ago
Meta-Moments: Thoughtfulness by Design
Meta-moments can provide us with space to interpret, understand, and add meaning to our experiences. A little friction in our flow is all we need. A roadblock must be overcome. A speed bump must be negotiated. A diversion must be navigated. Each of these cases involves our attention in a thoughtful way. Our level of engagement deepens. We have an experience we can remember.

A user journey without friction is a bit like a story without intrigue—boring! In fact, a recent study into the first hour of computer game experiences concludes that intrigue might be more important than enjoyment for fostering engagement. We need something a little challenging or complex; we need to be the one who gains mastery and control. We want to triumph in the end.
design  friction 
15 days ago
The Challenge of Communicating Simplicity
All these things compound in making something perceived as simple. A new tool identical to a super-complex one I’ve used for years and I know in detail will be “simple” for me. If I like playing with the tool itself, then complexity is part of the enjoyment I take from it. If society correlates status with simplicity, then owning a simpler object, even if it’s not simple but simplistic, will be sought after. And so on.
15 days ago
Tools don’t solve the web’s problems, they ARE the problem
The web’s answer to the native challenge should be radical simplification, not even more tools.
performance  web 
16 days ago
For Infinite Scroll, Bounce Rate Is a Vanity Stat
We should be wary of these engagement or retention claims. Measurements shouldn't be about solely bounce rate, and minor jumps in engagement time are also a poor proxy. Perhaps a bounce should count unless the user makes it to the end of the next article. Perhaps retention should only count if the user's time on the site equals or exceeds twice the average time it takes to read an article.

As always, unless someone who manages a content site with infinite scroll (that isn't a stream-based site like Twitter or Facebook) can show data to prove infinite scroll genuinely leads to greater retention and engagement, I won't trust the measuring stick. Neither should you when making a decision about whether or not to implement infinite scroll.
16 days ago
The Problem With Patterns
What Ramsey proved was that order is the inevitable result of a large amount of random trials. In other words, given a large document like the Bible, there will inevitably be random samples that spell out specific messages.
patterns  science 
16 days ago
Hamburger icon: How these three lines mystify most people
The hamburger button has become a common symbol on our smartphones, tablets and computers. But what is it?
17 days ago
We are ignoring the new machine age at our peril
The implications of this vehicle stretch far beyond the future of the automobile industry or even the future of transport. What it signals is that vast swaths of human activity – and employment – which were hitherto regarded as beyond the reach of “intelligent” machines may now be susceptible to automation. So we need to revise our assumptions about the future of work in the light of combinatorial innovation.
work  automation 
17 days ago
The End of the Open Road: The Inside Story of How Hitchhiking Died
But here, hitching is outright outlawed in four states, stigmatized and regulated in many others, and plagued by stories of violence and sexual assault. The hitchhiker has been transformed in the public imagination from an unencumbered youth finding adventure across our vast nation to a crazed and dangerous maniac with a homicidal sneer. To pick one up is to meet a death of grotesque proportions—to hitch as a woman, an invitation to be brutally violated.
17 days ago
Self-Driving Trucks Are Going to Hit Us Like a Human-Driven Truck
The imminent need for basic income in recognition of our machine-driven future
17 days ago
Wearable gadgets portend vast health, research and privacy consequences | The Washington Post
Some physicians, academics and ethicists criticize the utility of tracking as prime evidence of the narcissism of the technological age — and one that raises serious questions about the accuracy and privacy of the health data collected, who owns it and how it should be used. There are also worries about the implications of the proliferation of devices for broader surveillance by the government, such as what happened with cellphone providers and the National Security Agency.
quantifiedself  wearabletech 
18 days ago
Choose prototypes over mockups
Working prototypes offer huge benefits over mockups, and can significantly improve the designer workflow. With designs that work from day one, you can reduce back-and-forth and recapture what it is you love about design.
19 days ago
The Null Process
Our fear of "unnecessary process" has created workplaces with something worse than bad process: no process. I call these types of processes "null processes," and they are rampant at startups and technology companies. In this article, I explain the concept of the null process, how it can hurt companies, how it can hurt diversity, and ideas for putting in place good process.

When people say they don't want process, what they're really saying is they don't want formalized process. There is really no such thing as "no process." A process is simply the steps it takes to complete a task, so if a task is completed then by definition a process was used. Without formalized process everyone does things their own way, and there is no documentation for how problems are solved. This informal, undocumented process is the "null process," and, if used incorrectly, the null process can have major implications for a company.
19 days ago
Choosing performance
But this quote is really the best indicator of why the web is so slow at the moment. It’s not because of any sort of technical limitations. No, if a website is slow it’s because performance was not prioritized. It’s because when push came to shove, time and resources were spent on other features of a site and not on making sure that site loads quickly.

This goes back to what many have been stating as of late: performance is a cultural problem.
19 days ago
Apps versus the web
Meanwhile, you should have a website that works well on mobile regardless of whether you also have an app, and that site should give your complete proposition, since that of course is where links from Google and Facebook will take people. Too many companies present the potential customer with a website that says 'screw you, install our app', and then an app store page that says 'screw you, install our app', and then a first-run screen that says 'screw you, create an account/sign in with Facebook'. You do have to earn an install, I think.
apps  web 
19 days ago
“Quartz is an API”: The path ahead for the business site that’s reshaping digital news
So when we say Quartz is an API, we don’t mean publish once and send it everywhere. We mean Quartz can go anywhere our readers are, in whatever form is appropriate.
publishing  journalism 
19 days ago
Lean Doesn’t Always Create the Best Products
But the majority of products, services, and systems are considered in the larger context of an experience scaffold – an ecology of thinking that needs to consider how a person experiences a given product in the context of the rest of their life. It’s impossible to drive a desired end-to-end experience without considering, and planning for, an interaction design framework that works across an entire system. Uber’s mobile app – as lean and feature-light and easy to use as it is – can’t work without a driver’s app, a customer service and support story, and a direct strategy around the larger policy and infrastructure environment of the taxi lobby. Failure to acknowledge and plan around a larger (and often ideal – and far away) system leads to people having peculiar and often frustrating experiences. Startups – like large companies – need to have a story around the narrative of use, and it often means ignoring minimal in favor of thoughtful.

And with this, we arrive at perhaps the most important distinction between an empathetic design-led approach and Lean. Lean is fast. Design is slow. Design is more contemplative, reflective, and because it demands systems thinking and marinating in the ambiguity of cultural data, it simply takes longer. The benefit is in producing emotionally sound products: products that people love, not just products people use. Increasingly, people expect more from the products and services they engage with. They expect quality, and use it both as a selection criteria for purchase and as a constraint for sustained use.
mvp  lean 
19 days ago
Functional Animation In UX Design
When it comes to providing pleasure or delight in our websites and apps, animations contribute a lot. But always remember that they must be functional first.
20 days ago
Notes on the Surrender at Menlo Park
Oh, right: So what happens when Facebook goes away? Are today’s publishers, by then, just portable content generators ready to be passed to the next platform? Or have they been replaced by something else entirely? There is apparently only one way to find out!
facebook  publishing 
20 days ago
We're more than mere consumers, and business should remember that
In fact, companies that engage customers see better business outcomes, including a 55% increase in annual company revenues and 30% higher customer retention, according to a study by Aberdeen Group. Beyond thinking of their customers as people, not consumers, companies need to rethink that relationship to build trust.
engagement  marketing 
20 days ago
Be Kind
Being kind is fundamentally about taking responsibility for your impact on the people around you. It requires you be mindful of their feelings and considerate of the way your presence affects them.
kindness  advice  career  management 
20 days ago
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