Doing user research in the discovery phase | User research
We need to observe and talk to our potential customers to understand the real problems they’re having. That’ll show us what their needs are. It’s important to note that needs can be functional _and_ emotional — things that people need to do (like get legal help) and things that people are feeling (stressed, anxious, needing reassurance). Understanding both types of needs is key to building services so good that people choose to use them, and are able to use them without assistance.

There’s no substitute for talking to real people. We need to go to the source and discover (not just validate) their needs. We are not our users, so we can’t think like them unless we’re meeting them regularly. Any user needs we invent ourselves are just assumptions.

Understanding user needs will result in a service that delivers value to people more quickly, is easier to market, less error prone, and cheaper to run.

We want to speak to 6-8 people of each ‘type’ of user of our product — going to where they are to find out the context of their situation, what they’re doing, and what they’re feeling. The output of this process shouldn’t be a report or presentation. It should be a team exercise — everyone should see at least 2 interviews. Journey maps and user stories are good ways to document research.

Doing user research to understand your users will help make sure you design the right thing, before you start worrying about designing it the right way.
userresearch  product  ux  govuk 
4 days ago
We need to talk about user needs | User research
We need to observe and talk to our potential customers to understand the real problems they’re having. That’ll show us what their needs are. It’s important to note that needs can be functional _and_ emotional — things that people need to do (like get legal help) and things that people are feeling (stressed, anxious, needing reassurance). Understanding both types of needs is key to building services so good that people choose to use them, and are able to use them without assistance.

There’s no substitute for talking to real people. We need to go to the source and discover (not just validate) their needs. We are not our users, so we can’t think like them unless we’re meeting them regularly. Any user needs we invent ourselves are just assumptions.

Understanding user needs will result in a service that delivers value to people more quickly, is easier to market, less error prone, and cheaper to run.
design  userresearch  product  startups  govuk 
4 days ago
How do you create a product people want to buy? | Unicornfree with Amy Hoy: Creating And Selling Your Own Products
"Who am I serving?
What do they need/want, and are ready to buy?
How can I reach them and persuade them?"
product  research  startups 
6 days ago
SVGOMG - SVGO's Missing GUI
Optimising and formatting SVG code in the browser
svg 
8 days ago
svg-preview
Show the rendered SVG to the right of the current editor, refreshed live.
svg 
8 days ago
Camp Digital 2015 - Why design matters // Speaker Deck
“When a solution helps users navigate something inherently complex, we prevent our product becoming complicated”

“The job of designers is to help our teams, and ultimately our users, navigate complexity”

“Insights should feel simple because they are simple. They should also provocative — this is what makes them actionable.”
ux  design  process  lean  userresearch  presentations  benholliday  freeagent 
8 days ago
text-rendering: optimizeLegibility is Decadent and Depraved - Bocoup
"All this typographic power came with a cost: text-rendering: optimizeLegibility is slow—and by “slow,” I mean that it can bog down an entire page, from initial render time to repaints. More than that, though, it’s buggy: Android in particular has serious issues trying to render a page that uses optimizeLegibility heavily, especially the older versions that are still, sadly, very common today."
typography  performance  browsers 
12 days ago
SaaS KPIs & more
A curated selection of some of my most popular posts on SaaS metrics and related topics.
product  startups  business  metrics  saas 
13 days ago
Ben Barry
"One thing, which is less relevant now that I’m freelancing, but was very important when I was at Facebook was managing my time. Being a maker, I had to block off, and be very protective, of time to actually work and make things without distractions. I kept a schedule where Monday and Friday I was available for meetings, and Friday morning I had open office hours. Tuesday and Thursday I was in the office, but my calendar was blocked off so I could work on whatever I needed to, and Wednesdays I worked from my desk at home so I could be in a distraction free environment."
work  process  meetings  culture  scheduling  facebook 
13 days ago
SmartIcons
Tool for generating a customised SVG sprite (inc HTML/JS) based on stock selection of icons
svg  icons 
13 days ago
Reactive Design
Collection of design insights about perceived speed.
performance 
13 days ago
Podcast: Peter Merholz Talks Product Design
"A recognition that design isn’t the end all, be all of the work to be done. There’s a recognition and an appreciation for understanding the business context in which the design work is happening. An engagement with the technical capabilities and constraints. Not every designer has that interest, right? A lot of designers love the craft of design and want to do design design, and that’s great. But then you find other designers who tend to think a little more systemically and feel their designs are better when they understand the business and technical constraints. Those designers tend to be the ones who then become product managers."

[...]

"I still think there’s more value to be iterating in a prototyping, internal mode when you can iterate more quickly, and you’re still feeling your way forward, than trying to ship something sooner and iterate in public. With a lean model you can ship your first build sooner, but it will take you longer to ship the right build. There’s a balance to be struck. It’s a failing if you spend too much time in the earlier kind of definition phase, exploring ideas and concepts, the market can move before you’re done."

[...]

"Back when I started doing this type of stuff 20 years ago, design teams were essentially internal services firms, like you had an agency internally. Designers would get farmed out to work on a project, and then they’d come back to the centralized design team and then wait for the next project and get farmed out again.

The problem with that model is it reduces design to an execution function."

[...]

"As design is being taken more seriously, particularly in tech companies, design has become embedded in product teams. The example I used in my talk is this idea of the e-commerce experience. You’ll have a product or feature team dedicated to search and browse, and another one dedicated to the product page, and another one dedicated to reviews, and another one dedicated to the checkout flow.

Those teams will have three, four, five, six engineers, usually one product manager, and one designer. The good thing about that model, is you have a designer on that team, dedicated to that team, so that team respects the contributions of the designer. The problem with that model, is that the designer is working on their own, usually not coordinating with the other designers. The people they work with most are non-designers, who don’t understand them, don’t think like them, don’t speak the same professional language. They get lonely. I’ve heard that from folks throughout my career who found themselves in this environment."

[...]

"When I give this talk, I use Facebook as an example but I haven’t done it recently. Years ago though, you clicked on the left hand nav of your Facebook newsfeed, to get into Photos or Messenger. Each of those products within Facebook, apart from the blue and Arial, is totally different in its design. Some have left hand navigation. Some have top navigation. The orientation of what’s in the middle is different, how you interact with it is different. There’s no systemic cohesion, and that can be okay for Facebook, if they’re approaching themselves as a portfolio of products. Maybe people are dipping into one or two, by and large and ignoring the rest, that could be okay. In an experience like Groupon, or any e-commerce app, where you’re leading people through a flow very purposefully, you have to make sure it’s coherent."

The centralized partnership, is trying to combine the best of both worlds. At Groupon the whole design team was centralized under me, as the head of design. When I started there were about 30, when I left there were about 60. The 60 people were broken up into roughly 10 teams, so anywhere from 5-7 folks per team. But those teams were dedicated to specific parts of the product e.g a consumer platform team that worked on anything that every Groupon user would touch.

We also had lines of business. We had the Local line of business, that’s about the daily deals, going out, restaurants and spas and all that stuff. We had the Goods business which is more traditional e-commerce business, and then Getaways, which was a travel business. They had dedicated design teams as well, because there’s things that are specific to them, and then this platform business was responsible for the stuff that is common to everyone. There was also a set of product teams that worked on stuff that we just determined was platform. Like what we called “funnel optimization”, which is essentially the checkout flow.

The best of both worlds meant, this team of people, this team of six or seven people, was consistently working against these six or seven products. These six or seven platform people would never work on a Getaways product team. We wouldn’t cross those lines. So you had that degree of commitment and engagement that you want from the embedded designer, people who understand the full life cycle of that part of the product and are deeply wedded to it. But by being part of a team, by not embedding someone in the funnel optimization team and someone in the user-generated content team, and someone in the personalization team who weren’t talking to each other, by being one order above that, we ensured that there was consistency across those product teams.

The product teams were meant to be these autonomous forces pulling in all directions as they saw fit, and then the design team was this counter balance that was meant to kind of cohere that effort and make sure it wasn’t going off in too chaotic and too fractured a mode.

Key to making the centralized partnership work is design leadership. You know, I was a VP, 20 years experience. I inherited 13 product designers who were all in their mid-20s, who were just kind of pinging around the organization like pinballs. What I spent much of my first nine months doing, was recruiting and hiring design managers and design directors that I could form these teams around.

These design directors, they became this kind of crucial leverage point within, not just design, but within the organization. They would manage down to get the most out of the team, manage across, work cross functionally with the director of product management, director of engineering and manage up and make sure the executives and senior stakeholders understood what was going on. Before I had those leaders, I would have a 25 year old product designer talking to a 35 year old product manager with 10-15 years experience, maybe an MBA, and then some dude who’s, you know, a hot shot designer but not a lot of experience, not a lot of gravitas to bring to conversations. I don’t know if this is a fair analogy, but basically it led to an unfair fight. The designer would just basically do what the product manager said because they didn’t have the ability to meaningfully push back.

By bringing in design leadership who could engage those product managers as peers, that allowed us to drive design thinking back into the product more actively."

[...]

"Well, what’s happened is companies have recognized a different order of the value of design. To the degree to which businesses understood the value of design, it was from an execution function. It was to stay on brand. It was to be appealing, to be stylish, to differentiate yourself. But it wasn’t as a key strategic contributor to whatever it is that business is doing. Essentially with the ascendency of Apple, and a bunch of other factors, that has changed. Businesses have begun to realize design is a core competency for any business that has customers, i.e. any business. Design delivers a type of value different from what other functions were delivering so they’re all building in-house design teams."

[...]

"There are things that in-house teams, particularly in-house Silicon Valley product tech teams, could learn from agency work and have either chosen to ignore or don’t know about. Things such as user research and personas, prototyping and visions and sketch workshops and all of that, that could make in-house design better. But in-house design can get so caught up in ship-ship-ship-ship-ship-ship-ship, that it loses sight of that ability to pull back and frame the problem, not just try to solve the problem."

[...]

"So these big management consulting firms have all caught design religion, and are building design practices, and I am sure they are charging two to three times for that exact same design work that Adaptive Path was doing, but they’re now applying it in these different modes. They’re doing it top down, and they’re doing the Lord’s work from a design standpoint, because they are influencing the highest level of strategy within these organizations.

Then for the more kind of execution-oriented design work, the challenge that agencies are facing is, it’s not just about a boatload of wireframes and then a boatload of mockups, and shipping that to someone. I recently did a podcast interview with some friends of mine who have a small consultancy in Austin called Funsize, and they basically approach agency design in an agile way. They are doing two week sprints, they’re working side by side with their clients. Which is not at all how I worked in a design firm before, but if you’re on that end where you’re helping people execute and ship, those design agencies are having to change how they work, and the relationships they have with their clients. So you’re seeing this kind of bifurcation happen from an agency standpoint where you’re either going way upstream or you’re in the trenches. Whatever that middle thing was? That’s what’s evaporated."
product  process  agile  prototyping  lean  startups  design  teams  agencies  management 
13 days ago
The Redesign of the Design Process — Medium
"Innovative designs don’t happen because of a single smart person who drives everything the team does. Innovation happens when the team creates an environment where small, powerful ideas can float to the top."

[...]

"Executing user research is a well-understood process. Integrating user research effectively into the design process is something many teams fail at. The best teams are quite intentional about their process of fitting what they’ve learned into what they already understand."

The user researcher’s role has changed. It used to be about running studies. Now it’s about growing the team’s understanding of their users.

In this new role, the user researcher still needs to run a high-quality study. However, the real emphasis is to truly understand what the team thinks about their users. Then, using their well-adapted toolbox of user research techniques, they identify where that thinking is faulty. In time, a great UX researcher guides the team to a more accurate understanding of the user, which means design innovations are more likely to emerge."

[...]

"Designing useful meetings has huge implications for the team. It means they need to think of their own experiences as something they have to design for. They need to collect successful “patterns” of meeting activities, just like they’d collect up interaction patterns for their designs, so they have a full toolbox of ways to make the meetings über-productive. Meeting facilitation is now a core skill for successful designers."
process  design  collaboration  product  jaredspool  agile  lean  userresearch 
14 days ago
Think with Paper by FiftyThree
Break out of rows and columns. Visual ideas have the power to change perspectives and bring clarity to your process. Paper helps you get your message across with speed, personality, and effortless polish.
paper  flows  IA  process  software  ipad  diagrams 
21 days ago
Free mobile & web prototyping for designers – Marvel
Free mobile & web prototyping for everyone. No coding required. Marvel is the easiest way to turn your sketches, images and mockups into realistic mobile and web prototypes.
prototyping  product  mobile 
28 days ago
Spillo | Bananafish Software
Spillo is a powerful, beautiful and amazingly fast Pinboard client for OS X. Spillo lets you browse and organize your bookmarks in a stunning modern interface. Spillo also makes creating a bookmark from anywhere on your Mac as convenient as possible.
pinboard  mac  software  osx 
28 days ago
FormKeep | Form endpoints for designers and developers
Form endpoints for designers and developers
No iframes, JavaScript embeds, or CSS overrides.
forms  surveys 
28 days ago
IFTTT/JazzHands
Jazz Hands is a simple keyframe-based animation framework for UIKit. Animations can be controlled via gestures, scroll views, KVO, or ReactiveCocoa.

Jazz Hands is used extensively in IFTTT for iPhone and iPad, most famously in the app intro
ios  iphone  mobile  onboarding  animation  interactiondesign  IFTTT 
4 weeks ago
flatterline/jekyll-plugins
This repository includes the following plugins:

portfolio.rb - A plugin for generating a portfolio page and individual project pages.

read_more.rb - A plugin for generating a link to read more for post index pages.

simple_format.rb - A plugin for formatting a block of text very simply.

team.rb - A plugin for generating a team page, individual profile pages and a Liquid filter for short author bios on blog posts.
jekyll  portfolio  blogging 
4 weeks ago
recurser/jekyll-plugins
A simple generator that creates a sitemap.xml page for Jekyll sites, suitable for submission to Google
jekyll  sitemaps 
4 weeks ago
recurser/jekyll-plugins
A generator that creates category pages for Jekyll sites
jekyll 
4 weeks ago
recurser/jekyll-plugins
A generator that creates project pages for Jekyll sites from git repositories
jekyll  github 
4 weeks ago
bdesham/inline_highlight
A tag for inline syntax highlighting in Jekyll
jekyll 
4 weeks ago
robwierzbowski/jekyll-image-tag
Jekyll Image Tag is a full featured liquid tag for images in the Jekyll static site generator. Store image presets, add classes, alt text, and any other attribute to an image's HTML, and automatically create resized images from a tag argument or a little YAML configuration.
jekyll 
4 weeks ago
ericdfields/Jekyll-Dribbble-Set-Tag
Generates image galleries from player's recent shots with customizable shots per page and which page of results to render.
jekyll  dribbble 
4 weeks ago
tag_cloud_tag.rb
Code for tag plugin used on robbiemanson.com
jekyll 
4 weeks ago
salesforce-ux/blender
Blender is tool for converting media assets from svg format to png format in a specified array of sizes. This module is perfect for genreating icons to be used on a variety of screen sizes. Output folder structure, output sizes, icon types, and output icon names can be configured via a JSON object input.
svg  icons  node 
5 weeks ago
Living Design System — Salesforce UX — Medium
"We call it our Single Source of Truth. It’s basically a set of JSON files which contain name-value pairs describing our design properties. These properties are of different categories like text colors, background colors, border colors, font sizes, spacing, border radiuses, etc. The Salesforce1 Design Properties are open sourced on GitHub."
livingstyleguide  styleguide 
5 weeks ago
Common Agile Practice Isn’t for Startups - Jeff Patton & Associates
“What most people believe Agile development is today isn’t at all what you need if you’re a startup. In fact, trying to hard to get Agile “right” is a good way to slow down the stuff that should really be happening.”

“These days, thanks to Lean Startup thinking and Customer Development, we now know our biggest risk isn’t getting the software built, but validating that there are customers out there that want our product, and can use it. I’m going to call that stuff product discovery.”

“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.”

“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.”

““The difference between learning and failure is how much money you spend to do it.” — David Hussman”

“Discovery teams quickly figure out that what takes the longest time isn’t building working software, it’s getting time with customers in order to learn something that really slow you down.”
productdesign  productdiscovery  agile  scrum  failure  userresearch  product 
5 weeks ago
cjwirth/awesome-ios-ui
A curated list of awesome iOS UI/UX libraries
animation  ios  ui  apple  iphone 
6 weeks ago
Designing a Brand Identity ~ Creative Market Blog
Seth Godin: "A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer"
branding  brand  logodesign  sethgodin  quotes 
6 weeks ago
CSS polyfills from the future | GSS
GSS reimagines CSS layout & replaces the browser’s layout engine with one that harnesses the Cassowary Constraint Solver — the same algorithm Apple uses to compute native layout.
css  gss 
6 weeks ago
cssnext
What is cssnext ?

This is a CSS transpiler that allows you to use tomorrow's CSS syntax today. It transforms CSS specs that are not yet implemented in popular browsers into more compatible CSS.
css 
6 weeks ago
Review Monitor — LaunchKit
"The best way to track App Store reviews using Slack & email"
ios  appstore  slack 
7 weeks ago
UX Myths
UX Myths collects the most frequent user experience misconceptions and explains why they don't hold true. And you don't have to take our word for it, we'll show you a lot of research findings and articles by design and usability gurus.
userresearch  ux 
7 weeks ago
Daux.io — Getting Started
Daux.io is an documentation generator that uses a simple folder structure and Markdown files to create custom documentation on the fly. It helps you create great looking documentation in a developer friendly way.
styleguide 
7 weeks ago
Look and Feel and Feel
"The Twitter vs. Instagram experience is really reinforcing what matters when designing a product. What kind of behavior can we encourage? What kind of moments can we create for people? What do people anticipate before they use something? How does it leave them feeling when they’re done?"
ux  instagram  product  twitter  37signals 
8 weeks ago
KrauseFx/deliver
deliver can upload ipa files, app screenshots and more to the iTunes Connect backend, which means, you can deploy new iPhone app updates using the command line.
xcode  appstore  ios 
8 weeks ago
KrauseFx/snapshot
You have an iPhone app. You support 20 languages. You updated the design. You want to release the update to the App Store. What's missing?

This gem solves all those problems. It will run completely in the background - you can do something else, while your computer takes the screenshots for you.
xcode  appstore  ios 
8 weeks ago
shinydevelopment/SimulatorStatusMagic
Modify the iOS Simulator so that it has a perfect status bar, then run your app and take perfect screenshots every time.
ios  xcode 
8 weeks ago
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