March 2010

Values 2010

Values are things that help define you as a company or person.  I think it’s important to list them out and periodically review them.  I just updated mine.  Here they are: Transparency Take a look at this blog post by Balsamiq. I can’t believe how transparent he is about his company. I actually am not suggesting to be that transparent in general, but I deeply respect it. Nothing bad is going...

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Raising your hand in class

What is the likelihood of raising your hand in class, or in a meeting, or at a conference? Some people raise their hands all the time.  I have this policy where I try to say absolutely nothing at all in meetings.  However, I have such a big mouth, I inevitably can’t hold back and comments pour out from me.  If I didn’t have this policy, I would never stop talking.  Other people...

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The UX of Axure

After trying JustinMind Prototyper 3.0, I felt that it definitely was time to move the designs I have been working on to the next level of fidelity.  We needed to be producing realistic looking prototypes for sales and research uses as well as deliverables for engineering.  This is similar to when, at Marketo, I changed from PowerPoint with generic UI to PowerPoint with realistic UI.  It made the whole thing seem more...

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The UX of JustInMind Prototyper Part II

This weekend I had the opportunity to use JustinMind Prototyper a little more. I had previously reviewed it for initial impressions. This was a real project I was using it for and I got at least 6 hours in of real-world usage. Here are my findings: The first thing I noticed is that the application is kinda slow. Things like cut/paste take way more time than they should. A snappy application is...

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Managed Service vs. Self Service Software

There is a ton of software out there that is SaaS (Software as a Service).  This doesn’t mean at all that it is easy to use.  What it means is that there is no CDs or servers to install.  You go to a website and login. Example of Managed Service SaaS: Eloqua. Eloqua was in the marketing automation space for a long time before I worked at Marketo.  They built...

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Convincing people you are right

I have seen this effect first hand my whole life.  Some examples: I tried to convince my parents that homework was stupid.  The more I tried to convince, the most entrenched they became. I tried to get a girl to love me.  The more I loved her, the less she loved me.  My cousin treated women like crap, and got all the girls. Convincing my partners at Koko (1995-2002) that...

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The Law of Unintended Consequences

From Wikipedia: “Any intervention in a complex system may or may not have the intended result, but will inevitably create unanticipated and often undesirable outcomes” The key part of this is that there are MORE outcomes than just the one that is the goal.  They might be unfortunate, sometimes they are actually very beneficial.  This is the part of the law that I love. When doing UX design, I always...

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Don’t validate ideas via User Research

User Research is an important part of User Experience (UX) Design.  However, you have to be careful to use this tool in the right way.  A hammer is a good tool, but you don’t use it to cut a 2×4.  The biggest misuse of User Researching is to validate your existing ideas. In other words, people come up with an idea and make assumptions about their market.  Mockups are made...

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Customers will slow you down

It’s a conundrum.  To be a successful company, you need customers.  To get customers, you must build something great.  Most people say, “Go to market quick, then learn and iterate.”  I think people are missing a key factor about what it means to have customers.  I saw this first hand at several different companies. Many people in the organization will think you can innovate and build just as quickly before...

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Ways of making a design decision

As a designer, I often and working on something and wondering how it will be received by the decision-makers.  I know how the intended audience will receive it.  (That’s my job).  However, how the non-intended audience will react is more complicated.  Many designers get depressed with this issue and just try to make the internal folks happy, even at the expense of the actual customer.  I imagined putting down sheets...

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