December 2015

Confidence makes the world go round

I’ve been listening to Freakonomics Radio and Planet Money on my car ride to work. Economics is a fascinating subject. It has just as much to do with human psychology as UX Design. One segment was by some guys who fixed Brazil’s hyper-inflation by inventing a new kind of money. They said, “People have lost confidence in the stability of our old money. We need new money.” (Paraphrasing) Confidence is required...

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The Story Behind Two Marketo Icons

Choosing Icons is sometimes tricky business. I chose all of the icons in Marketo since 2007.  Here are a couple of stories that help explain. Marketo Icon Glossary The Smart Campaign Light Bulb The most important icon in Marketo was the Lightbulb. When I first designed the system, I was trying to explain how it worked to Jen Erale and Jodi Florence (Marketo’s first customers). I explained it like this....

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Talking to Users

I just spent some time talking to a user about a design I made. I walked her through it and we started talking about the possibilities. The worst version of this exercise is when the user says, “I don’t know.” in response to questions. The best version of the exercise is when they get excited and start geeking out with you about it. Account Based Marketing has so much space to...

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Working “As Designed”

I just updated my LinkedIn App. Previously, I had complained that it didn’t work in landscape mode. They “fixed” that. So now, if I rotate, this is what I get. Do you see what they did? They just took the layout and flipped it horizontally. In other apps, it redraws the screen and uses the space differently. In Slack, which is well designed, they use the complete canvas sensibly. This...

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Designing Middle Out

I believe that you shouldn’t design in the chronological order the user will use the product. In other words, you don’t need to design the login screen first. You can pick a point in the middle. I call it an “anchor point”. This point serves as one of the important foundation interfaces. It shows a specific interaction that represents a wider set of areas. These are often a single screen,...

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Craigslist is a Great UX Case Study

A colleague once asked me why Craigslist had become so successful with such bad design. Craigslist is a complicated company without a ton of information online. It doesn’t employee many people and has made a good deal of money. On the surface, it looks ugly. However, it has been very popular. Fascinating reading on Quora about why Craigslist has/hasn’t been disrupted. One thing I have been thinking for years is that aesthetics...

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Something from Nothing

Yesterday, I was staring at my screen trying to figure out how a user would create and manage the object I conceived. I wasn’t even staring at a blank canvas. I was staring at a hole, a nothing, an absence of something. It was my job to get rid of this “nothing” and replace it with “something”. It reminded me of a movie called The NeverEnding Story based on a...

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Timeless or Noteworthy

When designing something new, you have to choose what it looks like and how it acts. One designer said to me, “It should be timeless and classic.” I disagreed. If you are designing something new, it should be noteworthy and contemporary. One example is the iPhone. Pick up an original version and it will not at all seem fashionable. It looks small and clunky. It looks sad by today’s standards. Look...

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Account Based Marketing

For the better part of the last ten years, I have seen the world through the eyes of a demand generation marketer. Starting with Kelly Abner and working through thousands of others, my point of view was how to help them create more leads and nurture them through a funnel. Now that I have started at Engagio, I have switched my glasses from demand generation to account based marketing (ABM)....

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Open Letter to LinkedIn

Dear Mr./Mrs LinkedIn, You have the most potential and most fuckups of any site on the web. I love you and I hate you. The Good You are THE defacto social network for professionals. There are plenty of times that your user interface does the right thing. Discovery of new people is usually pretty accurate. The interface to build your resume is excellent and has replaced paper resumes in many...

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