April 2016

MVP Deconstructed

MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product. I have had a long distaste for this acronym, but I think it is worth a deep-dive. I found an image on this website that sums up some of the problems. I’m going to deconstruct it to explain better. Strategy #1: Build too much before launch In this scenario, you build steps 1, 2, 3 and 4 before you release anything. The problem with this...

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Color Inspiration

When designing a new product or brand, you need to get inspiration from somewhere. We are about to launch some new stuff and I realized where my inspiration came from…it was the view out of our window. During the day, it’s especially bright and the reds in the wood glow. The combination of the reds, blues and cream are beautiful. In my mind, this was combined with an underwater landscape...

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Product Camp 2016

Product Camp is a free, user-driven, collaborative “unconference” for Product Managers and Marketers. It’s in a few cities now. This weekend was the 2016 Silicon Valley edition. I usually go every other year. This year seemed to have diminished in attendance from previous ones. Accordingly, the number of sessions was also diminished. One of the problems is that the conference is free. “Free” possibly boosts attendance, but it also has some...

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Make Something Great Again

I’ve seen two advertisements leveraging this Donald Trump meme.  One was a billboard on 101 that stated “Make your data great again!” and today, I got this email that proclaimed, “Make your events great again!” Both times I saw the ad, Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan came to mind along with a bunch of questions such as: Are they supporting Donald Trump with this advertisement? When was data...

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Head of Magic Business Cards

My title at Marketo was Mayor, Awesome Town. I requested it on a lark, as a joke of sorts. They let me have it. Since then, I loved giving my cards to people. I figured I should leave Awesome Town behind with my new gig at Engagio. Now my title is Head of Magic. I think of my department as the Magic Shop. It’s both PM and UX. It’s the...

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UX Hall of Shame: Venmo Email

I just got this email. It has several major UX issues. Problems: Alignment. It is harder to read centered text than left-justified. Contrast. Gray on white is hard to read. Size. Text is too small and hard to read. Serif. Serif is harder to read than sans-serif, especially when small. Disconnect. The words reference things that aren’t nearby. (Follow the link above). Also, links don’t look like links. Overall, this...

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Browser Extensions: The New Platform

There have been many business software platforms over the last 20 years. Usually, these things go in waves of popularity. Some examples that were very popular: Novell Windows 3.1/95 Netscape Flash (short lived) IE6 iPhone/iPad Android Facebook Salesforce I see a new platform gaining in popularity: Browser Extensions. I have been compiling more and more. They are coming out from many software vendors. The reality is that people still use...

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Wrist Progress – April 2016

It’s slow and steady progress, but you can almost see the diminishing returns. Getting to that green line is going to be difficult. Whenever I see data, I want to visualize it. I hate looking at tables of data. The line shows a trend, the numbers are harder to understand. There is a UX lesson here around how to combine data and storytelling.

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Google Inbox/Calendar vs Outlook

I have not had an easy time adjusting to Google Apps. GMail is ugly, Inbox is pretty but severely limited and Google Calendar is deeply frustrating. More and more, I have been missing the power and elegance of Microsoft Outlook. I decided to try and use Outlook on top of Google Apps. At first, I tried to configure the settings manually. This failed spectacularly. Interestingly, I got this passive aggressive...

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Interesting UX Interview Question

Based on a quora question, I was inspired by Bert Green‘s answer. For the purposes of this blog, I am going to make it shorter (20 min) and possible to do in an office. Here is the question: Show me how you would build a 6″ wooden box. Show me the design and the steps. It’s a dazzlingly deceptive question. To any question regarding the requirements, my answer is “You...

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