Tag Archives: Work

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.… Read More »

Meaning in Work

I’m reading a biography on Jim Henson. He loved his work and described how work is a crucial part of our lives. Accomplishing something is a more fulfilling feeling than the money you earn for doing it.  Of course, most of us wouldn’t work at our jobs without being paid. However, if you look at… Read More »

Slack: Life without Email

I often told people that Eloqua had more functionality than Marketo. I also said it didn’t matter. Marketo beat Eloqua for a different reason. It wasn’t what you could do, but HOW you could do it. UX Rule #12: It’s not how many things you can do, it’s HOW you can get them done. It’s… Read More »

New Adventure: Engagio

I had alot of choices of what to do next. I could have managed a large team of designers in New York, Boston, Washington DC or San Francisco. I could have pursued possibilities at large (yet exciting) companies like Google. I could have joined a new startup again. The Bay Area is just so awesome, I… Read More »

PM / UX as Peer Groups

In many organizations, the product managers (PM) are the ones who define the “solution” for their project. They create wireframes and detailed UI requirements. They basically put the product designers (UX) into the role of “make it look pretty”. UI Graphic design is important, but it is not User Experience Design. What is User Experience… Read More »

Tailoring the Position to the Person

Once I had a job as a project manager. I was terrible at it and eventually was fired. The job was designed for someone with alot of process in mind. This is clearly not me. Remember my personality results? For a project manager, you want high EXAMINE. Obviously, mine is not suited for that job.… Read More »

About Face 4

About Face 4 by Alan Cooper has just been released. I first read the initial version and it was a revelation to me. Although Cooper’s ego saturates much of the text, the technique and craft of interaction was undeniably accurate. My own design style is heavily influenced by this book, as well as his other… Read More »

UX Design Career Levels

I don’t ever remember seeing something like this for UX. It’s a map of levels and what you would expect from a UX Designer. I don’t think it’s perfect and if someone has something better, I’d love to see it. This is geared towards people in the UX department of a software company. Use this… Read More »

Question Rich, Answer Poor

How can you make a decision when you don’t have the facts? In truth, it happens every day. The answer is that you just make a guess. Often, the HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) is the one people adopt. Here is a noteworthy quote: If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we… Read More »

Adders, Dividers and Multipliers

A manager once described his team to me as Adders, Dividers and Multipliers. I also heard a similar theory on NPR’s Fresh Air. Specifically about baseball players, but it applies to any team. Adders These people do their jobs. You add them to a team and they pull their weight. They are solid players, but… Read More »

The UX of Office Energy

The Human Resources department (in most cases) is not the Office Energy department. Typically, no one is in charge of this crucial aspect of a company. When someone is visiting your office for an interview, they are noticing things such as: Office layout Types of computers/screens on the desks Ceilings/Lighting Energy/Collaboration People Density Chairs If… Read More »

Back to School/Work

Well, my sabbatical is over and it’s time to get back to work. My kids are in the same boat, getting ready for a new school year. It has been a great summer. Here are some of the highlights: Hawaii Trip Lots of Tennis (2-4 times a week) Wrote about 20% of the UX book… Read More »

My First Patent

I actually hate patents. I think they undermine the creativity and progress of technology and startups. There is a great radio program on how software patents are awful and have lost all modern meaning they once held. (Produced by This American Life in 2011) However, when I was told that there was a bonus involved, I… Read More »

Magic Triangle Profiles

The magic triangle is used for any decision making model. See Figure below. The words are sometimes slightly different, but the meaning is the same.  There is only 1 rule: In any decision, you may ONLY pick two points on the triangle.  The third is deficient. If you choose Scope, it means that you have… Read More »

On-boarding Employees via Support

It’s not the most common technique, but I fully endorse the idea of employee on-boarding by spending time on phone support. I think 3 weeks is probably the right amount of time. Certainly 3 days is too short and 3 months is too long. The reason this is a good technique is that it forces… Read More »

Ingredients for Success

Here are a couple of categories that will help you get recognition, raises, promotions, monetary rewards and all your dreams come true. Technical Skill For whatever you do, there are specific technical aspects to it.  There is craft in every job.  If you know your craft better, if you are more technically skilled, it will contribute… Read More »

Halloween Rain 2014

Nothing ruins Halloween like rain.  Trick or treating becomes a major hassle.  It’s just a downer.  We need the rain in California, but still, couldn’t it have started tomorrow?  Who is running this thing? It’s also bummer when you dress up and 95% of your company doesn’t participate.  Like it’s some sort of ridiculous thing. Halloween… Read More »

Corporate Acupuncture

In the corporate body, there are pressure points.  These pressure points can yield disproportionate gain (or pain) throughout the enterprise.  Corporate Acupuncture is the art of finding those pressure points and applying some UX love to generate big results. Sometimes, the pressure points are due to individuals.  A great individual contributor can be leveraged on… Read More »

Teaching is Leading

I have four new designers on my team.  That’s alot of people to get up to speed on the product, process and people.  Rather than teaching them myself, I assigned my most experienced designer to be in charge.  He has not previously managed people and this is his first time training other designers. There are… Read More »

Recruiting: UX Help Designer

I’m looking for awesome new people to join my team.  Check out the UX Help Designer job description: What’s a UX Help Designer? At Marketo, the UX team is responsible for the way a feature works.  We collaborate with engineers, product managers and other various groups.  When we are ready to launch a feature, help… Read More »

Training Time

I have a few new designers starting at Marketo in the next 30 days.  One of the most important, but neglected, aspects to having new employees is giving ample training time before they are asked to do critical work. I can’t even count the number of times I saw someone doing something poorly because they… Read More »

The UX of Self-Reviews

I recently had to fill out a “Self-Review” for work.  Evaluate yourself for the year and write down what you think.  The hard part is deciding how much to stick your chest out and how much to pick on your weaknesses.  If you write it too “puff-piece” then the management will not trust your point… Read More »

How to Get Promoted

Some people get lucky, but how the heck can you work at that?  Let’s focus on the ways to get promoted that you can control.  The following is based on my personal experience of how people get promoted to managerial roles.  Following this advice doesn’t guaruntee anything, but it will give you the best chance… Read More »

Tips for Interviewing Someone

Interviewing is like golf.  Anyone can do it, but it’s hard to be good at it.  The goal is to quickly ascertain if a candidate is a worthy member of your team and if they are then to inspire them to want to work with your company.  Here are tips to be successful: Blink (From… Read More »

What if they Googled you?

I am interviewing people to hire a Sr. UX Designer.  Guess what is the first thing I do whenever I receive a resume? If you guessed “Look at the resume” you would be wrong. The first thing I do is search for the person’s name in Google.  Unless you live in a cave, you have… Read More »

Hiring UX Designer (Marketo)

Marketo is growing on all fronts.  As the engineering team grows, their appetite for more shovel-ready projects increases too.  Thus, the design team needs to scale.  I am looking for a UX Designer who can run design initiatives within a fast-paced multi-disciplinary environment.  That’s greek for “lots of people all talking at once”. The company has something special… Read More »

The UX of Marketo User Summit 2010

Of course, I have a vested interest.  I am the first hired employee and the head of UX for Marketo, but I feel I can be objective.  Well, just take it with a grain of salt anyway. It was awesome. Last year, we had about a hundred and fifty people.  I thought that was alot… Read More »

Marketo is Growing

My first few weeks at Marketo have been great!  The sales have been so strong that they have been growing rapidly to support all the customers.  In fact, there are alot of positions open right now. Marketo is growing rapidly, which means that there is alot of opportunity to make an impact that will last… Read More »

The UX of the Big Boss Talking to You

I’ve heard this story many times.  The big boss is right in front of you.  Normally, you never see him up close.  You are in the middle of the organization somewhere and he is the leader.  You start to feel butterflies in your stomach.  Then, he asks that incredibly insightful question: How’s it going? Arrghhh. … Read More »

The Curse of Knowledge

Made to Stick has a great concept called the Curse of Knowledge. (Highly recommended reading)  Here is a summary of the curse: Imagine a song (not Happy Birthday) in your head.  A common familiar song.  Then ask someone listen while you tap out the song on your desk. See if they can understand it.  They… Read More »