Operating Systems 2021

So it’s been over 2 years of using a Macbook Pro for work. I also have an Android phone, an iPad tablet, and a Windows desktop for the family. I am an avid beta tester, so literally every one of these is on the beta version. Here are some quick thoughts of each. MacOS This…

Design Acceptance Process

I believe in work rituals. They create a sense of normalcy in the messy work of creating a product. One of the reasons I like Scrum is that it has lots of good rituals like Sprint meetings, the planning game, and retrospectives. One thing I do not like about Scrum is that most of the…

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Introductions and Referrals

How many people do you introduce per year? For me, it’s about a dozen introductions. Introductions are much more powerful than a cold call to someone you want to meet. When a trusted third party introduces you, you are much more likely to connect with the other person. In business, many sales and marketing folks…

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Startup on the Right Foot

I’ve been thinking recently about how product companies are built from zero to initial launch. Everyone loves to focus on success stories, but most startups still make many of the same mistakes. I would generalize it and say they sell out their future to gain a short term benefit. Here is a grab bag of…

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Evolution of the Segment Editor

Problem Statement: As a non-programmer, I just want to select a subset of people from a database. However, when I try it’s either really hard requiring SQL editing, or the UI is so difficult that is makes me want to puke. Therefore, I will just not do it very often. Competitive Context When I started…

Streaming Live Sports 2021

Every once in a while, I upend my family room and change how everything works. My family loves it. (not) Well, guess what, it’s time again. I currently have a lot of services. Netflix, Hulu, Prime, HBOMax, Disney+, and YouTube TV. All of this streams through a Roku sound bar. Platform I love the Roku…

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Terrible UX: Kia’s new logo

Sometimes I just shake my head in dismay. Today, I was watching the Australia Open on television. In the back of the court is a giant logo that looks like this. My son and I looked at it and said, “What company is that? KN? Maybe the n is backwards. KVI? Maybe the V and…

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My History with Community Q&A and Forums

Over the past 25 years, there have been many forums that I have engaged in. This week Figma just launched a new forum for their users. It made me think I should note the previous communities I have been a part of. I had blogged about Q&A in 2008 and also Forums in the same…

UX: Putting a Chair Together

My son (16) put together a new chair for his home desk last night. It wasn’t very complicated, but he struggled with it for a few hours. This was his first attempt at putting together any kind of furniture. I didn’t help him because I wanted him to experience the feeling of trying to put…

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YouTube Commercials 2020

Recently, YouTube has increased the average length of their commercials. I dont have a scientific study but I had become used to long ads that I could skip after 5 seconds. Now, they are 10-15 second ads that I can’t skip and usually 2 of them back to back. Plus, there are more mid-video ads…

Government Sponsored Design

I was listening to a podcast by Malcolm Gladwell about a 20th century U.S. General named Curtis LeMay. He is a fascinating and influential character by the way. In the episode “May the Best Firebomb Win” Gladwell tells of a contest for our nations elite universities (Harvard, Yale, etc) to design the best incendiary bomb.…

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Video Conferencing Thoughts

Obviously, we have all been using video conferencing way more than usual. I have some thoughts on it, of course. Video conferencing is harder than meetings It’s way more exhausting than talking with people. I feel like I can’t take my eyes off the screen. In meetings, I can look away and not feel guilty.…

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Portfolio as Product Site

If you are a designer, you shouldn’t think of your website as a portfolio. You should think of it as a product site. The product is your time. You are selling your time for money. That’s what employment is. Instead of looking at every other designer’s portfolio for inspiration, you should be looking at product…

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The Crux

crux (krəks, kro͝oks)the decisive or most important point at issue. The figurative use for “a central difficulty” (1718) is older in English than the literal sense; perhaps it is from Latin crux interpretum “a point in a text that is impossible to interpret,” the literal meaning of which is something like “crossroads of interpreters.” But Century Dictionary…

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Ode to the Spreadsheet Designer

What is the greatest user interface ever conceived? In my opinion, it is the spreadsheet. Yes, there are plenty of great interfaces, but this is my favorite. Specifically, what is amazing is the leap of faith the designer made to create this incredible UI. First a bit of history. Dan Bricklin conceived VisiCalc while watching a…

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Notes for my UX Recruiter 2020

About me I am not good for everyone. I know this. A colleague from the UK said I am like Marmite. Usually, I get hired in places that want to innovate and shake up the status quo. I get hired when they want to have a strong, active, design team. On the flip side, I…

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Figma 2020 Wishlist

I have made many requests in the Spectrum.Chat community. Some are long standing, others have been completed. Here is my consolidated Wishlist for 2020. Built In UI Components Every designer I have ever worked with and every desktop application I have ever seen all have some common elements. Here is a short list: TablesComboboxModalsTreesBullet Lists…

2019 In Review

One of the nice things about blogging is that it creates a journal of your life. I know when I got my dog. I know when I visited Japan. I know when I met Hillary Clinton. To a degree, if I didn’t blog it, I am not sure if it happened or not. On that…

Differentiation

Design Principle #12Always create space between you and the competitionGlen Lipka, 2019 Whether you are building a tech product or writing a resume or giving a presentation at a conference, it is important that people remember you. The only time you don’t want to differentiate yourself is when you are trying to blend in, like…

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Figma Features 2019

My primary design tool is Figma. Long gone are my storyboard days of PowerPoint design. Right now, my team is 6 designers strong and they are all co-authoring like mad inside of Figma. We use it for everything. Figma has grown steadily in the past couple of years. They are making innovative features that people…