Product Responsibility Framework v0.1

UPDATE: New Version v0.2 I’ve been thinking about how product teams are organized. I have seen several good frameworks out there, but none felt quite right to me. There are traditional models, but of course, I want to try something new. I took the framework from Pragmatic Marketing¬†and started moving things around. I put the…

Managing via Dials

Often, I will have feedback for a product manager, marketer or designer when they are writing text. I find that people have a hard time taking the feedback in a very specific way. If you say it’s too serious, they assume you want to take it to the extreme. As if there are only 2…

Marketo Summit 2016

My first summit was in 2010. It was a simple affair, more like a meetup. There were about 120 people total all fitting in one room. It was fun and familial. I remember we had a thing called Marketo Idol where users would describe the coolest thing they did with a Smart Campaign. Alexandre Pelletier won.…

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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…

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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…

A Few Rules for a Good Resume

I’ve been helping my sister with her resume. Here are a few good rules¬†of thumb: Make it look nice visually Before anyone reads it, they look at it. The first impression happens in less than 2 seconds. Make it look nice. I downloaded a free template and then modified it. If you aren’t sure, ask…

Head of Magic (Startup Motivation)

I don’t work at a startup to make money for the company. I try to make money for the company so I can work at a startup. The opportunity to¬†make something new, solve a problem in a new way, change how people do their jobs is what I work for. Innovation is a word that…

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Right hand needed for two weeks

The doctor said not to use my right hand at all for two weeks. This gave me an idea. This is a long shot but I figured I would ask. Is there a junior designer without a job who wants to sit at my desk and be my hands for two weeks? I’m right in…

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The UX Pie of Caring

I just realized that I¬†really don’t have a blog post about this design principle. It is not specific to the design, but rather to the process of designing within a company. In the real world, you don’t get to define 100% of the product, nor should you. You need to collaborate with other people to…

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Succession Plans

A few years before I left Marketo, I started thinking about my succession plan. I knew that I might leave one day, so it was important to me that I leave the organization in good shape to live without me. This was complicated by the fact that I had designed most of the product. For…

Different Kinds of HR

HR departments are supposed to do a bunch of good things. However, I think they don’t quite work out that way most of the time. Which kind of HR do you have? The “Avoid Lawsuit” Department From misconduct and harassment to injuries and workers comp, this kind of HR almost want people to wear helmets…

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…

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.…

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

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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…

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UX Design Career Levels

I’m often asked how I measure success or develop career growth for designers. I’ve made this map to help guide. Use this to know if you are in the right title and what a promotion entails. Also use this in recruiting to put someone at the right level when they join. I hope its helpful.…

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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‚Äôs look at data. If all we…

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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…

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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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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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…

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…

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…

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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…

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Recruiting: UX Help Designer

I’m looking for awesome new people to join my team. ¬†Check out the UX Help Designer job description: What‚Äôs 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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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