Articles

The problem with problems

Don’t talk about problems (or solutions). Instead, talk about progress. Only then can we be precise without dictating implementation details.

Writing a good objective

Working with abstract concepts doesn’t make us more strategic. It doesn’t mean we understand the big picture. It doesn’t mean we’re doing something more valuable.

Interface design values

Clarity above all. Efficiency when interfaces are clear. Consistency when interfaces are efficient. Beauty when interfaces are consistent.

Is asking why always the best strategy?

There’s such a thing as getting down to the root problem too quickly, particularly when it comes to product design. The value in figuring out the “Why?” behind things isn’t quite as much about the destination as it is about the journey.

Product feedback you can act on

We should happily take anyone’s feedback any way they want to give it. After that, it’s our job to continue the conversation and make sure we have the right information, and enough of it, to make a good choice on what to change in our products.

Product design skills in plain English

In short, I’d like to get specific about the fundamental skills involved in product design, a few brief examples of the type of work that can be done for each skill, and how they’re mapped to common product design roles.

Design is a Team Sport

Design can’t be relegated to a single role. We all care. We all want to make a better product. Unfortunately, we all too often forget the most important member of the team: the customer.

Learning to Observe

With the right background, an observer can find so much more value in their observations. But when the background of the observer is different than the intended audience, an observation can become a huge liability.

What Does it Mean to be Simple?

Most of the time we think simple means less, that by removing stuff we achieve simplicity. A better definition of simple is “just enough for comprehension and the ability to pursue and complete our goals”.

Match the Tool to the Problem

One designer will claim that you shouldn’t do anything without sketching it out while another claims that doing anything less than full-on HTML prototypes is a waste of time.