The 9 Principles of Lean User Experience

Lean UX

  1. Design + Product Management + Development = 1 team
  2. Externalize!
  3. Goal-driven & outcome-focused
  4. Repeatable & routinized
  5. FLOW: think -> make -> check
  6. Focus on solving the right problem
  7. Generate many options & decide quickly what to pursue
  8. Recognize hypotheses & validate them
  9. Research with users is the best source of information & inspiration


Communication is a key skill as a designer

Zeldman is teaching a class “Selling Design” and has made an online reading list.

  • Demystifying Design – by Jeff Gothelf – A List Apart
  • Design Criticism and the Creative Process – by Cassie McDaniel – A List Apart
  • Personality in Design – by Aarron Walter – A List Apart
  • Design Professionalism – by Andy Rutledge
  • Do You Suck at Selling Your Ideas? – by Sam Harrison – HOW Magazine
  • How to sell your design effectively to the client – by Arfa Mirza, Smashing Magazine
  • Money: How to sell the value of design – an email conversation – by Jacob Cass – Just Creative
  • How to choose a logo designer – by Jacob Cass – Just Creative

Curate forums for me

Curate forums for me

I would like to have a spider go out and collect the references from multiple forums and put them in one place. I want to search this aggregate site not the individual rambling.

Tell Mr Spider to go to sites X, Y and Z. Look for any topic on “UI patterns” and collate the list of links for that topic. Do this on a regular basis every month or so. I would like to have the ability to pass through and remove what is not of interest and let Mr Spider learn.

If you go visit ixda or linkedin forums or any other forums on UI topics the same questions appears over and over again. This is the same across any topic and any forum site. It is mind numbing. I follow so I can pay attention. I would rather follow the aggregate not the specific.

Innovation in Big Companies

Do Innovation Consultants Kill Innovation?
” Are companies more innovative than ever before? Judging from the vast number of Fortune 500 companies professing their commitment to innovation, the answer is yes.
But we sense that the more a company talks, thinks, and strategizes about innovation, the less real, big innovation it produces.” -Jens Martin Skibsted

Do large companies really want innovation?
Are they looking for better solutions to start with?
Is the iPod really an innovation or a better solution to the problem?
Is innovation what 3M did with inventing the sticky note or Xerox with the mouse and icons?
The biggest problem I have seen across many industries is the willingness to solve a problem with the first idea or idea with the path of least resistance. This first idea/solution sits way down low on the normal distribution of ideas but is taken with the belief that they can iterate to the best solution.

This makes me think of trying to take an average or subpar runner and making him an Olympic champion. With all the training, money, technology in the world this average runner will improve. But will he ever become a champion? Not likely. So if you are going to train someone you find the person with the above average natural ability with a large lung capacity and drive to win. Apply the training, money and technology to him and you will have a better chance at a champion.

This applies to design ideas as well. The hard part is working toward the best solution to start with. Bill Buxton points out there are 2 industries in particular that have this baked into the way they do work: 1) film industry and 2) the car industry. There processes work through to get to the better script or better design.

Using Big Data to make better decisions

“We are ruined by our own biases. When making decisions, we see what we want, ignore probabilities, and minimize risks that uproot our hopes. What’s worse, “we are often confident even when we are wrong,” by Daniel Kahneman

“How analytics harvested from massive databases will begin to inform our day-to-day business decisions. Call it Big Data, analytics, or decision science. Over time, this will change your world more than the iPad 3.Computer systems are now becoming powerful enough, and subtle enough, to help us reduce human biases from our decision-making. And this is a key: They can do it in real-time. Inevitably, that “objective observer” will be a kind of organic, evolving database. These systems can now chew through billions of bits of data, analyze them via self-learning algorithms, and package the insights for immediate use. Neither we nor the computers are perfect, but in tandem, we might neutralize our biased, intuitive failings when we price a car, prescribe a medicine, or deploy a sales force.” – Dennis Berman