Thoughts and articles about design, digital era and more…
I learned this exercise from Andre Plaut and have used it, tweaked it, and loved it. I do a variation of it with teams to figure out what kind of team we want as well.
Studio Norms: How can we make this studio an effective place to meet our goals?
Goal: Engage students in taking responsibility for their learning environment, understand how to teach them better, and teach them everything is designed.
Ask students to visualize a great learning environment. Might be here, might be high school or elementary, or could be a extra-curricular class like yoga or music. Ask students to think about what made it good.
Ask students to share out. Scribe on whiteboard.
Note: I’ve been considering moving to a free-listing & affinity mapping approach, but haven’t tried it yet. – cw
Ask student to visualize a dreadful learning environment, one that just sucked so hard. What made it that way? Teacher things, student things, teams, environment?
Have students now suggest “rules” for cla..
My model of Interaction Design, or if you prefer, product design. Or even UX design. We can also discuss this diagram instead of discussing UX Design as a term.
I blame Alan Cooper. This time. In a moment of pique (or boredom, or if he’s like me, procrastination) he tweeted,
There is no such thing as UX design.
— Alan Cooper (@MrAlanCooper) May 4, 2018
“There is no such things as UX Design.” Please, for his sake and mine, do NOT reply. He apologized for it the next day.
I would like to apologize to all of my followers for my tweet yesterday about “UX design.” 1
— Alan Cooper (@MrAlanCooper) May 4, 2018
My issue with the debate that ensued is: I don’t think it’s a useful or even interesting conversation to have. Ok, UX doesn’t exist.
Ok, UX does exist.
People are designing digital products that live in a larger ecosystem, and according to Sturgeon’s law, 95% of them suck at it. Instead of discussing what to call it, let’s move on to making less suck.
A better approach for the most important meeting of the week There are a lot of work “rituals” that suck so badly you want to hunt down and interrogate who ever invented them. The dreaded weekly status email is one of them. The weekly 1:1 between a boss and a direct report can be another. What should be a chance to get on the same page with the person critical to your success is often awkward, overly chummy or even skipped.
In my life I’ve been a manager, a coach and a teacher. You could argue they are all variations of management. All three share a common misconception, which is that the job is to tell people things — what to do, what to think or what to know. But it’s not. If you want to be good at any of these, you have to become a facilitator in another human’s journey to self-management.
The job of a manager is to make yourself as unnecessary as possible.
A teacher who only lectures is no more valuable than a youtube video. A teacher who asks great questions makes life-long lea..
Why some designs won’t ever stop sucking Again, it starts on ze twitters
I have a phrase, "Unlearnable design," for when something is so counter-intuitive you keep making the same mistake over and over.
My example: I always click the comment icon on twitter to read comments. Does not work (if it did, might improve dialog.)
Do you have one?
— ~c (@cwodtke) May 26, 2018
Intuitive is one of the most used terms in tech. Everyone wants their app to be intuitive. It’s worth asking what intuitive means, really? Working Knowledge offers this definition
Intuition is compressed experience.
Which means for an app to be intuitive (or more correctly, intuitable) it must be consistent with the end-user’s experience. Some product folks think that means if Apple or Facebook does it, they can too. For example, the unusable hamburger menu. But your user’s world is bigger than the hottest bro-co, and even the big guys make mistakes.
To make interfaces truly intuitable, we have to understand metaph..
This is a draft chapter from the second edition of Radical Focus. It’s coming… eventually. Hopefully soonish. Leave your wishlist for other topics you’d like it to cover, and enjoy the sneak peek!
OKRs, when done with the Radical Focus approach, are designed to create faster organization learning. To explain why, let me give you just a smidgen of learning theory from John Dewey. I promise it won’t hurt.
There are at least three ways to learn, what I’ll call instruction, action, and reflection. All three are important, but the most important is the least practiced: reflection.
Instruction Instruction is what we think when we think of teaching. Organizational leaders hire some outside person to give a talk or a series of talks about a topic. Udacity delivers online lectures. Or you buy a book on the topic! Instruction is when someone stands in front of you and talks at you, and while that has its uses, instruction is the weakest approach to education by far.
Action The second educati..
Kate Rutter Leads a Comparator Research Discussion
or, Competitive Research the Creative Founder Way For a long time, I’ve been disappointed by competitive research approaches. Most strike me as a bunch of bumbling around and seeing what you see… sometimes you write it down in a spreadsheet. Designers fixate on widgets, product managers take screenshot of pricing pages — without a diagnostics framework, it‘s haphazard and sub-optimal. I knew important things were being missed.
Over the years, I’d developed my own tricks for understanding the competitive landscape, but I wasn’t doing much better. It took co-teaching with Kate Rutter to show me the grand picture.
Kate uses The Molecule as a framing model for startup success. This was developed at LUXr, the first Lean UX firm, founded with janice fraser.
Learn more here https://www.slideshare.net/intelleto/luxralnlean
The molecule acts as a guide to answer three questions for your startup: who are your customers, what problem are they ..
I’ve been too busy to post, but I just tripped over this “Golden Oldie:” CarbonIQ UCD Methods
I’m still proud of the work Gabe Zentall and I did on this document in frigging 2001, and I’ll argue it stands up pretty darn well to the test of time.
This is another “half baked” post. Hope it’s useful!
Personas have been around for a long time in marketing. Alan Cooper introduced personas and scenarios to interaction design to solve the problem of keeping the target user top-of-mind when creating software.
They often look like this:
But after reading Indi Young’s great article on the problem with demographics in personas, and influenced by my own research into fiction construction (in particular, the GMC) AND Laura and Kate’s provisional persona work, I’ve built a simple template I use in my teaching.
A provisional persona is your first theory about who the target user is, based on early research. Here is my rough template:
Who is this person? Name or code-name. (Names can carry stereotypes, as many studies have shown) Role: Product manager, student, mom, cashier, cook, trip planner. Goal and Motivation: I want this, because that. Conflict & Attempts: Why I can’t do it now? What stands in my way? What am I tryin..
I have some things I need to get off my chest. This is a ramble, but I’m in too much pain to tidy it up. If it’s too rambly, go to the final section about naming names at least, please.
Not Here was written in 2014, the year of #YesAllWomen. I might call it the moment I “woke” up, but like nested nightmares in which you wake up just to find yourself in another nightmare, I keep waking up and it doesn’t look to be stopping soon.
Shortly after I wrote Not Here, I wrote “Tweaking the Moral UI” for A List Apart. I went through rounds and rounds with my editor. If we were going to write this for a very male developer-heavy audience, we were going to have an article that was airtight. The only time I’ve come even close to that degree of editing was when I wrote for a peer-reviewed journal and a panel tore apart every sentence. For the Moral UI, every sentence got torn apart twice.
Potentially angering men is a dangerous business if you are a woman.
A woman’s worst nightmare? That’s prett..