The year I discovered Sagmeister

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Respect the Craft

Mind the Product event videos – not super recent but if you have great speakers who know their craft – much to takeaway: influencing processes, potentially implementation or just seeing how other teams do their thing.

Absolutely love Michelle You‘s presentation. Really open, honest and goes into great detail that allows a level of practical learning from her/Songkick product management process. (SK also have a blog – nice post on designing with data).

Some notes:

  • Modes: Optimising an existing product that’s live. Big bang product features or launches – shouldn’t happen that often. Brand new MVP discovery – you don’t know who your customer is and you don’t have a live product.
  • prioritisation and design-making get easier when goals are well defined. Most of the hard work….comes from breaking down a big..goal into smaller achievable sub-goals.
  • KPI can be broken down into themes or levers that influence that metric
  • Check the acquisition, activation, retention slide…
  • ‘Lean Analytics – Use data to build better start-up faster’: What makes up a good metric: Comparative – to be able to use the same metric for two sets of users, before and after or a/b test. Understandable – having it clear so it can be embedded in the team and easily referred to. Ratio/rate – so rather than total numbers of users, it is conversation rates or ratios – so that you can tell the difference between two things. Actionable – increase monthly users is not an actionable metric, it has got to be something that will change every day and will be sensitive to whatever you are shipping.
  • Example of this: Looking at your weight as a kpi – you want to lose 20lbs in 6 months as a long term kpi. But everyday you will be looking at how many miles you walked, how many calories you consumed – so things that you can control in the short-term that will impact into the longer term metric.
  • Process: take 5-10 themes for the main kpi. Discovery backlog – Experiment – Learning – Validated feature. Create the discovery backlog – idea generation – gamestorming format – use post-it notes (individually) then group them into categories or ideas. Work out the groups into an impact vs effort matrix – collaborative exercise (how much impact will it have vs expected effort involved)
  • Turn into an hypothesis – ‘if…then…because’ – ‘if we show you recommended concerts then you will more likely to buy a ticket because you will see more relevant events based on your tastes’ – So what we showed you before we showed everything in London if we personalise that list based on music you like then you will be probably be more likely to buy tickets.
  • Experimentation process: finding out if this what we should be building – so things like surveys, mock-up and click test, landing page tests, remote usability testing, user research. This will answer assumptions, prototypes, highest level of confidence that it will move the metric.
  • Use of split backlogs – validated features (70%), bugs, tech tasks/support (30%)
  • Meet once a week to prioritise for the next 2 weeks, tasks/stories from each board are selected to get moved into a main development board
  • Main dev board – Backlog: 2 weeks worth of user stories (always have some jfdi tasks). Next up: top 5 prioritised stories. In progress. Awaiting judgement – tests or features that need analysis on how it’s performed. Done.
  • Team dashboards – Review daily metrics dashboard every morning at stand-up. Weekly kpi email to the team tracking progress towards quarterly goals. Feature recap where we review the impact of individual features launched.

 

Filed under: Podcast / Seminars, UX design, , , ,

Personas

A little more reference on the purpose, approach and execution of this tool. From the BBC Internet Blog – Refreshing BBC Sport User Personas (by Christine Charnock) – from Christof Zurn a persona poster template (licensed under CreativeCommons) – and from a link from the BBC a couple of posts from Smashing Magazine (by Shlomo Goltz) – part 1 and part 2. Additionally on these posts are a great range of further resources and reference. Lots to read!

 

Filed under: Reference, UX design, , , , , , , ,

User research in the discovery phase

Nice diagram showing the stages of user research through discovery, alpha and beta – (via Leisa Reichelt (gov.uk) – always insightful, and like the BBC happy to share ideas, approaches and best practice.

What-users-research-and-design-do-at-different-stages-of-a-project-620x440

Filed under: Blogs, Reference, UX design, , ,

Scroobius Pip

“This piece of diction is the intro to distraction…”

The Distraction Pieces podcasts – a series of ‘long form’ conversations by Scroobius Pip. A weekly interview featuring (naming the ones I have listened to) Russell Brand, Alan Moore, Stewart Lee, Rob Da Bank… friendly, interesting, thoughtful…

Up to 14 in the iTunes podcast chart – check it out…

Filed under: Podcast / Seminars, , ,

#Nicer Tuesdays – It’s Nice That

#Nicer Tuesdays curated, organised by It’s Nice That is something that is worth a look. Run on the last Tuesday of every month… Really ‘nice’ touch that they share the presentations online via youtube and their own website. Absolute shed loads of films to look through – fantastic speakers and great inspiration resource. Film below of Karl Toomey discussing humour and his creation of Gary Goals – a lovely idea and wonderfully realised.

No doubt seen via @itsnicethat.

Filed under: Design, Podcast / Seminars, Reference, Talks, Visit, , , , , ,

Global Experience Language – BBC

GEL aka Global Experience Language is the title that the Big British Castle use to define their ‘reference point for designing BBC services across Web, Mobile, iPTV and Tablet’. What in previous years would be called ‘online branding’ with an agency knocking together some visuals… this is User Experience driven design.

Awesome.

Filed under: Design, Read, Reference, UX design, , , ,

The Trews – Russell Brand

Russell Brand’s YouTube channel – the Trews – is all about Revolution! Have been aware of this channel via links on twitter for a while but I have never actually checked it out…definitely worth a look. Really interesting ideas, concepts, projects, commentary on the media that are contained within the (current) 220 episodes.

Episode 214 ‘The Trews vs the Sainsbury’s xmas advert’  goes to the crux of Sagmeister’s comment in his book, now paraphrasing as I don’t have it to hand – can design really touch people? And this advert does, although as Russell Brand questions – to what end?

Ad created by AMVBBDO.

Filed under: Advertising, Design, Film, Reference, , , ,

Computer Arts – New Talent issue

Latest Computer Arts ‘New Talent’ issue ‘ – all about those zesty lemons. Aside from the ‘idea’ I quite like the bright, punchy design. Designed by Paddy O’Hara and printed by Celloglas. Great film by Celloglas of how they made this cover.

For further details check out Creative Bloq’s page (can’t quite work out the relationship between Creative Bloq and Computer Arts, anyhow…)

Computer-Arts-Lemons

Filed under: Design, Graphic, Magazine, Printing techniques, Reference, , , , ,

Litmus – responsive email

Litmus (State side company) have a wealth of resource, blog posts on best practice for creating emails (responsive or otherwise). Their post on responsive design (that comes with a handy infographic) was posted back in Sept 2013 – is worth checking out. As I go further into their site – there are more and more resources.

Have a look at their ‘Ultimate Guide to Email Image Blocking‘ – best practice regarding alt text and use of images. Resource page for email templates. Also and possibly the most useful are downloadable responsive email templates that have been created and tested already – a range to choose from – first on their list… created by Stamplia – and Litmus tested – templates with psd source files.

Filed under: Design, Email resources, Reference, UX design, , ,

Printout – Designing difference

First time that I have made it to a Printout event. What a great hour / hour and an half – organised and hosted by Jeremy Leslie (MagCulture) and Steve Watson (Stack). 3 interesting magazines given a showcase by their designers – (Winter / A magazine for all seasons, Talc and mono-cultur). Printout events (I think) focus just on magazines but any designer or non-designer, in any field, (basically everyone) for that matter should check these events out. Just £6.

My preference in terms of subject and design would be Winter (designed/created by Ana Lessing and Kevin Braddock) and mono-cultur (designed/created by Kai van Rabenau). Certainly will be making a trip to Magma (if they stock them) to get myself a copy.

Some poor questions from the audience (either too long winded/self-important or just plain drunk!) – ended the night – questions that I have thought of since – how far from the initial designs, layout is the finished product?, who is the audience for these magazines and who buys them?, why do the contributors give up their time for small independent magazines – do they get something from this? and lastly how long did it take to put together – (last question from Chung).

For a far more detailed commentary on the night, check out Steve Watson’s site.

(Can’t quite work out at 3 in the morning if Steve Watson’s – Stack is the same as Monocle’s – The Stack..?)

Filed under: Design, Magazine, Read, Reference, Shop, Talks, Visit, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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