Tips & Advice

Where the UX team belongs in your organization

Where the UX team belongs in your organization

In the majority of organizations I consult with, their internal UX teams (or those to whom UX responsibility falls) are typically subservient to one of three major company divisions: Engineering, Marketing or Product Development. The names may change, but the essential roles are the same. Each department typically has management-level juice and C-level representation. In other words, both departments contain influencers and decision makers.

But as they’ll tell you themselves, the vast majority of their UX efforts fail. And in many of

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Tips & Advice

Making and Marketing Apps That Succeed: A Chat with Author Dave Wooldridge, Part 2

Here’s part two of my chat with with Dave Wooldridge, all-around sharp guy and author of  The Business of iPhone and iPad App Development: Making and Marketing Apps that Succeed. Let’s get right to it:

. . . . . . . . . . . .

Do you think the ‘discovery’ or strategic process of creating an app gets short shrift in deference to the tactical work of programming? I live in the world of Enterprise system & app development so I’m curious. Even at this level there are plenty of instances where not enough

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Tips & Advice

Making and Marketing Apps That Succeed: A Chat with Author Dave Wooldridge, Part 1

A short while back I had a truly enjoyable conversation with Dave Wooldridge, all-around sharp guy and author of four fantastic books on app development for iOS. Our conversation centered mainly around one topic though, which Dave wrote at length on in his excellent book The Business of iPhone and iPad App Development: Making and Marketing Apps that Succeed. While nearly everyone these days has an app, very few actually enjoy the kind of success that their creators desire so deeply. And this man understands why.

Before

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User Experience

5 attributes every product MUST have

When any product is created — a website, an app, an Enterprise system —the question most people ask is pretty simple: “How do people use this thing?”

I’m of the mind that a different question should be asked:

“How do people use this site in the context of everything else they’re doing online to achieve their goals?”

The bar is high out there. We are all multitasking, and most of us aren’t very good at it. So we’re busy and we’re distracted and we never have enough time.

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Tips & Advice

Which comes first – Independence or Creativity?

For those of us in the USA, today is Independence Day. And as I’m having my morning infusion of caffeine, that starts me thinking about the relationship between independence and design, and UX, and…well, creativity as a whole. Wondering what I might be able to say about it on the blog today, wondering if one matters more than the other or how the two influence each other….and what other folks have to say on the subject. So after a few hours of Googling and reading, I came across an excellent article in Utah’s Deseret News by

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UI Design, User Experience

MADExpo 2012 | Thank You!

First, thank you all so very much for attending my sessions on Thursday and Friday — I truly enjoyed being with you and I hope you found the time valuable. We had a full house for both sessions, everyone seemed very into it and the questions and discussions afterward were fantastic.  As promised, you can download (or just view) a copy of my presentation right here.

UI Design

The 3 Most Common UI Design Mistakes

When it comes to creating great user interface (UI) design, you can learn an awful lot from bad design. These cautionary tales are worth their weight in gold – because when you’re tempted to deviate from the tried and true, it’ll be clear where the wrong path leads—and hopefully be able make a U-turn and get back to good design.

Of all the mistakes that can be made, here are the 3 you should keep in mind during your next project:

Forgetting the User. Those of us with strong development leanings often (inadvertently) design for what we know or need, instead of what the users know or need. This age-old problem occurs in other areas of software development as well: testing and documentation also stand out. Designing for yourself almost always immediately makes the user feel incapable of using the product.

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User Experience

4 Reasons Focus Groups Don’t Work

Focus groups don’t work. Ever.

One of my favorite stories, as told by fellow evangelist Guy Kawasaki, illustrates this point perfectly.

Remember when the boom box first came out? Bright colors all around – bright blue, yellow, orange and hot pink. Those color options were a direct result of a series of focus groups Sony conducted with target-market teenagers – who were unanimously vehement about not liking black. Black was the color their parents would buy, and no way would a cool kid want to carry around a boring black boom box.

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User Experience

3 keys to socializing Information Architecture with a Client

A client of mine recently asked me for some advice he could share with his internal team with regard to the Information Architecture (IA) we developed for their website redesign. In thinking about this, I realized that of all the things I’ve told clients over the years about how to effectively review and IA document, the tried and true method  is usually the following approach. Here’s the advice I give clients to help them effectively evaluate a proposed IA:

  1. Evaluate the Information Architecture document on its own merit, in and of itself. Evaluate it as a
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Tips & Advice

What Designers REALLY Do

Most people think they know what designers do….but often, they don’t. Consider these responses heard by many of us as you’ve just revealed yourself as a designer:

“Ohhhh, you pick the colors for web sites.”

“Ohhhh, you do graphic arts.”

Uh, no.

Personally, I’m fond of saying if it didn’t GROW there, somebody designed it.

Regardless, I stumbled across a pretty interesting description of what exactly people like me (and maybe you) do all day. Below are the core expertises of Design according to Chris Conley, Professor and Director, Product Design Graduate Program, Institute of Design, Chicago:

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