Tips & Advice, UX Career Guidance

Innovation, entrepreneurship, punk rock and why I do what I do.

innovation-entrepreneurship

A young design student recently contacted me to ask if I’d be willing to do an interview on the topics of innovation and entrepreneurship. My answer to these things, especially when it comes to students is always “of course,” so we got to it.

He sent me four questions in particular that, as I answered them, surprised me a little. Not the questions so much, but my answers. I realized a few things about my own motivations and accomplishments that I don’t think I was aware of. Mainly, the variety and volume

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Tips & Advice, UX Career Guidance

Am I too old for UX? (Tuesdays with Joe, Episode 12)

Today’s UX question comes from an experienced designer who’s wondering, like a lot of us who are past 40, if he’s too old for UX.

Jim is increasingly feeling lost in the mad rush of design agency life, and is beginning to question whether or not he still has what it takes to be a UX designer.

From the pressure to work very fast at any cost, to the outrageous expectations of clients, to project managers and/or salespeople dictating design, Jim feels burned out, stressed. At the end of his rope.

Not just professionally

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Tips & Advice, UI Design

The difference between amateur and professional design

the difference between amateur and professional design

Today’s fast food for thought re: #design and #UX.

If the conversation is around how good the design is or how it looks, it’s the wrong conversation.

The shift depicted here marks the difference between amateur and professional design.

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Tips & Advice

Words matter: why notification messages could kill Dropbox’s UX

Dropbox's new branding won't overcome their frightening notification message issues.

As many of you know by now, Dropbox recently completed a large-scale brand overhaul. Dropbox says of their new branding is about “shifting the conver­sation around work,” offering this explanation:

“Our users run the gamut from business professionals to scientists and creative types. Most of these folks tell us they feel overwhelmed and distracted during the workday, and that this is one of the biggest barriers to creating work they’re proud of. 



They deal with cluttered

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Tips & Advice

Want stakeholder buy-in? See UX their way.

Want stakeholder buy-in? See UX their way.

A few years back, I read a book (whose title I can’t recall) that delivered this absolutely GOLD nugget of wisdom regarding the struggle to get stakeholder buy-in for UX and Design:

Most people in management or executive positions can’t truly see what’s broken, because they’re usually only looking at the side that’s working.

Truer words were never spoken. I wrote that in my sketchbook on the spot and have never forgotten it.

The thing is, that’s really not their fault. It’s actually a

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Tips & Advice

The (Overlooked) UX Value of Stakeholder Arguments

stakeholder arguments

We’re all on the same side here…aren’t we?

In a previous post, I told you a story about me screwing up — and how I lived to tell the tale ;-)

A big part of that failure was not doing the work upfront to learn all I could about all the players involved in the project and the product. I never looked past my initial contact, who was the head of Product Marketing. And as you saw,

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Tips & Advice

Adobe asked: what do I look for when hiring a designer?

While in Chicago speaking at HOW DESIGN LIVE recently, the good folks at Adobe cornered me and asked me to weigh in on what I looks for when hiring a designer, my number one rule for talking to clients about design, and considerations for designing for a diverse audience. I was completely honored, and I hope you find some value in what I had to say!

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Tips & Advice

We Need This ASAP: ending unrealistic deadlines

unrealistic deadlines

“We need this ASAP.”

There is no doubt in my mind you’ve heard this at least once, twice, or six hundred times. Your client, boss or other stakeholder says this has got to be done now, immediately. And in most cases, the team members just shrug their shoulders and roll with it.

But rolling with it is not only counterproductive, it’s dangerous.

You’re not doing anyone a favor by agreeing to something you know can’t be done — and you are most definitely painting a target on your back if you do

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Tips & Advice

What’s the fastest way to evaluate e-commerce UX? (Tuesdays with Joe, Episode 08)

Not a week goes by where someone doesn’t ask me if there’s a “faster way” to find UX issues than by doing a UX Audit. Designers and developers are almost always operating under ridiculous time constraints imposed by people who have no idea how long it actually takes to do that work, so I completely get it.

Part of the panic inherent in the question, though, is based on an assumption. An assumption that conducting a UX Audit — and calling it that — means that this will

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Tips & Advice

What Can I Do To Stop Scope Creep? (Tuesdays with Joe, Episode 07)

“Hey, can we squeeze one more thing into this sprint?”

If you recognize that statement, then today’s episode of Tuesdays with Joe is for you. Of all the topics I’m asked about on a weekly basis, scope creep is the one that never fails to show up — almost daily.

Organizations often approach project requirements and scoping as a “set it and forget it” proposition: we figured all this out, here’s the list of stuff we have to do and build, GO!

The expectation is that with the

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