Tension Is To Be Loved: Why Product Owner Teams Make Better Products

Posted on May 15, 2015 in Blog | No Comments

In product development, there’s a perpetual tension between designers, developers, and product managers. The designer presses for a product that is desirable. If users don’t love and adopt it, what does it matter? The developer champions feasibility. If the product can’t be built or can’t sustain anticipated load, what does it matter? The product manager […]

Pee, Poo, and Unintended Consequences

Posted on Apr 14, 2015 in Blog | No Comments

Thoughts on how what we measure drives behavior My three-and-a-half-year-old son, Evan, has decided that he’s just not that interested in getting out of diapers. He’s our last, and we’re ready to stop funding Pampers, so we’ve resorted to the most time-honored of parenting tools: bribery. Each time he pee-pees in the potty, he gets […]

On attics and assumptions: the hidden costs of inaction

Posted on Jun 9, 2012 in Blog | No Comments
On attics and assumptions: the hidden costs of inaction

My wife and I were in our early twenties when we bought our first house. The previous owner was renovating the 1898 Victorian to become apartments when he ran out of cash and was forced to sell. The beauty and character of the house had been largely plastered over—vinyl siding covered original clapboards, cheap Berber […]

I’m not a genius

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 in Blog | No Comments
I’m not a genius

That might sound shocking if your perception of design involves people solving problems by having brilliant, inspired, creative ideas. But it’s true: I’m not any smarter than the next guy, and I don’t have better ideas than anyone else. But I am a designer, and if you task a non-designer and me with solving the […]

Agile design and portfolio anxiety

Posted on Jan 31, 2010 in Blog | One Comment
Agile design and portfolio anxiety

I’m an agile user experience designer, and I have portfolio anxiety. When I look at the work produced by some of my colleagues around the Web, I can’t help but be a little jealous. I’ve seen user experience deliverables that, to me, easily qualify as works of art: the digital equivalents of Frank Lloyd Wright’s blueprints […]

#ProTips: Twitter’s collected wisdom on usability testing

Posted on Oct 25, 2009 in Blog | No Comments
#ProTips: Twitter’s collected wisdom on usability testing

I’m working on a workshop for STC Atlanta where I’ll  teach technical communicators the basics of running a usability test.  In the six years that I’ve been participating in usability tests, I’ve learned a lot, but the majority of what I’ve learned has come through the past year’s experience of being responsible for planning and executing […]

Building empathy with user stories

Posted on Oct 6, 2009 in Blog | One Comment
Building empathy with user stories

As a user experience designer in the agile world, I recognized a while ago that my job is as much about influencing my team’s DNA to include best practices for UX design as it is about actually designing. I’ve supported anywhere from three teams (with a total of sixteen developers) to a single team (with […]

Lessons from leading scrum: it’s not a race

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 in Blog | No Comments
Lessons from leading scrum: it’s not a race

In my time as a scrummaster, some of the teams I worked with struggled to deliver the user stories we committed to each sprint. We had a bad habit of signing up for nine or ten stories, delivering two or three fully, and carrying the rest into the next sprint to finish the couple of […]

Notes from Duomot on Visual Structure

Posted on Mar 24, 2008 in Blog | No Comments
Notes from Duomot on Visual Structure

I’ve been meaning to write up Jean-luc Doumont’s excellent Visual Structure workshop that I attended at STC Atlanta’s Currents 2008 conference. With the birth of my second kid looming, I know I won’t find time, so here are some sound bites from my notes. Fight against sequencing. The only cross-cultural issue that matters to doing business: what […]