Friday, December 14, 2012

A collection of Design articles

I'm using this blog to also document/store links to UX-related things, so here's a dump of a bunch of them. This collection is a little more geared to good reading about Design & Great Products, in no particular order...

Startups, this is how design works
  • Pretty fundamental description of what design is and isn't.
  • Includes Dieter Rams' Ten Principles of "Good Design" (more about these ten principles here and here, with accompanying visuals)
  • Explains different types of design (UX vs UI, visual, etc.)
  • Design founders
  • How to find designers

What your company will look like when Millennials call the shots

Ten core principles that successful business will adhere to:
  1. Enable open collaboration across the organization. Remove silos and enable diverse cross-functional teams
  2. Ask for more from every employee. Continually present new challenges and allow for rapid growth for those who perform
  3. Value ideas over experience. Seek out and recognize good ideas wherever they exist in your eco-system, whether from the CEO, mail room clerk, supplier or even customer
  4. Engineer humanity. Utilize technology to make products more customized, communications more personal and consumers lives more enhanced
  5. Don’t skimp on quality. Consumers will quickly avoid those products that fail to meet their expectations and have megaphones to ensure their thoughts are heard
  6. Integrate responsibility into the core of the business. Don’t give back- be a company with a mission beyond just profits
  7. Be genuine. Don’t hide behind celebrity personas- focus on connecting to individual consumers and communities in ways that are authentic, relevant and meaningful
  8. Think 2-Way. Partner with consumers across all areas of the business- live and breathe transparency and open communication
  9. Foster advocacy. Build products and create marketing that invites consumers to share and leverages word-of-mouth, the most influential source of information
  10. Change. If your business is not continually searching, evolving and finding new ways to do things, you won’t keep up

Don't Let the Minimum Win Over the Viable

Helpful best practices:
  • "MVP" doesn't mean "smallest imaginable" -- it means knowing the core features and not adding anything beyond that.
  • Prototype (and test) multiple MVPs simultaneously, so that the team doesn't get anchored in one.
  • Embrace a smart business model design & hypothesis. It doesn't have to be perfect -- it should evolve as your MVP does -- but you should have some idea of the economics from the start
  • Stay true to your vision and the passion behind it
  • The market will change -- be aware of how you might adapt as it does

How LEGO turned its brand
  • Biggest point: You need constraints -- real problems, guiding principles -- for design to actually productively help

How To Ask--And Listen--Like You Mean It
  • Tips on inquiry and reflective listening
  • Includes pitfalls to genuine listening (it's hard!!)

Fostering a Culture of Dissent

  • On leadership: delegate, but be involved in the small things that make the biggest impact. Give employees a voice (in everything!), the power to influence, the knowledge that dissent is truly valued, and clear responsibilities and objectives.
  • On hiring: Involve a lot of people, so that new hire will have the support of them when they start. Would hire for good problem solving over experience.
  • Goal-setting: MORPH = Mission (what's your mission at the company, in one sentence?); Objective (top 3-5 goals for the quarter); Results (metrics to measure those objectives); People (what changes need to happen to achieve this?); How (as in, How did you do?)

Emotionally Intelligent Interactions

  • It's basically paying attention to details that give personality to your site/brand. It's great especially to turn a potential negative experience into something positive (like siteerror404's, timeouts, and such) or livening up dead points in the experience.

Ending the opinion wars: fast, collaborative design direction

  • Make sure you get past people's natural inclinations to jump to conclusions, and actually take the time to explore the why's, to look at the strength of the data to support design decisions (and saying no), and mostly allowing the whole team full participation in the journey.

Working Backwards
A way to get to shared vision by starting with the "end product" (the LEGO piece also has a bit of this).

A New Mobile UX Design Material
Applying principles from animation to mobile. Most of it is pretty straightforward, but good to think about anyway.

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