If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time - a tremendous whack.
Two weeks ago I received an invite to join an elite team of beta testers for TMSoft’s next app, Compulsive. It’s a simple, competitive, and ultimately addictive game. Hence the name.
I’ve been included in beta testing before, but there was something about this time which seemed exceptional. With a game-like theme, founder Todd Moore created a private Facebook group for testing and offered small incentives for people to quickly install, share high scores, and report bugs.
He didn’t just put it out there and say “here you go.” He timed step by step instructions as a he was doing builds, encouraged conversation, and informed the group about changes in the upcoming builds.
It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change
Are you solving a problem, or a nuisance? If the latter, you have to be 10x better or no one will care.
Inside Hasbro - Designing a Transformer
Day of Fosterly: UX Design Panel Recap
Over the weekend I spoke on a panel titled “Design, UX/UI & You” at Day of Fosterly with Michael Aleo and Jürgen Altziebler, and moderated by Maxim Leyzerovich. This being the second year for Day of Fosterly, the event was focused on entreprenuership which meant there were a number of startups in attendance.
We didn’t have any slides, but I’m happy to share the outline we used for our panel along with some additional thoughts.
UI vs UX vs You: Why should you care?
We touched on two really important things. First, the notion of The UX Umbrella by Dan Willis which highlights that user experience includes:
- Visual design
- Information architecture
- Interaction design
- User research
- Content strategy
Second, we wanted to be clear that instead of hiring “a UX designer,” it’s better to think about putting a UX team in place. Considering everything listed above, it’s not easy or realistic to expect a single person to be good at all of them.
Let’s Get Trendy: What are some ‘design trends’ that work (and don’t)? Flat design?
Whether it’s a flat look or something with soft gradients and realistic textures, everyone was on the same page that it comes down to the brand you’re working with and the intended audience.
Change the Channel: User experience, especially today, is a multi-channel experience.
Whether it’s the clients you work with or the startups you come in contact with, there’s always this conversation around gaining new users, but rarely one for keeping existing users engaged. Channels like email and even editorial content are often underutilized. This can be a big part of a user experience.
Design Thinking for Non-Designers: (thinking about design is not the same as Design Thinking) For the founder looking to try and prototype out his experience, what tools would you suggest?
I don’t think we got to this, but here are a few tools I had in mind:
- White boards
- Sticky notes
- Grid paper
- Clickable prototypes with Fireworks and Keynote
Money, Money, Money: How do you recommend dealing with the financial aspects on a bootstrapped budget? Equity options? Partnerships?
It’s really hard to sign on with equity if (a.) that’s all you have to offer and (b.) you don’t have an existing product or customer base.
It’s Business Time: How/where do you recommend prospective startups look for talent?
Leaning on advisors and mentors for recommendations was well received. As a mentor at Fortify Ventures, I’ve made it my job to connect their companies with talented designers and developers who are looking for work.
We didn’t get to everything on our list, but we had a great audience and even found them leading with some great questions.
A few years ago and a few SxSW festivals later, I decided to stop visiting Austin and instead look for smaller more focused conferences to attend. With conferences like Converge SE, I realized that I’ve made a wise choice. Even as it grows, its still manageable in size and the talks leave you with the ideal amount of inspiration and resources to take home.