Most people call them “exceptions.” We call them “Last Thursdays.” I’ve mentioned this term in a couple of my previous blog posts, and I think it’s important to touch on it one more time, to better explain what it means, and to discuss how changing the name has helped us communicate more effectively with our […]
If you’ve watched as many YouTube videos as I have, you’ve inevitably seen some ads for Master Classes. These are online classes taught by some of the most renowned names in their respective industries—Ron Howard on directing, Gordon Ramsey on cooking, Steph Curry on dribbling and shooting, etc. In the ad for Malcom Gladwell’s class […]
If you’re doing a major rewrite of an existing app, you may be hoping to simply duplicate the existing app’s basic features. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Your users have come to rely on the set of features they use in your current app. And if they can’t accomplish all the same tasks/goals as they […]
I recently had coffee with a young professional designer. She was lacking confidence after leaving her current position and needed a bit of encouragement. We talked for over two and a half hours about her portfolio, interview skills, and the industry in general. While every person is different, I find myself giving young designers many […]
We’ve all been there—meetings that go on and on, people talking in circles, arguing the same things, and wrapping up without well-defined next steps. It’s frustrating and a waste of time. There are a few best practices that can help counteract these pitfalls (e.g. sharing an agenda with topics and time slots), but those aren’t […]
My wife and I typically visit family on the weekends, which involves a couple-hour drive and spending the night somewhere. She loves to have the house cleaned before we leave. That’s her goal. My goal is to leave on time. Those goals don’t line up very well unless there is a strong partnership effort.
At the start of every software project, we spend a few intensive days gathering information about the client, their business, and what they want to build. We have a toolkit of exercises to choose from when we’re planning a customized kickoff. One that always starts us off on the right foot is the Ecosystem Map. […]
Whether it’s marketing, advertising, web design, or software, designers as a whole have gotten a reputation for being a bit too optimistic. We are supposed to be the ones who always have our heads in the clouds—the ones who think about the details later. We are supposed to generate thousands of ideas, and throw a […]
Oftentimes, we think of projects in terms of two statuses: in-progress or complete. As software designers who work on complex, long-term projects, “completing” a project is not a daily occurrence. Getting to “finalized,” shipped software is a process, and the end of that process is usually filled with jubilation and celebration. I mean, it’s not […]
“Should software designers code?” I have heard this question asked over and over again within the design community. There’s not a definitive answer, but if we extrapolate the question and ask it in a few different ways, I think we can better understand the role a designer plays in writing code for projects.