Using “Last Thursdays” to Discuss Exceptions with Users

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 […]

Is Your New Feature Worth It?

When you’ve created a successful application, it is tempting to relentlessly add new functionality. You think that if you stop building, you’ll fall behind. New features bring in new business. They show your existing users that you are still active and adding value. However, it’s important to step back and consider how new features will […]

Design Thinking Toolkit, Activity 16 – How Might We…?

Hoping to turn problems into opportunities for design? Look no further than How Might We (HMW). This is a classic Design Thinking activity—and simple, to boot. Begin with a problem area that is challenging for a person/organization/system/environment/etc., and add HMW, reformatting the problem to suggest that a solution is possible.

Wireframing for Non-Designers – A Crash Course

Wireframes are not just for designers! As a software maker, you can and should be using them to eliminate risk and validate concepts. These tools benefit the entire team, and they can be created by any member of the team. This crash course will teach you why wireframes are important, when you should utilize them, […]

Writing Context Scenarios? Start at the End

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 […]

Hacking a Product Roadmap for Uncertain Circumstances

Product roadmaps have long been used to illustrate the direction of product development, including how much time the project will take to complete, what tasks need to be completed, and who is responsible for those tasks. In my experience, a roadmap has been the best tool to align the team and leadership around the same […]

Addressing 13 Types of Custom Software Risk

Creating custom software can be extremely complex—juggling evolving technologies, competing stakeholders, many types of users, etc. And that makes it risky, both for the company who funds the project and for the consultant who stakes their reputation on it. You can’t eliminate this risk, but Atomic works hard to mitigate it before a project even […]

Software Feature Prioritization – Pruning the Product Tree

You’re about to launch the MVP of your product—but in the background, there’s a never-ending stream of feature requests from stakeholders who have waited months (if not longer) for their idea to reach the top of the list. Where do you begin to prioritize these requests and foster shared ownership of the outcomes?

Should UX/UI Designers Code? Finding a Balance Between Yes and No

“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.