Tag Archives: user-centered design

Top Product Management and UX Articles of 2016

These were my favorite product management and UX articles of 2016. Hope you enjoy!

Product Management

  1. How To Build A Product Roadmap Everyone Understands by @dreasaez

    Read it on Medium

  2. 13 tips for product leaders on distributed teams by @hpalan

    Read it on Medium

  3. 10 Onboarding Lessons from Product Experts by @_pulkitagrawal

    Read it at https://chmln.co/2bAaLq3

  4. A Bad Product Decision by @BrandonMChu

    Read it on Medium

  5. How To Be A Better SaaS Product Manager: 11 Tips From Top SaaS PMs by @authorkate

    Read it at https://www.chargify.com/blog/11-tips-how-to-be-a-better-saas-product-manager

  6. 5 signs your product and UX teams are disconnected by @jimsemick

    Read it at http://blog.invisionapp.com/product-ux-team-collaboration

  7. Finding the Truth Behind MVPs by @lissijean

    Read it at http://melissaperri.com/2016/05/05/finding-the-truth-behind-mvps

  8. Five Steps to Launching a Product in a Hostile Market by @gordontredgold

    Read it at http://www.inc.com/gordon-tredgold/five-steps-to-launching-a-product-in-a-hostile-market.html

  9. Product Managers, Stop Worrying about Building the Wrong Thing on Schedule: A Q&A with Laura Klein by @LisaAbbott

    Read it at http://blog.wootric.com/product-managers-stop-worrying-about-building-the-wrong-thing-on-schedule-a-qa-with-laura-klein

  10. Self Mastery for Product Managers by @johnpeltier

    Read it at http://johnpeltier.com/blog/2016/04/03/self-mastery

UX

  1. It’s 2016 already, how are websites still screwing up these user experiences?! by @troyhunt

    Read it at https://www.troyhunt.com/its-2016-already-how-are-websites-still

  2. Explaining UX with a glass of lemonade by @axbom

    Read it on Medium

  3. Reducing Cognitive Overload For A Better User Experience by @halarewich

    Read it at https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/reducing-cognitive-overload-for-a-better-user-experience

  4. Designing A Dementia-Friendly Website by @DementiaTweets

    Read it at https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/05/designing-a-dementia-friendly-website

  5. Meaningfully Judging Performance in Terms of User Experience by @schoeyfield

    Read it at http://libux.co/meaningfully-judging-performance-terms-user-experience

  6. Accessibility Whack-A-Mole by @scuff_el

    Read it at http://alistapart.com/article/accessibility-whack-a-mole

  7. Erika Hall on evidence-based design and looking beyond data by @JuliaSagar

    Read it at http://www.creativebloq.com/features/erika-hall-on-evidence-based-design-and-looking-beyond-data

  8. Managing Interruptions = Better Digital Product Design by @DrAnnaLCox

    Read it at http://www.mindtheproduct.com/2016/03/managing-interruptions-better-digital-product-design

  9. How Our Product Design Team Conducts Usability Tests Every 2 Weeks by @leemunroe

    Read it on Medium

  10. Buttons in UI Design: The Evolution of Style and Best Practices by @101babich

    Read it on Medium

What did I forget to list? Please leave a comment and let me know!

This post also appears on Medium.

Does a Phase 1/Phase 2 Approach Ever Actually Work?

Alicia Dixon and I interviewed 7 of our favorite product management colleagues on best practices with a phase 1/phase 2 approach. By that, we mean a scenario where a product has features A, B, and C in 2017 and adds features D, E, and F in 2018. How do you avoid getting in over your head? How do you convey this plan in a roadmap?

A special thank you to Nandini Jammi, who helped make the post stylish and clear.

Check out the post here at ProdPad: https://www.prodpad.com/2016/12/phased-rollout-strategy.

New Product Managers: How a Simple UX Project is a Great Way to Get Started

Congratulations; you are a new product manager! Product managers need to pick the brains of existing users and potential users of products. They need to understand the different personas of users. They need to understand pain points of using the product and looking at the product. They need to have users that they can ask clarifying questions over the course of a year. If a new product manager does a simple UX project (like this one), she will have all those things early.

 

Recruiting

Recruit 5 expert users of the product. Recruit 5 users familiar with the product. Recruit 5 potential users of the product.

 

Questions

Have the participants answer a few questions about themselves and then have them complete about 10 common tasks using the product. Ask their name, age, and any other relevant demographical data. Ask their experience level: (a) I’ve never used it and never seen it, (b) I’ve never used it, but I’ve seen it, (c) I’ve used it once or twice, or (d) I’ve used it weekly or more often. Have them briefly take a look at the product. What do they think it is there to do?

 

Tasks

Start using a screen capture tool. I’ve used Screenr and CamStudio, and both are acceptable. Screenr is better. If data security is a concern, be careful with what you’re recording and where you’re storing it. Ask them to perform ten tasks. This should not take them more than 30 minutes.

 

More questions

Ask them, on a scale of one to ten, how easy it is to use a product. Ask them how the product could be improved.

 

Conclusions

The most difficult parts of the project will be fine-tuning the script and recruiting the users. Both of these activities are very valuable to a new product manager. By watching the recordings, figure out how long it took them to perform tasks. Look for patterns in the problems the participants experienced. Look at the quotes from participants and use them. Lastly, write a short paper with recommendations on UX improvements and translate the recommendations into business requirements and functional stories.

 

For more information on product management and UX, read the Product Guy Daily. I publish it every morning.

13 Factors to Consider in Adopting New Customer-Facing Products and Services

I’ve been looking at what organizations should consider when adopting new technological solutions, and it got me thinking. Which factors need to be considered in the research and implementation of new customer-facing products and services? Here is a checklist that you can go through during your evaluation of new technologies:

 

Security

  • Will new products and services pose any risk to data security? If a user were to log in and have her personal information compromised, this would be a disaster!

Stability

  • Will new technology solutions have outages? Many of today’s technologies are “up” for less than 99% of the time. Is this acceptable? Is there something else that users can use if the solution goes down?
  • And will they strain other technologies we use? Some software types “sit on top of” existing systems and occasionally cause them to go down.

Performance

  • Consider the performance for the product or service. Will users feel it is dramatically slower than Google or Amazon?

Functionality

  • Are the features going to be there on Day 1 or will users experience iterations to get to full functionality?
  • Is there broken functionality in the product or service? Ownership: whose problem is it to fix? Accountability: to what extent is it our throat that is going to get choked when there is a problem?
  • One-size-fits-all and one-search-fits-all: should search software work out of the box for 60% of users or 99% of users? Specialists may be alienated if the general search tool is optimized for laypeople (and vice versa).

UX

  • Is a new technology-based product or service going to change the UX of other services? Major changes to your online presence have major implications for users. Even changes that are seen as very positive by most will frustrate some.
  • For a potential product or service, at what point will UX assessment be possible? Can you do UX assessment before making a large investment in resources?
  • Will the UX for mobile users change?
  • Redesigning the user interface to incorporate a new product or service is risky, and most organizations avoid drastic changes. Look at the CNN redesign model…

2000:

2003:

2008:

2011:

2013:

Impact on employees

  • What will new technology mean for existing employees’ job responsibilities? Is there currently expertise in the organization or will new positions be required? For those affected, will their other job responsibilities be lessened or changed?

Collaboration

  • Will the implementation of new products and services open doors for collaboration with other organizations? Could nearby organizations share costs with us? Do we want to work with those guys?

Resource usage patterns

  • Will new products and services change the current usage of your organization’s resources? Will end users incur the extra costs?

Hosting

  • Where does new technology live? The days of organizations having to buy/lease/maintain servers are coming to an end. Software companies offer SaaS solutions. Cloud companies like AWS can cheaply offer huge amounts of virtualized space. Due to cloud computing, initial development investments can be $$$, instead of $$$$.

Organizational priorities

  • How do potential new products and services address your organization’s priorities?
  • What is a new technology’s impact on ideal of being green? Is there a reduction in data usage? Does the fact that someone else is hosting it make it green?

Sustainability

  • Will new technologies remain sustainable? Sure, we can afford to have them now, but what about ten years from now? If organizational priorities change in a few years, will we still be locked into supporting the product or service?

Scalability

  • Will new technologies be scalable as usage grows?
  • Will new technologies be scalable as the organization grows?

Getting the word out

  • So let’s say we did implement a new technology-based product or service…how would we tell people about it? What is the marketing strategy?

 

What other factors should an organization consider? Leave a comment!

20 Great Public Library Websites

It IS possible to create a great website for a public library! Here are twenty examples…check them out!

 

#1

Multnomah County Library · Multnomah County, Oregon · http://www.multcolib.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Catalog searching
  2. Multi-lingual support
  3. Social media

 

#2

Salt Lake City Public Library System · Salt Lake City, UT · http://www.slcpl.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Carousel
  2. Library services
  3. Social media

 

#3

Cleveland Public Library · Cleveland, Ohio, USA · http://www.cpl.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Carousel
  2. New acquisitions
  3. Mobile experience

 

#4

Iowa City Public Library · Iowa City, Iowa · http://www.icpl.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Programming
  2. Mobile experience
  3. Young people

 

#5

Princeton Public Library · Princeton NJ · http://princetonlibrary.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Carousel
  2. Catalog searching
  3. Blog

 

#6

Columbus Metropolitan Library · Columbus, OH · http://www.columbuslibrary.org

Emphasis on:

  1. E-books
  2. Carousel
  3. Social media

 

#7

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh · Pittsburgh, PA · http://www.carnegielibrary.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Carousel
  2. Young people
  3. Social media

 

#8

Lawrence Public Library · Lawrence, KS · http://www.lawrencepubliclibrary.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Carousel
  2. Mobile experience
  3. Social media

 

#9

Brantford Public Library · Brantford, Ontario, Canada · http://brantford.library.on.ca

Emphasis on:

  1. Catalog searching
  2. Social media
  3. Carousel

 

#10

St. Louis County Library · St. Louis, MO · http://slcl.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Carousel
  2. Social media
  3. Catalog searching

 

#11

Daniel Boone Regional Library · Boone & Callaway Co, Missouri · http://www.dbrl.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Library news
  2. Mobile experience
  3. Catalog searching

 

#12

Arlington Public Library · Arlington, VA · http://library.arlingtonva.us

Emphasis on:

  1. New acquisitions
  2. Multi-lingual support
  3. Carousel

 

#13

New York Public Library · Bx, Manhattan, SI · http://www.nypl.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Catalog searching
  2. Navigation
  3. E-newsletter

 

#14

William F. Laman Public Library System · North Little Rock, AR · http://www.lamanlibrary.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Graphics
  2. Young people
  3. Catalog searching

 

#15

Scottsdale Public Library · Scottsdale, AZ · http://www.scottsdalelibrary.org

Emphasis on:

  1. New acquisitions
  2. Social media
  3. Carousel

 

#16

Los Angeles Public Library · Los Angeles, California, USA · http://www.lapl.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Multi-lingual support
  2. Young people
  3. Social media

 

#17

Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library · Topeka · http://www.tscpl.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Carousel
  2. Young people
  3. Catalog searching

 

#18

McAllen Public Library · McAllen, TX · http://www.mcallenlibrary.net

Emphasis on:

  1. Carousel
  2. Library news
  3. Catalog searching

 

#19

Oak Park Public Library · Oak Park, IL · http://www.oppl.org

Emphasis on:

  1. New acquisitions
  2. Events
  3. Catalog searching

 

#20

Birmingham Public Library · Birmingham, Alabama · http://www.bplonline.org

Emphasis on:

  1. Carousel
  2. Local indexes created in-house
  3. Blog

 

You can read about the things that these important libraries are doing at Library Science Daily. I publish it every morning.

 

Here I tried to list libraries that had beautiful websites. Did I fail to mention your library’s website? Leave a comment!

Mobile Optimization for Your Academic Library Website

First, a couple graphs on mobile usage from Mary Meeker…

 

Smart phones and tablets will soon become our primary personal computers.

Mobility strategy will be necessary for:

  • Catalog discovery
  • Library marketing
  • Student account management
  • Siri-like tools for finding things on campus

 

 

When links are close together, users hit the wrong links and become frustrated.

  • A reason to avoid lists of links

 

Don’t

  • Have items that patrons click right next to each other
  • Repurpose a mobile site design from a larger screen layout

 

Do

  • Design from scratch for the small screen sizes you wish to support
  • Use Responsive Web Design for library sites to minimize:
    • Resizing
    • Panning
    • Scrolling

 

Creating a mobile site design or a native mobile app will create a different user experience

  • Here are some examples…

Is USC successful?

 

 

Developing an Android native app:

  • It isn’t difficult to make an Android app
  • Android devices are not very standardized
  • Android apps tend to have a lot more bugs than equivalent iOS apps

Developing an iOS app:

  • Much easier to develop
  • Smaller share of the market

 

Other mobile technologies that academic libraries are beginning to use:

  • ILS-sent text messages about due dates/times, library events, etc.
  • Texting a call number/URL to a mobile device
  • Texting a librarian for reference questions
  • QR codes that send people to parts of the library website