Archive for the ‘Product Management’ Category

User research is cheap and easy

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

OK, so I’m clearly one of those people that’s been living under a rock for the last couple of years: I’ve only just realized that the user research industry has gone online and social.

A couple of the services that I’ve tested in recent projects include User Testing: http://www.usertesting.com/ - an easy-to-use online service that lets you create simple tests that are distributed to their testing resources who may be selected according to various demographic parameters (age, experience, income, etc.). (more…)

Six strategies for Agile UX

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

User experience design in the context of Agile development seems, for some reason, to remain a hot topic. There is a perception that design and agility are somehow in conflict, which seems odd to me – I’ve always though of design as a naturally Agile process (if only due to it’s inherently iterative nature – all design solutions are always open to improvement).

I tend to think of design as something that begins before development in order to, first of all, validate the business hypothesis, then provide context and frame the problems being addressed during an Agile iteration cycle. Business and customer feedback from deployment of the cycle (sprint, whatever) subsequently helps inform future design efforts.

Even when the overall strategy is as banal as to simply throw shit at the wall and see what sticks, I have found that costs can always be mitigated to a signficant degree by having a little more customer insight and knowing, to extend the metaphor, which bits of wall are likely to be sticky.

Austin Govella has six useful points to bear in mind, touching the importance of on modeling, collaboration, and communicating effectively, amongst other things: http://www.thinkingandmaking.com/view/agile-ux-six

Is Google the new Microsoft?

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

googlesoftJust as Microsoft seems at last to be struggling out from under the weight of it’s own mediocrity, and is finally, albeit under palpable threats to it’s survival, starting to put usability and desirability at the forefront, Google appears, in turn, to be reaching that tottering, preponderant level of product-portfolio obesity where corporate arrogance begins to seriously outweigh business sense. (more…)

Product management as rule of law

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Hugo and pal.Implementing product management methodology within a product team doesn’t always bring about product success. This can be due to a variety of external factors, but I believe it is more usually due to a lack of understanding of what product management actually is than it is any failure of the methodology itself.

Sure, the guys over at Pragmatic Marketing have been doing their bit to help clear up the mystery over the years, but, ultimately, they are just telling you what to do – they’re not there to help you do it successfully. (more…)