Agile can be a great way to promote innovation and address unpredictability in development and design. Sometimes though, you hear stories of things going sideways. Here’s one such story: Imagine a software project started with much fanfare and best intentions; a dev team and a design agency that were all set for a powerful, self-organized, collaborative experience; a seasoned Scrum Master who would be the ideal efficiency shepherd. They were an enthusiastic team, poised for success, but a couple of weeks into their first sprint, tensions started soaring and the team quickly felt itself drifting into the redzone of sabotage and self-destruction.
Fitbit is in a bit of a predicament. Fitbit’s CEO, James Park, recently recounted in a New York Times piece his surprise that the company’s Fitbit Blaze wasn’t well received during its introduction at CES this year. Fitbit essentially developed what was seen as a weak competitor to the Apple Watch. Is this really a fair comparison?
We all know that the work doesn’t end when someone becomes a customer; yet, many businesses are not organized to bring the best experiences to their customers. Our client, John Zimmerer at Top Down Systems, recently wrote a series of blog posts analyzing how businesses can avoid pitfalls in the way of a great customer experience. He takes a look at several industry reports and analyses, and discusses how businesses can move from a siloed customer experience approach, which is rather common, to one where the customer experience fits into the very fabric of an organization.
“We’re building an airplane while it’s flying.” If you’ve ever worked on a software project, you’ve probably heard that before. Businesses need to to adapt to the market quickly, and can’t sacrifice product enhancements for processes with long lead times.
So what’s a product manager to do? We recommend the following 3-pronged approach that addresses the product’s big picture, the upcoming sprint (development work), and the current sprint.
Usability testing is an important component to User Centered Design. Whenever possible, we recommend that businesses validate changes to their UX design with actual or potential users of the product. However on occasion, we’ve seen usability testing do more harm than good when project teams misinterpret the tests. They might take all results at face value, misinterpret the user’s actual intent, or mistake a prototype limitation with a usability issue.
Over the last couple of years, single page websites have become more and more common. These sites are great in having a singular focus and in telling a coherent story. They typically communicate information in a friendly and approachable way. (Head over to One Page Love to see some examples). Traditional businesses that offer multiple products or have content-rich sites have not been able to implement these sites. However, multi-page sites can realize many of the same benefits as single page sites by essentially turning one page of the site into a single page experience, which can link to other pages on the site.
Last May, Busse Design is celebrating 6 years of being an entirely distributed user experience design agency. We rented a space in San Francisco for a long time to have a meeting space for clients, and since we’ve found that clients typically prefer that we go to their offices, we’ve recently let that go. So, this is a perfect opportunity to let our clients and partners know how this model works with our agency, and discuss the benefits to both our employees and our clients
The world of web design is evolving in leaps and bounds, and designers continue to inspire us with their creative ingenuity. Some creative trends come and go–others become the new standards of web design, shifting the industry permanently and for the better. Flat design, white space, flexible typography, cards, more videos, larger graphics, responsive design- these are are some of the trends we’ve seen gaining speed in 2015, over multiple platforms. It’s hard to predict which of these new trends are fads and which will stick around, but with mobile users predicted to surpass desktop users this year, one thing is for certain- the philosophies behind responsive design are here to stay.
Today’s responsive design allows your interface to adapt to any screen size or device, location, time of day, events happening, and user’s history. More and more, websites are being designed for mobile first, and with the help of responsive design, adapted for desktop. This means that businesses can build one website that retains continuity across devices, making for a more fluid experience for users and a lower price tag for web development.
According to IBMs Digital Analytics Benchmarks Hub’s data, 2014 online sales were up 8.3% by Christmas day from last year, and mobile device traffic rose 18.%. According to bigcommerce’s merchant data, mobile purchases on Christmas day actually doubled in just one year, with 37% of consumers using a mobile device to do their shopping. Clearly, mobile e-commerce is on an inexorable rise, so you’re going to want to make your company’s mobile experience the best possible. How is that going to work?
Remember the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey? How HAL wouldn’t let Dave back onto the ship? In the unlikely event that you’re drawing a blank, it went like this:
Dave Bowman: Hello, HAL. Do you read me, HAL?
HAL: Affirmative, Dave. I read you.
Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.
Now, if this scene was being written today, Dave wouldn’t have even needed to ask for HAL to open the pod bay doors, because the doors themselves would have sensed his presence, anticipated his intention to enter the ship, and opened by themselves. In the age of the Internet of Things, our doors, lights, windows, cars, and wearables can all be taught how to anticipate our needs and react appropriately. Instead of needing to interface with a main hub, like HAL, more and more, the user will find herself at the center of an invisible system composed of integrated networked devices designed to predict and meet her needs.