Business. Design. Technology.

They’re all connected.

Business, technology and design. They work together, it’s like a chair with three legs: if one is shorter or broken the user will fall on the floor.

One ring to rule them all ? User eXperience design, of course!

Smiles aside, the UX designer is somewhere in the middle, between the hammers and the anvil, advocate for the user.

(S)he’s trying to figure out all the angles and decide on the best compromise or which aspect is more important and when.

I’m a Libra.

No, really, I actually am. It’s a natural instinct inside guiding me towards balance, righteousness and justice.

That helps a lot when one of the stakeholders loses focus or, quite the opposite, is too focused on their own perspective to notice the importance of other aspects.

You need patience to listen and discern the finer points. Then comes the finesse to match views and fine tune perspectives while subtly melting passions inspired by horse glasses.

I dream sweet interfaces, the sales guy needs some items to be more prominent and work in a certain way, the developer would love to become Hannibal because we want all these done in only two sprints of the three he agreed with the product owner for the new release.

We all think we hold the truth.

It often feels like I know more about the user than the client and I make damn sure that his needs are catered for.

Until the client feels the business goals are by far more important than anything because they keep the company alive.

The dev team needs the proper set of user cases, wants to build something outstanding and make sure all the lights turn green upon flight check. And less guesswork could go a long way.

And we’re all right! Except, not necessarily at the same point in time.

The sales guy met his clients and knows for sure that they need that service built in that specific way because it mimics something from the physical world that they’re used to.

The dev team might not have the proper time to build that awesome piece of engineering and trying to make it perfect could lead to missing the launch date. However making it work as it’s planned as opposed to checking only the main points would lead to customer satisfaction and further recommendations.

If you want to do it right, developing a software, be it web based, mobile or for desktop is a tedious job.  You may sometime feel like taking a trip to the Swiss Alps. And stay there for a couple of years instead of weeks.

But you know what ? You’re doing this because you like it: it’s the reason you work on Sunday evenings, it’s your wish to deliver a premium product, it’s your passion for human nature and the WHYs behind the reactions.

It’s summa’ time mon, and ain’t nothin’ gonna

ROI of UX

Do you consider it as a extra you don’t really need ? After all, you were able to make it until now, right? Is this UX thing really worth it? Neah, don’t invest in creating a great user experience!

But … at least peek at you may be mising.

The following is a classic for those interested in their return on investment if they plan to introduce user experience design in their software development process, enjoy!

And after watching it, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to knock.

May the 4th be with you!

Less choices empower you

The way I see it it started with CMSs.

It continued with Squarespace & alikes and now, … now we have The Grid. Yo.

The Grid is a whole other kind of animal, part designer, part … AI. Yes, that’s Artificial Intelligence: you have an inhouse designer slash information architect slash magician, choosing what’s best for you based on what you feed it with. And you get a personalized design based on the intel you provided. That’s the gist of the sales pitch.

I read recently how a president’s willpower could be weakened by the fact that (s)he’d have to decide what to eat and wear on a daily basis and he (or she) might not be able to push the big red button if required, at evening time.

I think this would apply as well to your business: you might not be focused enough to make the important calls if you don’t delegate the responsibility and give up control over to a professional to handle your web presence properly.

The Grid will grow and other similar tools will surface and look down upon it. Because it’s far from perfect and it surely can’t replace a fully fledged professional.

However, for some budgets, timelines and expectations, it fits the bill successfully and holds high the  dawn of a new challenge: the designer you can’t convince to nudge the button by two pixels to the right.

One at a time, while offering control the CMSes, Squarespace and now The Grid restrict your options to a minimum, make the web calls on your behalf so you can focus on growing your dreams and provide the quick answer to “We need a bloody website. Yesterday!”

I guess that’s one way to translate the classic “Less is more”.

Feeling empowered ?

The WHY factor

It often happens that the solution you want implemented only manages to suppress the symptoms of a deeper pain.

Allow me to find out more about that pain and cure it properly. That’s my two sentence pitch.

But how do you find that damn “deeper pain” ? Things happen for a reason (or more), you just need to ask WHY.

You don’t need to hire me or another professional to ask the 5 WHYs.

Hell no, you can do it yourself! Here’s how:

This started as a pretty long article but upon reviewing the end papyrus, I thought I should focus on the essence: don’t treat the symptoms of the cold, treat the cause and take better care of yourself. And the product or service that you sell. 

Ask Why more often and a usability angel will receive its wings. And spare you some expenses.