Monday, April 20, 2020

Fit4Life - A Daily Warmup

How many times have you or someone you know suffered some surprise, random injury doing something they do every day? Maybe they "tweaked" their back picking up their child or "did something" to their shoulder while rearranging a shelf.

A well-rounded fitness routine can help avoid this, but a lot of people struggle to find the time for that. My solution is simple - a warmup routine that is quick, accessible, and well-rounded enough to help protect us from these little, avoidable injuries.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Staying Fit While Staying Home - A "Prison Workout"

Staying fit can be a challenge when we are stuck at home. It's even more tough if you have no equipment. The good news is that there are many solutions. Let's take a couple of minutes to discuss one, a "prison workout".

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Thinking Critically Without Killing Creativity

Photograph by Lex Augusteijn

Critical thinking is wonderful tool for progress. It helps guide us to make better decisions and avoid pitfalls. But it can also be a destructive force for ideation and creativity.

The trick is how to harness it.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Embracing TL;DR

If you spend any significant time consuming content on the web, you have probably come across the initialism tl;dr. It stands for "too long; didn't read." It means pretty much what it says. Whatever message you were trying to communicate was not received, because you demanded too much of the reader's time, attention, or focus.

Now, some may read that and think, "sheesh, people have such short attention spans today!" I would challenge you to flip that thought on its head. More often than not, tl;dr is a symptom of poor presentation of content, not the consumer of that content, i.e., the product/content is the  problem, not the user.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Don't Make Users Struggle

Steve Krug is a thought leader in the area of user experience, especially web usability and human-computer interaction. The title of his most famous and popular book, Don't Make Me Think, is a concise summary of what's in the book and it is a wonderfully elegant philosophy in itself.

While this is a great starting point, I have found that a slightly broader philosophy serves me well - don't make users struggle. I'd like to share a few key principles that have served me well with this.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Effective User Interviews and Product Development

Good user input may seem a bit like a magical, mythical beast at times, but it is a very real and realizable goal.  That said, the path to it passes through a minefield of miscommunication, misunderstanding, and unintended biases in thinking. But we can effectively navigate this with a human-centered approach and it is worth the trip, because the results can be nigh magical for your product and your users.

A powerful tool in our toolbox is the interview.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Use of "Customer", "User", and "Human" in Design & Development

Proof that I am not a professional cartoonist.

Customer. User. Human. These words get swapped around in product design and development in ways that can be confusing and seem equivocal.

Let's start easy.  Human. We know what that is. You, me, and that guy at the karaoke bar singing "I Will Survive". Human is an inclusive term. Your users and customers both fit under that umbrella.

So, if it is such an inclusive term, why do we have Human-Centered Design (HCD) and User-Centered Design (UCD)? Couldn't you just use HCD and be done? That depends.