Blog Posts

Don't Let Your Customer Ecosystem be a Dirty Aquarium

Don’t Let Your Customer Ecosystem be a Dirty Aquarium

Focusing on product experience is old history. Our customers don’t receive a product, they give us the chance to provide them an ecosystem to traverse. Product design is table stakes, what matters now is the entire offering, a holistic ecosystem that must be crafted and designed. There’s a problem – who are the ecosystem designers, and what role does service design play in this scheme?

How Might Service Design Live at Apple

How Might Service Design Live at Apple

Apple’s ecosystem is hands down the most complete, end-to-end and surface-to-core consumer experience. Some like it, some don’t, but there’s no denying that it’s the pinnacle of what a service designer would seek to be a part of when it comes to designing for experiences that are boundaryless and move seamlessly across space and time.

The Riddle of Service Design Inertia

The Riddle of Service Design Inertia

Service design is a new force inside of organizations that want to start truly building and offering complete customer experiences, not just products. But overcoming the inertia that exists isn’t easy. It’s going to take a lot to get things moving in the right direction. What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?

The Poop in the Ice Cream

The Poop in the Ice Cream

One bad touchpoint can ruin an entire experience journey. Sometimes we can forget this, or not take it as seriously as we should. A good metaphor can help us remember, especially if it’s a little gross. Don’t be the poop in the ice cream.

The Birth of the Shoelace Bootstrap Grid Builder

The Birth of the Shoelace Bootstrap Grid Builder

A while ago, I got this idea to create a Bootstrap grid builder called Shoelace (open it up and follow along!) that is super simple, easy to use, and didn’t try to be a WYSIWYG tool at all. In fact, the opposite. It had 3 purposes – to build the grid HTML, to show you how it will work and change responsively, and teach you how it works by making it impossible to make broken or non-conforming grids. You can’t build your own pages with it, and once you build a grid and use it, you’d have to go back and sort […]

Service Experience Conference 2014

Service Experience Conference 2014

Come see me as a speaker at the Service Experience Conference 2014 in San Francisco. I’ll be giving a behind-the-scenes look at a service designer’s odyssey at software (and service!) giant Intuit! You’ll pay for the whole seat, but only need the edge…

The Service Design of Coffee

The Service Design of Coffee

It’s an interesting phenomenon, realizing that you just passed through an awesome service experience. Great ones are transparent; they just happen and you don’t have to think about it. It’s UX on the user journey. That feeling of walking in to a place where everybody knows your name.

View on UX

View on UX

There is so much to UX, it’s hard to capture what it means. At least I can try to so for what it means to me personally; the view I believe in.

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Design for Delight has No Match

Design for Delight has No Match

A delightful user experience. That is what we call it. All the work and effort we put in to research, design, testing; all in pursuit of that final goal. An entire, complex UX process, yet with an outcome that can be reduced down to just one simple phrase.

The First TajRiba; Bringing UX to Africa

The First TajRiba; Bringing UX to Africa

TajRiba; the Swahili word for “Experience”. There’s a wellspring of design happening in Africa right now. In ways you wouldn’t expect. I had a chance to take part and give a pair of talks at the TajRiba, the first sub-Saharan Africa UX conference and workshops. I think I ended up learning more than anyone, and saw the value in the idea of “intelligent engagement over aid.”

Bootstrap 3 Grid Introduction

Bootstrap 3 Grid Introduction

Bootstrap 3 is here with an all-new “mobile first” CSS framework and grid. It’s super cool, so round up the gang and let’s get introduced to the new grid system guide and tutorial and check out how Bootstrap 3 works!

The Brain Behind UX

The Brain Behind UX

Just what happens in the brain that makes UX possible? Experiences only occur in the brain, and knowing how UX occurs neurologically can help us all better know why we design the things we do.

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The UX Psychologist

The UX Psychologist

Psychology and UX go hand in hand. One could even consider UX as a subset within the school of psychology. UX often talks about how it incorporates psychology, but what would a UX Psychologist actually bring? So lie back on the couch and let’s dive into the mind.

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UX Artifacts and Adventure

UX Artifacts and Adventure

UX is the business of context and meaning. Getting lost in creating artifacts without meaning leaves us lost. For real UX to move forward, we need to stop designing for artifacts and start designing for experiences.

Bump the Lamp: The Reason for Caring

Bump the Lamp: The Reason for Caring

The attention to fine details. Things that may only be noticed by a tiny fraction of your audience, or maybe not at all. Do you do it to set yourself apart from others? No, that’s not why. Your reason should come from a different source altogether. From a lamp, for instance.

Know Your UX Hats

Know Your UX Hats

User experience is in a strange stage of its evolutionary cycle. Companies want to get UX into their products. And every day more people shift their focus to UX, trying to break into discipline. I’ve received a series of emails from both UXers, as well as companies, who are looking for clarification on what all the different buzzwords mean so they can portray themselves or the roles they are hiring for more accurately. Both parties need to know what to expect when they are evaluating their needs or opportunities. One of the problems we face is that the various UX […]

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What I've Learned as a UX Interviewer

What I’ve Learned as a UX Interviewer

Having been a UX interviewee many times, my recent opportunities to be on the other side of the table as the interviewer has given me a lot of new insight into the process – insight I want to pass along. If there’s one thing that is true about UX, it’s empathy. So step in and let’s empathize about the UX interview process!

The Ouija Toggle

The Ouija Toggle

The Ouija Toggle is a mystical sliding toggle UI based on the iOS sliding toggle. Is it just a vessel to another plane of existence? Or a needless iteration on the sliding toggle which hasn’t really been proven relevant on anything but touch devices. Only the spirits know. But it sure is fun to play with, so come join this seance and give it a try!

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UX is not UI

UX is not UI

UI is what people see and touch. It is what comes to mind when thinking of a product or an experience. But the UI stands on the top of a huge UX mountain. The better the UI works, the bigger the UX beneath. The message we must spread is simple: UX is not UI.

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An Exercise in Making a Portfolio

An Exercise in Making a Portfolio

Not everyone has a expansive portfolio to bring to an interview. But that doesn’t mean you have to show up empty handed. As a budding UX designer in England found out, building a mock portfolio is easier than you would think. Part 2 of my series on UX interviews and portfolios!

What people want to see in a UX portfolio or website.

What people want to see in a UX portfolio or website.

Here’s the tl;dr version of this post: I am redoing all my personal materials to be something much more deliberate and efficient. Starting with this website. Everything will be new. I’ve learned some things recently. Partially from poking around the internet looking at other UX designer’s sites, and also from having to sift through some resumes for UX designers here at my place of employment. See, I’ve learned 2 things. People usually don’t build their resume for what employers want to see. In fact, they usually aren’t ‘built’ at all, but instead they are just a thoughtless collections of data […]

Pigs and Bowling Balls; Lipstick and Lace

Pigs and Bowling Balls; Lipstick and Lace

What do “putting lipstick on a pig” and “putting lace on a bowling ball” have in common? Two things: Neither has ever worked. Lipstick has ever made a pig more attractive, and lace has never improved a bowling ball. Neither fool anyone, and often insult the intelligence of the target audience. Both sayings are often used by people as a acceptable solution to a fundamental problem with design or function. They aren’t metaphors that are supposed to be answers; they are metaphors that are supposed to point out pointless and ineffective measures to improve something. If you say “it’s like […]