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Testing Your Design Principles

I just finished an article by Jared Spool entitled Creating Great Design Principles: 6 Counter-intuitive Tests. It was a good read that took me back about sixteen months to the time we started a revision of the Church’s Online Store by defining 8 or 9 guiding principles to help us focus. The new store launched without fanfare last June, with a more public launch in September after some refinements were made. Those principles had a big impact on design decisions, how products were highlighted on the site, and how we measured success. So this article was of particular interest to me, and I wondered how our principles would stand up to Spool’s “counter-intuitive tests.”

posted by ted on Wednesday, Mar 02, 2011

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Speaking Up Effectively

In a recent team meeting, we talked about how our circle of influence is different—wider—than our circle of responsibility. This reminded me of something I posted three years ago almost to the day, so I decided to re-post it here, to remind myself to “speak up” outside my role—but to do so appropriately.

posted by ted on Thursday, Sep 17, 2009

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Patton: 12 Best Practices for Agile UX

In October, I attended a session by Jeff Patton at UIE13 on doing user experience work in agile environments. I found it extremely helpful in understanding how to improve the process on my current team. I have not yet “arrived,” but the principles learned there have had an actual impact on my processes, as opposed to the “feels good but what do I do now” impression you sometimes get from conferences.

In a “re-print” from last August on UIE’s newsletter, Jeff outlines 12 principles for UX in an agile environment. Here’s a summary of the points in his article (originally broken into part 1 and part 2), with notes on how I have applied these principles to my current project:

posted by ted on Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009

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Design Lesson:
Shovel Smart, Soon, and Often

Here in Northtemple Land, as in many parts of the United States, we’ve received slightly more than our fair share of precipitation in the last week. I have a long driveway to deal with and no snow blower (something I may need to remedy this year with Grandma’s Christmas check). The combination of heavy snow and a long driveway has resulted in an inordinate amount of time spent outside, with nothing to do but shovel and think.

What I’ve learned: Shovel smart, shovel soon, and shovel often. And what’s more, I think this applies to design as well as driveways, and maybe to any problem-solving effort.

posted by ted on Friday, Dec 26, 2008

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Designing in a Team:
Skills, Attitudes, and Success

Last week Cameron sent an e-mail to gather some ideas about how to succeed as an in-house designer. Aside from the more obvious (and individual) necessities of technical skill, graphical ability, and general smarts, how do you succeed in a team environment, where people have different ideas, biases, and approaches to meeting the team’s common goals?

posted by ted on Thursday, Aug 28, 2008