Sunday, February 28, 2010

Remarks on The Speed of Trust

The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey is well-written, actionable advice on how to build your own credibility with others, and how to intelligently extend trust to others. There's a section on building trust in your own organization with external stakeholders. It's particularly timely as people have become deeply suspicious of institutions and of others. Recommended.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Business metrics for UX designers

UX designers would do well to learn about business metrics. Business metrics had been a gaping hole in my own education until recently. Companies tend to measure what they think is important. If the stuff you do doesn't track to something the company is measuring then you need to find out why. It could be that the company isn't good at measuring stuff. It could also mean that what you're doing isn't going to get a lot of attention, which isn't a good thing in a slow economy.

I've been working on a paper that explains business metrics to UX designers. Some day soon I'll get it submitted somewhere.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Business model generation

I sketch everything. Screens, call flows, processes, hierarchies, etc. It drives me crazy to be in a meeting and people are throwing ideas around and arguing and stating their points and not seeing the connections between things, and no one is trying to capture anything on a whiteboard. It so much easier to see the relationships between things when you write them on a board.

I was so delighted to find the book Business Model Generation by Osterwalder and Pigneur. Here is a book that elevates the importance of sketching and group facilitation and design thinking to the highest importance in creating new business models. It has been out of print for a while but it's finally back. Highly recommended.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Innovate Carolina 2010

The Carolinas Chapter of Product Development and Management Association is organizing the Innovate Carolina conference on April 10 at UNC Kenan Flagler Business School. I'll be there.

Monday, February 8, 2010

When did "social media" come to mean "spam?"

I used to like to read and participate in some of the LinkedIn groups about design and human factors but lately it just all looks like "make money fast" schemes and diploma mills. Somebody sets up an account and joins about 50 groups and the spams every group with the same message once a month with a link to website that just screams Virus Central. If you look at the account there's never any information about the user and they have no Connections. Some group owners are good about kicking the spammers out, and other group owners don't seem to care.

In some cases, I think the spammers are just clueless individuals who read a poorly-written article about social media and have implementated the first idea that came into their heads.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Today's fire drill was, well, a fire drill

Today's helpful tip from the Helpful Tip guy. This one's a little more subtle than my last helpful tip: don't throw frozen iguanas in the back seat of your station wagon. Anyway, today's tip is:
Don't operate a blowtorch near a smoke detector
If you do, the fire alarm will go off and the building will be evacuated, and everyone's work will be disrupted, and the fire department will arrive. So don't do that. Please.