UI/UX Articles and Interesting Tidbits of the Week

January//14//2022

Here are some interesting finds on UI/UX of the week!

1.

Redesigning Pitch before launching it. Hailing from the Pitch Blog and Author/Product Designer Axel Herrmann, this is the particular type of article that I admire and enjoy reading, since it’s essentially a case study detailing the course through which an idea came to life, was finessed into an actual product, tested, and eventually placed in the market. While in this particular case, the article is also a promotional vehicle for the software package itself, it demonstrates the flows that the Design Process goes through, and how that experience is never truly finalized. A product solution constantly evolves, since there are always opportunities to refine, enhance the experience being crafted for users, with themselves providing critical insight into the shaping of that experience. Highlight of the article includes:

“During the project with MetaLab, we worked many months ahead of the actual implementation process, and after using our product internally and getting real-life feedback from our early beta users, we saw that a few things weren’t working as we’d expected. The dissonance between our design vision (what Pitch could be) and the reality (how users actually experienced Pitch) made it even more obvious that certain areas just weren’t getting it right. Everyone was excited about the visual appeal of Pitch, yet it felt like we missed the opportunity to challenge the core of the product and make Pitch a tool that offers a simple UX and works fluently across all devices — now, and in the future. We want Pitch to be modern, not just in how it’s designed, but in how we interact with it. That’s why we’ve always tried to think one step ahead by including initial concepts of future features, like animations or analytics, very early on in the process. Designing for the iPad generation, we knew we needed to consider how the user experience on mobile and touchscreens from day one, not just as an afterthought.”

2.

Transparent Job Postings. Fantastic article from Inc. magazine and author Jeff Haden, focused on a recent job posting (as of January of 2022) which has been posted by Basecamp. The article highlights many of the considerations Organizations need to mindful of, particularly as they navigate a job market which is in high turnover. The article looks at aspects such as Pay, Work Conditions, Reporting Structure, Hiring Process, Performance Expectations, all of which should be communicated openly and candidly. Giving applicants an opportunity to have insight into what they’re applying for and potentially joining is now more than ever, tremendously important. Hiring, training, creating solid partnerships between team members requires time and considerable investment, therefore being upfront about what is being sought after and also the culture of the Organization itself, takes on a heightened importance these days. And again, as I mentioned in my retrospective on 2021, be respectful of applicants. Highlight of the article includes:

“Why is that a problem? What a prospective employee earned at a previous job has no bearing on their value to a new employer. Maybe they took that job to gain experience. Maybe they liked the short commute. Maybe they didn’t recognize their value. Whatever the reason, it’s their reason. The pay level they were willing to accept at their last job has no bearing on what you should be willing to pay them. Ultimately, an employee’s pay should reflect their value to you — and to Basecamp, that value is $324,450. As for work conditions? The job is “fully remote,” and the candidate must live within a four-hour overlap with U.S. Central Time. The reporting structure is also clear: The candidate will report directly to the CTO and will initially be in charge of four lead teams, and up to seven or eight by the end of the year.”

3.

Improving Product Roadmaps. Very pertinent article from Smashing Magazine and author Scott Himmer on the topic of Product Roadmaps (just to contextualize, there are typically 3 types of roadmaps, including Product, Field and Specialty). The article looks at the process of crafting Roadmaps, and changing that perspective to one of defining Landscapes in which the product solutions exist, and also assembling teams that are diverse in terms of roles and experience, in order to support these endeavors. The author also highlights the trifecta of factors to consider, namely sizing, complexity, and effort, to better understand how what the Organization is shaping up can be parsable and properly prioritized. Well worth a read. Highlight of the article includes:

“I have often found that companies do rough estimates for epics and plot those on a roadmap by time duration from the rough estimates. When the work is ready to begin they go through an epic batching process to determine the more realistic scope of the work and what’s a feasible solution within the timeframe defined by the rough estimates. It sounds reasonable, but often the details have been vague until batching. When the details bubble to the surface it turns a desirable solution into something much less which can lead to a watered-down MVP. Worse yet, once the work is batched they insert user research that should have been done to inform the original work effort to what the real benchmark (MVP) should be. Some companies may insert a design/research spike just before the epic kicks off but it always feels reactionary and ends up being a hack shortcut. It’s like defining how you want the road to look without recognizing the terrain where the road will be built.”

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I’m a Product Design Professional. http://canhenha.myportfolio.com • https://www.instagram.com/canhenha • https://www.patternsbypedrocanhenha.com

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Pedro Canhenha

Pedro Canhenha

I’m a Product Design Professional. http://canhenha.myportfolio.comhttps://www.instagram.com/canhenhahttps://www.patternsbypedrocanhenha.com

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