Design for Product Managers

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a tragic tale in three parts

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  • the bewildering doctor series can be explained thus: designers have specialties like doctors. graphic designers are like plastic surgeons, IA's like diagnosticians, IxD like sports medicine, focusing on doing things... not a perfect metaphor, but helps to think of people with deep strengths as well as a shared base of knowledge.
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  • Design for Product Managers

    1. 1. Dealing with Design A survival guide in three acts
    2. 3. When do you need a designer?
    3. 5. What are the flavors of designers?
    4. 10. Hiring & Vetting <ul><li>What are my product’s goals and challenges? </li></ul><ul><li>What must users do/experience for us to win? </li></ul><ul><li>What competency must the designer have? </li></ul><ul><li>Where do I find them? </li></ul>
    5. 11. The Interview <ul><li>Portfolio </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Watch out for “we” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Design exercise </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Same exercise for everyone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Short, and reveals thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not about making a good design </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interview </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How did you solve a similar problem? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What would you change about our product (if existing) or competitor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s your ideal job? </li></ul></ul>
    6. 12. Working effectively with designers <ul><li>Bring them in EARLY </li></ul><ul><li>Set clear priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Get the flows (or IA) first </li></ul><ul><li>Critique with goals, not solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Push respectfully forward </li></ul>
    7. 14. Ten reasons to kill your designer <ul><li>&quot;I did the best I could - there's only so much you do with...&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Just tell me what you want and I'll make that.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>“ Oh, that can't be done.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Oh, but my idea is much better” </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Well you never told me it was supposed to be REALLY good!&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Your database doesn't work with my design&quot; or “Is all of this stuff really necessary?” </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;That solution would be non-standard&quot; or “Users don’t scroll.” </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;I went to design school&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Because it looked better.“ </li></ul><ul><li>“ Trust me&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.linkedin.com/answers/product-management/product-design/interface-design/PRM_PDS_INF/173714-1751812 </li></ul>
    8. 15. When it’s you
    9. 16. Layers of design <ul><li>Base: User need/business need/tech options </li></ul><ul><li>Information Architecture and/ or Interaction Design </li></ul><ul><li>Interface Design </li></ul><ul><li>Graphic Design </li></ul>
    10. 17. Four Design Hacks
    11. 18. Participatory Card Sort
    12. 19. Running a successful card sort <ul><ul><li>50-75 pieces of content (not categories!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide as much information as possible while not overwhelming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lay all content out on a large table, shuffled thoroughly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide blanks for category labels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage thinking-out-loud </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be helpful, but do not suggest or advise. Play psychiatrist. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collate results and look for patterns. </li></ul></ul>
    13. 20. Scenarios and Task Analysis
    14. 21. Example Persona Scenario
    15. 22. Task analysis <ul><ul><li>Step by step breakdown of scenarios </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helps define interface/interaction needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flushes out potential opportunities for errors </li></ul></ul>
    16. 23. Task analysis Purchasing a purse at nordstroms.com might include the tasks: 1. locate purse 2. add purse to shopping cart 3. check out f. Review order “ CHECK OUT” BECOMES g. Finalize checkout e. Input payment d. Input billing address c. Input shipping address b. Sign in/sign up a. Select checkout
    17. 24. Task analysis And so on… <ul><ul><li>v. Input state (dropdown of standard abbreviations) </li></ul></ul>f. Review order “ INPUT BILLING ADDRESS” BECOMES “ CHECK OUT” BECOMES <ul><ul><li>vi. Input country </li></ul></ul>g. Finalize checkout <ul><ul><li>iv. Input street address </li></ul></ul>e. Input payment <ul><ul><li>iii. Input street address </li></ul></ul>d. Input billing address <ul><ul><li>ii. Input family name </li></ul></ul>c. Input shipping address <ul><ul><li>i. Input first name </li></ul></ul>b. Sign in/sign up d. Input billing address (prepopulate all fields from c.) a. Select checkout
    18. 25. Page Zoning
    19. 26. <ul><li>Table setting? </li></ul>
    20. 28. Title Content Viral features metadata Related content
    21. 29. Graphic design hacks
    22. 30. Minimalist Design <ul><li>Only use one font. Preferably helvetica. </li></ul><ul><li>Only use three, maybe four sizes, all very very different. </li></ul><ul><li>Only use one color, with variations, and one “accent” color. </li></ul><ul><li>Turn on the grid (if you are using photoshop, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Never align center. </li></ul><ul><li>Never use stock photography. </li></ul><ul><li>Have a hierachy </li></ul>
    23. 31. I am a serifed font I am sans-serif
    24. 32. I am Times New Roman Hey, I’m arial
    25. 37. niiiiiiice
    26. 40. Cheat <ul><li>Patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Odesk </li></ul><ul><li>Conference proceedings </li></ul><ul><li>You can’t buy taste </li></ul>
    27. 42. Research Beyond usability
    28. 43. Who does it? <ul><ul><li>Internal User Research Specialist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outside Consultant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You </li></ul></ul>
    29. 44. Why do it? <ul><ul><li>Know if the product meets user needs before you build it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cheap to change a sketch </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Affordable to change a Photoshop comp </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expensive to change fully coded product </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Customer service expensive as well </li></ul></ul></ul>
    30. 45. Why do it? <ul><ul><li>Enable you to develop easy-to-use products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Satisfy customers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Decrease expenditures on technical support and training </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Advertise ease-of-use successes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Improve brand perception </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ultimately increase market share </li></ul></ul></ul>
    31. 46. Who are the users of the system? <ul><li>Start by collecting pre-existing information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hunt down previous data (marketing demographics, surveys, past usability tests) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hold stakeholder interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conduct customer service interviews </li></ul></ul>
    32. 47. Finding the end user <ul><li>Recruiting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop a portrait of the user (a la the persona) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop a screener based on this </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recruit typical end users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Professional recruiter </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do it yourself </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer a consideration: cash or a gift </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watch for ringers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Professional testers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Inarticulate users </li></ul></ul></ul>
    33. 48. Not the end user <ul><ul><ul><li>Employees </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Designers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Programmers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Market researchers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You </li></ul></ul></ul>
    34. 49. Three Research Hacks
    35. 50. Site visit
    36. 51. Site visit
    37. 54. Rules <ul><li>Ask them to use your product, and “think aloud” while doing so </li></ul><ul><li>Take photos (with permission) </li></ul><ul><li>Record quotes </li></ul><ul><li>Note interruptions, accessory items, and social itneractions </li></ul>
    38. 55. Friends and Family Usability
    39. 57. OK, if <ul><li>They are just like your target users </li></ul><ul><li>Unfamiliar (or typical familiarity) with product </li></ul><ul><li>NO CHEATING! </li></ul>
    40. 58. Form of… usability test! <ul><li>Set of tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Think aloud </li></ul><ul><li>Time tasks, if relevant </li></ul><ul><li>One more time– no hints, no leading questions </li></ul>
    41. 59. Paper Prototyping
    42. 60. Tools
    43. 61. Research Don’ts <ul><li>Ask leading questions </li></ul><ul><li>Show people where things are </li></ul><ul><li>Let them get frustrated </li></ul><ul><li>Make them feel stupid </li></ul><ul><li>Take your own notes </li></ul><ul><li>Do focus groups </li></ul>
    44. 62. Research dos <ul><li>Do it. </li></ul><ul><li>Any way </li></ul><ul><li>Do it </li></ul>
    45. 65. Organizations <ul><li>Iainstitute.org </li></ul><ul><li>Ixda.org </li></ul><ul><li>Aiga.org </li></ul><ul><li>These all hold excellent conferences. Ixda.org will be posting videos of last weekend’s conference shortly (including my talk on viral design). </li></ul>

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