Macadamian   product camp sv-2011
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Macadamian product camp sv-2011

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  • Who works primarily with software products? Hardware? Mix? Enterprise & business products? Consumer products?(after viewing video) – The analogy I had in mind when selecting this video was “you, as the product manager, are the person counting passes. You are concentrating intently on your task of counting passes. As your CEO interrupts you to say, “we don’t need an Android app yet” and the VP of Sales says “customer xyz insists we deliver this feature”, you continue to do your job and count passes. Unfortunately, you may miss something important if you don’t have a thorough process. You may miss the gorilla in the room..This session is basically about defending yourself against these types of distractions. We’ll use the User Centered Design process with an emphasis on user research and usability testing as our context for helping you to prioritize features, keep your designed focused on user value, and arming you with the tools to respond to strong opinions that may impact your ability to deliver what your users actually need… what you need to put into your product for it (and you) to be successful.
  • Please keep in mind that the more informed you sound when describing your product, the less resistance you will have, the more control you will have in designing your product, the more resources you will have to build your product. Information gives you confidence and confidence is reassuring to management. The table above is from Jarm M. Spool’s book. It shows the path products take from early stage to maturity. This is a good reference tool to use as you are “pestered” to add features ad-hoc. Explain that yes, features are important, but based on qualified research… this is where we are headed. We need to focus on the UI or UX now. Feature wars are a fools errand – Experience and productivity is the next step in improving our product. Making the UI and navigation transparent is the ultimate goal… not comparing ourselves to product xyz.


  • 1. User Centered Design: How to please users and get the CEO off your back
    Dan ArraSan Jose, CA
  • 2. “Selective Attention Test”, by Daniel Simons
    Confidential 4/2/2011
  • 3. Agenda
    Demystify User Centered Design (UCD)
    Support your choices with data
    Differentiate your product
    Confidential 4/2/2011
  • 4. Demystify UCD
    Who are they? What do they care about?
    How do they actually interact with your product?
    How would they interact with a new version/feature?
    Centered on value to actual users
    Product Strategy Workshop
    Key business objectives
    User requirements
    Design to illustrate value to users
    Design, test, incorporate feedback
    Rinse and repeat
    Confidential 4/2/2011
  • 5. Demystify UCD
    Personas – context, context, context
    Centered on value to actual users
    Usage Scenarios
    Your business objectives… their value
    Still gotta have documented requirements
    Design to illustrate value to users
    Wireframes, models, mockups
    Visual concepts
    Confidential 4/2/2011
  • 6. Demystify UCD
    Confidential 4/2/2011
  • 7. Demystify UCD
    Confidential 4/2/2011
  • 8. Support your choices with data (and process)
    Gain agreement thru metrics
    Simplify your decisions
    Justify your choices
    Confidential 4/2/2011
  • 9. Gain agreement thru metrics
    Define objective measurable targets
    Express from the customer’s/user’s perspective
    Both qualitative AND quantitative are good
    Confidential 4/2/2011
  • 10. Simplify your decisions
    With success metrics in hand…
    Obtained from actual users…
    You have confidence about what to include…
    And what to remove
    Confidential 4/2/2011
  • 11. Justify your choices (aka defend yourself)
    Charts, data – “During our first round of testing…
    time on task was x seconds”
    # of errors was reduced by y%
    Narratives – “We watched the users actually smile and relax when then completed this task”
    Storyboards – “As you can see from this diagram, the new path to the reservation screen is…”
    Confidential 4/2/2011
  • 12. Gain agreement thru metrics
    Organizational Confidence
    Success is often a matter of confidence
    If Sales believes in the product (based on metrics), they will do a better job selling it.
    If Management trusts you’vemade the right decisions, you’ll get the resources you need
    If Support understands the training issues, they’ll be more effective
    Confidential 4/2/2011
  • 13. Differentiate your product
    Features are important IF they are valuable to users
    Confidential 4/2/2011
  • 14. Identify Goals & Tasks
    Users don’t approach with a feature in mind – think goals and tasks
    More isn’t always better. More often leads to:
    Confidential 4/2/2011
  • 15. Differentiate based on those goals & tasks
    Feature war  Bad User Experience
    Study real behavior – needs, goals, workflow, workplace processes through:
    Direct observation of users
    Feedback from users
    Organize tasks, sub-tasks by:
    Order of importance
    Frequency performed
    Map relationships & dependencies between tasks:
    Mapping diagrams
    Confidential 4/2/2011
  • 16. Information architecture & task relationships diagrams
    Confidential 4/2/2011
  • 17. Differentiate your product and sell more of it
    If it looks good, you will get more interest
    It’s a process
    Good design can be measured
    Removes opinion and conjecture
    Requires expertise to test (“Blink”, by Malcolm Gladwell – puppies, kitties and Aeron Chair)
    Confidential 4/2/2011
  • 18. Who is Macadamian?
    Software Products Consultancy
    When the user experience is key
    Full scope of software development life cycle
    UX Design & User Research
    Software Engineering
    QA Testing
    Increasing customer adoption
    14 Year Track Record, over 150 staff
    Hybrid Onshore/Offshore - Ottawa(HQ), Romania, Armenia
    Experience across multiple markets and products
    Wide range of skills and processes:
    UX design + Software Engineering + Test/QA
    Desktop (Win, Mac OS)
    Mobile (iPhone/iPad, Blackberry, Android, WP7)
    SaaS (.NET, LAMP, J2EE, RIA, Flash/Flex)
    Strobe/Sproutcore Partner
    Confidential 4/2/2011
  • 19. What have we done… lately?
    New Product Development, Extensions, Re-designs
    Mobile client development – iPad, iPhone, Android phone & tablet
    Web development – Web 2.0 apps with mobile “companion” products
    Desktop Clients – Windows and Mac
    User Experience Design & Usability Testing
    Product Families – Desktop, Web, Mobile Clients
    User Research including
    Usability “walk-throughs”
    Usability Testing
    Ethnographic research or “job shadowing”
    Cisco – FlipShare Mobile, Umi home telepresence
    Juniper – Re-design of existing app to include web, mobile, desktop
    BitTorrent – Macintosh client & Android Tablet (both design & build)
    Varian Medical – Electronic Medical Record for iPad (proto-type)
    Confidential 1/18/2011
  • 20. Our sweet spot…
    End-to-end: from napkin sketch to release (and anywhere along your software development life cycle)
    Creativity: innovating in design and technology
    User Research: Validate user needs, usability, market, etc.
    Uncharted territory: dealing with technical uncertainty & potential for change
    Intense deadlines – need for rapid response times
    Experience required – there’s no time for ramp-up
    Confidential 1/18/2011