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Building Beautiful and Highly Usable Products by Simon Vallee

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Keynote by Simon Vallee at Product Hunt Toronto's 1 Year Anniversary Event. Simon Vallee is an entrepreneur and product enthusiast. He currently works at Slack, which he joined when Slack acquired his latest startup, Spaces. Before that, he co-founded OpenCal, acquired by Groupon in 2011 and Sitemasher, acquired by Salesforce in 2010. He holds an engineering degree from Polytechnique of Montreal.

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Building Beautiful and Highly Usable Products by Simon Vallee

  1. 1. Building Beautiful and Highly Usable Products Simon Vallee 2015-08-27
  2. 2. Hello Bonjour 👋
  3. 3. My timeline Wonder years 2005 2006 2007 2008 2011 2013 2014
  4. 4. The Product Triforce Utility first Listen to your users Components- based UI
  5. 5. Place Utility First
  6. 6. Your product is not an abstract exercise in design.
  7. 7. Utility at two levels • Idea: does your product answer a real need? • Implementation: is your product optimized for users?
  8. 8. Just ship it! Take the time to think it through
  9. 9. Utility is Slack’s secret sauce
  10. 10. A couple of tricks on the implementation side
  11. 11. Stay one step ahead of the user
  12. 12. Empower anyone to become a power user
  13. 13. Listen to your users
  14. 14. Everybody has blind spots Users can point them out
  15. 15. Make it easy for your users to tell you what’s up! • Clear affordances in your product • Engage on Twitter
  16. 16. What we do at • Pay close attention to our Twitter feed • Everyone does support! 2 hour weekly support shifts. • Roll up of top tickets every week
  17. 17. Beware reactionary feedback driving your product design ❗
  18. 18. E.g. Channel Info
  19. 19. User feature requests can plant the seed for new ideas 💡
  20. 20. Requests for this
  21. 21. But we built this Requests for this
  22. 22. Build a Components-based UI
  23. 23. Components are the foundation of your product’s UI.
  24. 24. E.g. The Facebook post component
  25. 25. The Groupon deal card: a missed opportunity DesktopMobile
  26. 26. Components (Few and primary) Elements (Many and secondary) Logical grouping of features under common umbrellas • Content previews • Content detail view • Navigation • Settings, etc. Various widgets that support your components • Buttons • Popovers • Tooltips, etc.
  27. 27. Simple Flexible Extensible Cross-platform (when it makes sense) Good components are
  28. 28. • Harmonious and simple product. • Fewer pieces to design, develop, and maintain. • Less work when building new features. • Time to perfect and polish. • Product branding. • Template for your organization and your code architecture. Huge pay off
  29. 29. • Harmonious and simple product. • Fewer pieces to design, develop, and maintain. • Less work when building new features. • Time to perfect and polish. • Product branding. • Template for your organization and your code architecture. Huge pay off
  30. 30. The Product Triforce Utility first Listen to your users Components- based UI
  31. 31. Force Multipliers ×
  32. 32. Hone your product sense
  33. 33. Train your brain: analyze the products around you
  34. 34. Great products are not about the absence of bad, they’re about the presence of great. Focus your attention on the positives.
  35. 35. Do the work
  36. 36. Sketch + Design + Code/Prototype
  37. 37. Be Relentless
  38. 38. The universe will try to stop you from building a great product. Don’t let it
  39. 39. Thanks for your time! 🙇
  40. 40. Q&A

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