Agile UX Design in Practice: Crafting Great Products


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Building great products is not easy. What can we do as designers and product leaders to increase the batting average of the products we contribute to? An answer lies in the way artists and composers have worked for centuries to craft paintings and music. The motif is the smallest atomic unit which inspires everything else.

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Agile UX Design in Practice: Crafting Great Products

  1. 1. CraftingGreatProducts@rosspwAgile UX Design in Practice
  2. 2. ROSS/ Great ProductsGreat  products...exceed user needs to the extent that designquality directly contributes to business growth.
  3. 3. ROSS/ Great Productsany keymetricGreat product design is anorganic driver of scale.
  4. 4. ROSS/ Great Productsany keymetricGreat product design is anorganic driver of scale.
  5. 5. ROSS/ Great ProductsBuilding Great Productsis really !@#$% difficult!Same goes for... Startups. Games. Music.
  6. 6. ROSS/ Great Products11 out of 12startups fail.Source:
  7. 7. ROSS/ can we do as UX designers do to increase the battingaverage of the products we contribute to?
  8. 8. ROSS/ Great ProductsThe motif is the smallest atomic unit which inspires everything else.Motif.
  9. 9. ROSS/ Great ProductsMotif.Guernica. The motif is the tragedy of war. From a simplesentiment came a painting of deep complexity.
  10. 10. ROSS/
  11. 11. ROSS/ Great ProductsDesign perfection = can’t add or take away anything.Beethoven achieved that in music through a focus on motif.
  12. 12. ROSS/ Great ProductsThe motif in the 5th symphony is transposed and transformed continuously.But it all stems from the same atomic unit.
  13. 13. ROSS/ Great ProductsA motif is something iconic. So iconic you can put it on a pillow.
  14. 14. ROSS/ Great ProductsYou know you’ve done something right,when your product is made into a pillow.
  15. 15. ROSS/ Great ProductsGreat  product  designstems  from  a  motif.What does this mean for UX?
  16. 16. ROSS/ Great ProductsVine’s motif = 6 second videos.The Sign in screen? a 6 second video.
  17. 17. ROSS/ Great ProductsiOS’s home screen = swipe and tapMissing features (cut and paste).It was focused, it was prioritized.
  18. 18. ROSS/ Great ProductsTwitter’s motif = the tweet
  19. 19. ROSS/ Great Productsif you’ve ever tried to send a DM, you’ve noticed DMs suck in comparison.
  20. 20. ROSS/ Great ProductsUX Designers areoften asked tode-prioritize& un-focus.
  21. 21. ROSS/ every detail.Consider every edge case.“wireframe monkey”
  22. 22. ROSS/ Great ProductsEnd up in the weeds of UI specs. It’s easy to lose a singular focus here.
  23. 23. ROSS/ Great ProductsAgile = great ways of working in teams & tools for process managementOh, wait, I know!!Let’s be lean and agile!
  24. 24. ROSS/ Great ProductsBut in each sprint, the big picture is lost.
  25. 25. ROSS/ Great ProductsBehind every greatproduct is someone whowho championed theMotif.Great design owes its sense of inevitability to this.
  26. 26. ROSS/ Great ProductsMotifis like MVP, buteven more focused.A screen or an interaction, not a complete product.
  27. 27. ROSS/ Great ProductsMotifFeature creep is the opposite of
  28. 28. ROSS/ Great ProductsEvery product has a motif. Some do it better than others.+ Facebook = status post.+ = product search.+ Vine = 6 second clip.+ iPhone = swipe.tap.- LinkedIn = profile.
  29. 29. ROSS/ Great ProductsLinkedIn Profile
  30. 30. ROSS/ Great ProductsMotifspans user types.
  31. 31. ROSS/ Great ProductsMotifis the marketing.
  32. 32. ROSS/ Great ProductsAs UX Designers,we’re the ownersof the motif.
  33. 33. ROSS/ Great ProductsAnytime we design ascreen, feature, orsystem, the motifshould inform us.
  34. 34. ROSS/ Great ProductsOwntheMotif.
  35. 35. Thank you.@rosspw