Innovation

An Apple Event Without New Hardware?

You don’t have to go far to find someone talking about Apple’s latest announcements. There are a lot of opinions out there about what this announcement means and how Apple is attempting to transform itself into a media company. Those are knee-jerk reactions. It’s unlikely they’re trying to become a media business, but much more likely…

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Design is not that Important

John Maeda, former MIT professor and renown designer, sent shivers down the spines of designers everywhere in his recent Design in Tech Report when he made the bold statement “…in reality, design is not that important.” For years designers have been lobbying for, and getting, more authority and influence over how things get made. Overall that’s a…

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Human-centered Design isn’t just for digital businesses

Executives in legacy businesses, particularly those who aren’t digital-first, often ask me how human-centered design can help them when they aren’t shipping digital products. Look no further than the retail fashion chain Zara.  With over 2200 retail locations you might imagine the logistics and supply chain issues Zara faces are daunting. And you’d be right.…

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When Business Goals ≠ User Goals

Twelve years ago at a SXSW afterparty Jeremy Keith, a fellow designer, first told me about “Twitter”. It was just a fledgling text message service at the time. At his encouragement, at 1:28 PM on March 10th 2007 I sent a text message to 40404 (this still works, btw) which read simply “Eating lunch“. Twitter…

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The Business Value of Design

Look at the last 5 years. The black line is the S&P 500. The colored lines are companies who use human-centered design and design thinking as a core product strategy. Great design process drives real results. The trick is aligning the business goals with the goals of the customer. An unavoidable fact of the digital…

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The Biggest Design Problem on the Internet

Authentication. Or in everyday terms, usernames and passwords. We all have too many, and managing them is a major pain. That pain is exponential for companies who have to manage credentials for their employees. I’ve seen corporate IT managers pull their hair out (literally) over one lazy employee’s weak password bringing down a network. We…

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From Idea to Revenue as Fast as Possible

You probably get ideas all the time, and a lot of ideas seem good at the time you have them. A few ideas turn out to be good, a few of those turn into products, and even fewer turn into viable businesses. The difference between the ones that make it and the ones that don’t…

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User Experience Design in a Virtual World

Fortnite and Apex Legends are no doubt juggernauts in the game world. The difference many in the game community are calling out between these two game ecosystems is fascinating.  Full disclosure: I haven’t been a gamer since the Atari 2600. For context, Fortnite is a massively popular “battle royale” game. By massively popular, I mean…

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The Best Design Advice is 200 Years Old

Every once in a while something from the past becomes front and center again. History repeats itself, and all. Such is the case with John Ruskin. Never heard of him? You’re not alone. I first heard of Ruskin years ago. The article linked below brought him back into focus. Read this, then read that. Ruskin…

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Spotify Wants all Your Ears

It’s no secret that Spotify is pushing hard to get as many monthly subscribers as possible. It’s all about the MRR. Last week they announced the acquisition of Gimlet (producers of severalgreatpodcasts you should try) and Anchor. All in, Spotify plans to spend an estimated $500MM on acquisitions over the next year or so. But why?  “We are…

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