Don’t worry about the size of your headline font in week one.

February 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

Don’t worry about the size of your headline font in week one. You don’t need to nail that perfect shade of green in week two. You don’t need to move that “submit” button three pixels to the right in week three. Just get the stuff on the page for now. Then use it. Make sure it works. Later on you can adjust and perfect it.

From “Getting Real: Ignore Details Early On,” by 37 Signals. The whole essay is awesome.

As it is in UX design, so it is in all design.

October 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

The more cities spend on bike infrastructure, the more important it becomes to make sure that money is spent wisely. One way to measure success in this area is to lay down bike lanes or paths and see if ridership grows. Another is simply to ask riders what facilities they prefer. Both approaches have their drawbacks: The former assumes transportation officials know best and relies on correlations that hopefully reflect causations; the latter may put too much emphasis on hypothetical options and not enough on actual behavior.


A potentially more instructive way to see what riders want from a bike route is to follow riders, in real-time, as they choose a bike route. A trio of transportation researchers led by Joseph Broach of Portland State University recently did just that. In an upcoming issue of Transportation Research Part A, Broach and company report a series of nuanced rider preferences that could help designers create more comprehensive bike facilities and help cities implement these facilities more efficiently.

via Atlantic Cities

“I really believe that you learn best when you’re making things.”

October 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

— Dan Sinker, in the epilogue of The F***ing Epic Twitter Quest of @MayorEmanuel

Rest in peace, Bill.

September 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

User experience architecture as problem-framing

September 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

One of the things we saw from the best designers is their use of prototypes to explore the problem. The prototype is the instrument they used to uncover previously hidden constraints and to see the shifts in the outcome of the design.

– Jared Spool, Exploring the Problem Space Through Prototyping

I’ve been thinking a lot about this concept lately — prototyping as a way to think about the problem — and how it relates overall to my role in bringing concepts to life. Early on in my first full-time job as a user experience architect, I remember taking wireframes and sketches to a feedback meeting and feeling like a failure when, 5 minutes into the discussion, there were so many problems with the concept pointed out.

It took me a while to realize that early sketches, wireframes, and prototypes are never going to be “right.” That’s not the point of making them. I may present them as potential solutions, but in reality I’m creating them to facilitate a discussion about what we’re trying to do and what our goals and limitations are. Only then can we begin to understand what the real potential solutions might be.

People want more choices. / More choices make people sad.

February 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

“People will often want more information than they can actually process. Having more information makes people feel that they have more choices. Having more choices makes people feel in control. Feeling in control makes people feel they will survive better.”

Susan Weinschenk


“The more options there are, the easier it is to regret anything at all that is disappointing about the option that you chose.”

Barry Schwartz

The Problem with Starting with a Problem

June 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

Defining the first step [in a person’s decision-making process] as problem recognition may imply the ‘problem’ has an objective existence, independent of the customer—and the producer. Framing the decision process as problem-solving suggests the customer is a ‘rational actor.’ The danger is that people often act more on emotion than by rationally calculating self-interest. And their definitions of problems depend on their point of view and are often formed in conversations with others—including producers. Indeed part of the innovation process is reframing an existing situation to create consensus around a new definition of a problem.

Hugh Dubberly and Shelley Evenson, The Experience Cycle (written for Interactions Magazine)