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Product

Most of your users would rather be doing something else.

Frustrated man stares at his computer

‘Tool soup’ is a term I first heard while designing for developer experience.  It describes the extensive toolset that developers today rely on to get their work done. The implication of the phrase is this: no matter how central you think your application is to a user’s life, they likely spend only minutes in it before dealing with something else.  The phrase came to mind recently as I...

From agency to enterprise

Four years ago to the day, after a significant portion of my career working in agencies and consultancies, I made a shift into enterprise products. To be specific, I now work in the complex world of infrastructure automation. It was a jarring transition, not only from UX project work in an agency to product – but to an enterprise product.  Like many designers, I used to sit...

Your product’s biggest competitor may not be what you think

Yoghurt maker in a gift box

Several years ago, I was given a yoghurt maker as a Christmas gift. A (nameless) relative had been quite astute, having heard me remark on at least a couple of occasions “yeah, we take yoghurt on our breakfast now…”  Maybe they had heard it too much. Having identified what appeared to be a need, they presented us with a shiny, new yoghurt maker.  Sadly the gift went unused. The...

Embrace failure: inform research using a Pre-Mortem

A pipette fills multiple test tubes ahead of experiements

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” — Thomas A. Edison One of the most effective ways to kick off a new initiative is to identify how it might go wrong. Similarly, when planning research goals and methodologies, awareness of potential weaknesses can help to establish immediate learning goals. The Pre-Mortem is a well-established facilitation tool for...

Designing systems, not UI

Graphical representation of a computer displaying an alert

I’ve written a piece for the Puppet blog on the thinking behind an alerts & notifications system for a new product. I’ve had great feedback on the article, which serves to remind me that I should lift the lid a little more often on the work we’re doing. Covey’s prioritisation matrix is referenced as part of the piece. This is, of course, a commonly known and commonly...

About

In My Experience is the personal blog of Rick Monro, a designer & researcher in Belfast, N. Ireland

@monro on Twitter