The UX of Teaching UX

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Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand. – Confucius, BC 450 Sounds good, right?  Confucius had a way with words.  However, reality is more murky …

StartUP Product‘s insight:

UX is a huge part of Product Management, and this pensive post from Glen Lipka, VP User Experience for Marketo, prompts us to think about how we teach others the skills we have honed over the years.

Particularly in an arena that’s still developing, where many of us learned by doing and don’t necessarily have a mentoring experience to fall back on as an example, it can be tricky to figure out the best way to pass the fine details of our craft on to newbies.

Glen makes clear he has more questions than answers on this particular topic, and I understand why.  It’s a perfect topic for conversation at Startup Product Summit SF2, though.  In fact, questions like these are a large part of the reason Startup Product exists.  To create an environment where we can discuss and debate, teach and learn, and perhaps even learn how to teach.

Glen is a speaker at Summit SF2, and we’re excited to have him.  Join us October 11, 2013, to hear what else he has to say.  Register at: http://bit.ly/11jHipK

See on commadot.com

Responsive HTML Templates

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There has been alot of movement in “responsive HTML” over the last 2 years.  Basically, responsive means that the page will morph as the screen gets smaller.  It changes to use the available space …

StartUP Product‘s insight:

Basically, responsive means that the page will morph as the screen gets smaller.

I was trying to design a page editor application that gave a non-programmer power to make responsive pages using as much WYSIWYG UI as possible.

Responsive HTML Templates work best when your layout/content scope is going to remain static.  It sucks when your layout is changing all the time, like a public website or even an application of moderate-high complexity.

– how will you know the good posts from the bad if they are all good.

Glen Lipka, is VP of UX at Marketo. He will be speaking at the Startup Product Summit SF2 – register before June 24 for $400 off! http://bit.ly/11J59AG

See on commadot.com

Compare and Contrast: Sprintly and Pivotal Tracker

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By Melissa Gena

ptvsspPivotal Tracker is a pretty popular cloud tool for managing agile product development, and while there are many things I like about it, I have also been messing around with Sprint.ly since I heard the CEO, Joe Stump, speak at a product management event a few months ago.

continued: Compare and Contrast: Sprintly and Pivotal Tracker

Read more:

Better Product Management: Best Practice (Dogfooding) And A New Tool (ProdPad)

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Learn about A Product management best practice and A Tool for better product management

Startup Product Talks: April 10 @Atlassian, San Francisco


Learn how Atlassian uses their own tools in house through a best practice called dogfooding with Jerry Gordinier, cross-product UX Designer at Atlassian


Discover ProdPad, a tool for better product management, developed by Simon Cast, co-founder visiting from the UK

Best Practice:

Why get started with dogfooding?

Is using your products enough?

Something’s broken… what do I do?

This talk will cover the ins and outs of effective dogfooding:

  • why using your products is more than best practice,
  • clever tips and tricks to encourage feedback at the organizational and personal level, and
  • how to receive and act on what your internal users are saying.

Take away some pro-tips for integrating effective dogfooding from our experience at Atlassian.

Jerry Gordinier is a cross-product user experience designer with Atlassian, maker of enterprise team collaboration and software development products including JIRA, Confluence and Bitbucket.

Jerry’s web start-up work includes taiwanenglish.com,penpalroulette.com, and the ill-fated Partybot9000. He is passionate about user-centered design and research, and making products that change the world for the better.

Product Demo: ProdPad

Simon Cast, Co-founder of ProdPad, and visiting from the UK, will give us a demo. He’s also cofounder of the European Product Group who run ProductTank, ProductCamp London and the product management conference MindTheProduct. You can read his blogging at MindTheProduct.com & ProdPad.com. Simon began his career in Space Engineering, where he developed a Fortran realtime program to automate satellite operations. He then traveled around the world before a stint in the Australian Army.

more info:



Product Manager and UX Designer – What’s the Difference? – UXPin

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See on Scoop.itProdmgmt

If you ever wondered what’s the difference between Product Manager and UX Designer – wonder no more. Take a look at the article and infographic.


Global Product Management Talk‘s insight:

Great debate in the comments regarding the value of product management.
Also relevant to the question of how product excellence is defined based on which criteria – a crappy product that makes a lot of money and customers hate, but still buy since the alternatives are worse options, or a beautifully designed product that works excellent and has no market share because of price…

See on blog.uxpin.com

Key Takeaways from the Design Thinking and Rapid Prototyping Panel at Startup Product Summit SF

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By Michelle Sun

I had the privilege to attend the first Startup Product Summit in SF on Feb 7, 2013. It was a great lineup of speakers and a full room of buzzing energy and great conversation.  Without further adieu, I’d like to share some key learnings of each panel.

Please let me know if I omitted or made any errors in the references. Credit for the good stuff is entirely the speakers’ (link to twitter handles are included on each name).

Turning Mediocre Products into Awesome Products” – Jonathan Smiley, Partner & Design Lead, ZURB

  • Ideation and iteration can ”turn mediocre products into awesome products”.
  • Discussed a full spectrum of research from market-driven (focus group, survey) to user-driven (remote teaching, usability teaching)
  • Importance of sketching, a lot, aim for speed and volume, then critique
  • Advice to the audience: ”do 10 more sketches ( more ideation is always better ), build 1 more prototype, get 1 more round of feedback, ask 5 more customers”

“Being a UX Team of One” – Vince Baskerville, Product, Lithium & Co-Founder, TripLingo

1. Internal politics is a common challenge as a UX team/professional.  Learn to manage expectation of different internal stakeholders and keep everyone in the loop.

2. Don’t listen to what customers are saying.  Users’ claims are often unreliable.  See what they are doing.  Understand the underlying issue.

“Validate Your MVP on Paper” – Poornima Vijayashanker, Founder & CEO, BizeeBee & Femgineer

– 2 Reasons MVP Fail
1. Fail to figure out how to provide a simple value proposition that differentiates your product from your competition
2. Fail to figure out who their early adopter are.

– Early adopters are people who aren’t using the competitor’s product. Don’t want to take time to switch over.

– Steps on usability testing

  1. Explain the problem. What you are testing. How they are helping. Get them excited about the idea.
  2. Set expectations. Make them comfortable.
  3. Communicate intention (what exactly are you testing and specific feedback you are looking for).
  4. Thank them for their time. Follow up regularly.

Poornima’s slides are available here.

“Everyone’s Customers Are Wrong” – Evan Hamilton, Head of Community, UserVoice

  • Data doesn’t tell the whole story.  Analytics are bandaids because we can’t watch our customers.
  • People don’t tell the whole story.  Identify who the users are, where the feedback are from.  Are they: paying/freeloaders? Using product in the intended way? Using main features? Early adopters / ‘tech fanatics’ (who are not likely to stay on a product for the long haul)?
  • Combine data and customer stories.  Customer feedback / feature suggestion usually leads from a deeper issue.  Find out what the actual problem is by understanding the underlying need.
  • Don’t lose track of your creative mind by getting lost in data rat-hole.  Don’t chase 1% when you can get 15%.  Not just A/B, but try something crazy.  Try big bold things along with incremental fine-tunes.

“Designing for Everyone: The Craft of Picking or Killing a Concept” –Miki Setlur, Product Designer, Evernote

  • Everyone use product in many different ways.  A useful strategy is to segment users into business, partners (e.g., app stores for Evernote’s case) and users.
  • Figure out what each segment cares the most about: Business / Partners – acquisition, retention, engagement, revenue.  Users – being faster, better, happier.
  • Case study on how Evenote’s design process stroke balance between business goals (monetizing) while being sensitive to user experience and goals (finding things faster).

Other relevant points 

How to access willingness to pay during pre-product interviews.  Get the first dollar within the trial period.  Provide clear value proposition from the get-go.

How to get good feedback.  Be specific in what feedback are you looking for.  Instead of asking in general ‘what do you think of the prototype’, ask whether they are confused on what stage, what was confusing.

Tips on prototyping. Put more emphasis on story telling than illustrating.
For remote testing, use keynote as prototyping tool, screencast the keynote.

On the tension between product vs. business goals in roadmapping a product.  Early stage products make sense to focus on product.  Once reached product market fit, it makes sense to lead with business goals such as, acquiring, converting, retention customers.
Also mentioned was a tool called Impact Mapping.

Read on:

About The Author

Michelle Sun is a product enthusiast and python developer.  She worked at Bump Technologies as a Product Data Analyst and graduated from the inaugural class of Hackbright Academy. Prior to Hackbright, she founded a mobile loyalty startup. She began her career as an investment research analyst. When she is not busy coding away these days, she enjoys blogging, practicing vinyasa yoga and reading about behavioral psychology. Follow her on Twitter at @michellelsun and her blog.