ARCHIVE: February, 2013

3 Rules of Rapid Prototyping

Tom Chi, formerly of Google, gives a short but insightful talk on how they prototyped early versions of Google Glass (kind of awesome website). He shares three rules for rapid prototyping: Find the quickest path to experience. Doing is the best kind of thinking. Use materials that move at the speed of thought to maximize […]

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How VC money can change your product

Josh Williams, founder of Gowalla, has written Play by your own rules., which offers many insights on the Foursquare vs. Gowalla wars. Williams describes how Gowalla got sucked into a “check-in” war with foursquare after raising VC money and so were playing a game they didn’t want to play. The check-in wars redefined Gowalla’s product…they […]

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Are UI walkthroughs bad for learnability?

Max Rudberg has written a nice piece on UI walkthroughs, those special sequences of screens often created for first-time use. (note that the headline “If you see a UI walkthrough, they blew it” isn’t quite what Max is saying) His advice is right on: “When it comes to teaching users to use your UIs, I […]

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What you should really copy from Apple

Instead of copying Apple’s physical products, other companies would be better off copying their unusual commitment to quality.

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The real cost of adding features

Great piece by our HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah on the cost of adding features. He hits the nail on the head on many of the reasons why features are added…they’re seen as table stakes, a competitor is adding them, or there is a feeling that they’ll add bottom-line revenue. In truth it’s hard to know […]

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Don’t design blindly

Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, recently tweeted something that I like: ‘Innovation is hard because “solving problems people didn’t know they had” and “building something no one needs” look identical at first.’ This is true, and a real cause for so many of the products that get built that shouldn’t have. But it doesn’t have […]

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The Apple iWatch

Some intriguing thoughts on a possible Apple iWatch from Bruce Tognazzini. Lots of good ideas in here, plus my favorite bit, the paradox of the “huge problem”: “A problem that feels sufficiently insurmountable will appear the product of natural law, to be accepted rather than challenged.” It seems to me that breaking this paradox is […]

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Progressive Reduction

A thoughtful post from Allan over at Layervault, Progressive Reduction touches on the issue I brought up in Labels always win last week. Progressive reduction is a design technique in which you reduce interface elements over time as people use the app more. (with usage assuming familiarity). An interesting concept, to be sure. My guess […]

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Labels always win.

In the battle of clarity between icons and labels, labels always win.

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