July, 2011
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Innovation Suffocation

This morning I read an interesting article by Scott Anthony called “How Iteration-itis Kills Good Ideas” in which the author details an experience he had at a company whose system and culture were accidentally stifling creativity. “We never see any good ideas,” lamented a senior executive. “People bring us ideas. But they just don’t have any […]

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Practicing Critique: Insights from the Big (D)esign Conference

“Critique is a life skill, not a design skill,” Adam Connor asserted in his presentation “Discussing Design: The Art of Critique” at the Big (D)esign Conference. His session as well as the critique activities in Dana Chisnell and Jonathan Knoll’s workshop “Design and Critique for Challenging Problems” made me realize how misunderstood and unpracticed this skill […]

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Elements of Style: How to Elevate Your Online Video

The first movie I saw that wasn’t a cartoon was The 10 Commandments. I think I was about nine or 10. There were slaves, pharaohs, parting seas, and the bizarre yet compelling sight of Edward G. Robinson in a striped headcloth with an asp on his forehead snarling, “I give you a God of GOLD.” […]

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Spaghetti Sauce and Design for the End User

A friend of mine recently showed me an excellent TED talk by Malcolm Gladwell, the author of Blink, Outliers and Tipping Point. The insights in his books have always been entertaining and he has a great way of bringing data to life. In the video below, he recounts the story of a friend who, in his work as a psycho-physicist, uncovers […]

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Getting the right information on your web site

Just recently came across this comic and had to laugh. University web sites are notorious for not providing key information for their primary users. What’s on your home page, and is it the most relevant information for your audience or is it what your business wants to place there?

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How to Build a Tire Swing – A Case for Agile Development

According to the Project Management Institute, in 2007 61% of all “IT” projects failed or were halted before completion. In 2008, more than 75% of all projects exceeded budgets by 30%. All too frequently, IT projects fail to meet customer or user expectations. There are many risks inherent with creation in an enterprise IT environment: […]

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Big Design Conference Geek Cowboy Boot

Transforming User Experience

I attended the Big (D)esign Conference last week, and as with UPA 2011, I was inspired and challenged by the opening keynote, Transformational Space: The Power of Place. Gwen Harmon, Director of Governmental and Community Affairs for the National Civil Rights Museum, (NCRM) talked about the museum and plans for renovation to create a greater impact on […]

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IxD Strategy: A Closer Look at the Power of Storytelling

I’m a firm believer in the power of storytelling, for intentions good and ill. No disrespect to the masses of social media experts who think it’s passe to do anything but hand over the keys to your tweeting consumers, but if there is one thing history can teach us, it’s that we (as a whole) […]

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Think Outside the Box

Breaking Bias

We are so often asked to “think outside of the box” that the phrase has almost reached a cliché status. What does it really mean, and how can you train yourself to do it? The first step in changing your perception is to acknowledge your background and biases. Consider the following excerpts taken from Horace […]

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A Checklist for Great Call-to-Action Buttons

Tom Ross at Noupe.com wrote a great article about what makes a great call-to-action button on a website. As we all know, encouraging visitors to take the action we want them to take is vital to increasing conversions (leads/sales) and ultimately turning your site into a revenue driver for the business. I took Ross’s suggestions […]

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