Making Magic: Aligning Design and Engineering

When engineers and designers team up, magic can happen. Everyone on the team is more engaged. User research findings and usability testing results are shared with everyone. Engineers are invited to walk-throughs of early designs and asked for feedback and input. Designers become aware of technology constraints and the structure of data that can be surfaced from the system to users. And a whole lot more—meaning good ideas and thinking are spreading throughout the team to help build an awesome product for users.

Unfortunately, in some companies, the engineering and design teams are siloed from each other. Whether the separation was planned or occurred organically, the consequences are the same. Morale, efficiency, and in the end, the product will suffer. How do you align design and engineering teams into a unified product team?

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Why UX Needs the Debate Experience

If you haven’t heard, there is now a UX Debate Club in New York. This freshly minted Meetup group has already had its first meeting and planning is underway for more. But you may be wondering do we really need a UX debate club? What is there to debate about User Experience? Is there even anything debatable about UX? And those are all fair questions that I will address. Continue reading “Why UX Needs the Debate Experience”

Mechanical pencil laying on sheet of paper with chart comparing various options.

Embracing the Test: How to Make a Pilot Campaign Pay Off

If you are on the agency or ad tech side, you are familiar with the “pilot campaign.” We’ve all gotten requests to test the waters with our products and services before engaging in a full campaign or longer term commitment. Marketers often request tests as a means to compare vendors or to try out new technologies and media they view as unproven. The pilot is a necessary step, but without proper planning, it will yield results that muddy the waters on the best ways to move forward or maximize KPIs. Frequently, the proposed campaign length or spend allocation is too light to evaluate significance, or too little attention is given to defining what the key metrics of success will be.

Running a test that is not well thought out, too small, or lacking clear goals is an inefficient use of time, energy and dollars. It’s a waste for the marketer, agency and supplier. So, how do you run a test that is worth everybody’s time and resources? Perhaps the best way is to start by recognizing that pilots are an investment in a learning opportunity and not just a box to check. Additionally, creating a truly educational and beneficial pilot requires upfront investment—nothing ventured, nothing gained for anyone. Read the full post on The Makegood