Working in both user experience and product management, we see patterns form around our work and interactions with others. One such pattern is that simplifying a system for users often means moving the complexity to another part of the system. When removing user complexity, that complexity will not be removed from the system but will move from users to the development team.
As a product manager, this becomes crystal clear when you are standing between a user experience designer and an engineer, both looking to you to decide if moving complexity from the user to the system is worth a week or more of the development team’s time. Continue reading “Explaining the Law of Conservation of Complexity”
Ease of use has become the hallmark of a well-designed app. Whether a consumer mobile app or a SaaS product targeted at businesses, we expect our software to be easy to use—with one possible exception. Some believe the enterprise applications that many businesses run on are exempt, not requiring a strong user experience.
Many companies today still run on legacy software, with old and outdated interfaces and user experiences that are lacking, to say the least.
Continue reading “The Benefits of Sweating the Details in Enterprise Applications”
I am very excited to announce that I launched a new digital product and brand strategy/design practice called Humanist.
Humanist is a strategy and design practice born in Brooklyn with a focus on building awesome digital products and branding. Humanist is passionate about building products people want and brands they connect with.
You can find my newest posts on Humanist.co/blog
Continue reading “Announcing Humanist”
During a recent workshop with the awesome Rich Mironov (author of The Art of Product Management), Rich had everyone at the workshop do a simple and quick exercise that clearly shows the cost of context switching.
It is amazing, but there are still people who believe they can do it all by multitasking, even though multiple studies show this is not the case. Humans simply do not multitask well.
I knew a designer that complained about a developer who focused on tasks in a linear order. The designer wanted the developer to multitask. The problem is that constantly context switching as the designer wanted would have slowed the developer down, but seeing smaller bits of progress across a portfolio of tasks gave the designer a sense that more work was being accomplished.
Unfortunately, the designer had it wrong. Psychiatrist Edward M. Hallowell even goes so far as to describe multitasking as a “mythical activity in which people believe they can perform two or more tasks simultaneously as effectively as one.” Worse, our work days are now a constant stream of interruption, and it takes the brain about 10 to 15 minutes to recover from interruptions. That is a lot of lost productivity. This one reason why some believe open floor plans are detrimental to productivity.
Don’t believe it? Think you can truly multitask? Take the challenge and find out.
Continue reading “The Cost of Context Switching”