Explaining the Law of Conservation of Complexity

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”

The Benefits of Sweating the Details in Enterprise Applications

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Many companies today still run on legacy software, with old and outdated interfaces and user experiences that are lacking, to say the least.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”

Designer walking down a hallway carrying a back pack to go and see for themselves.

You’re Doing it Wrong if You Don’t Go and See For Yourself

There is nothing truer than Genchi Genbutsu (the Lean concept of “go and see” or “go and see for yourself”) and GOOB (Steve Blank’s wisdom to “Get Out of the Building,” and echoed in Lean Startup methodology).

Taiichi Ohno, one of the creators of the Toyota Production System, is credited as the originator of the concept of Genchi Genbutsu. According to Eric Ries in Lean Startup, when Lean practitioners in Japan were asked what was the most important principle of Lean, Genchi Genbutsu was cited over and over. Genchi Genbutsu is sometimes Westernized to “Get your boots on.”

Continue reading “You’re Doing it Wrong if You Don’t Go and See For Yourself”

Large cement cubes

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”