good product management

I recently started Stanford Online’s PM course, and one of the first pre-readings assigned was a blog post by Ben Horowitz, Good PM / Bad PM. It’s an old post, but you can find several more recent attempts (not by Ben Horowitz) that riff on the same core ideas. There are a few ideas I […]

screening research participants

tl;dr know which participants you need to conduct research that generates value and design screeners to ensure that you get them. We recently finished a round of interviews designed to put ourselves in a position to explain how experienced middle school teachers select literary texts to use in their ELA curricula. We recruited people through […]

reflection improves communication

tl;dr If you’re not reflecting on your product practices, then you’re going to have a hard time improving them. Today I reflect some more on communication. When you’re the communicator, you have the power to establish a clear frame of reference for your audience in order to minimize the possibility of misunderstanding, accurately convey research […]

recruiting ux research participants

tl;dr If you need research participants, you’re on a tight deadline to collect data, and you’ve exhausted your personal network(s), including current users of your product, then here are two suggestions that produced decent results for me: (1) get stakeholder buy in so that you can offer good incentives and (2) expand your participant pool […]

GroupMe Projects

For the final project in my undergrad human-centered design class this year, I gave students a design brief focused on GroupMe. The challenge was broad, and the deliverables were diverse and interesting. In addition to generating presentations, I asked students to create one-sheets showcasing their projects. One of the teams (David Lu, Alex Yun, Kevin […]

human-centered design education

I piloted an in-class activity with my human-centered design class today. In preparation for class, students read Don Norman’s essay, Human-Centered Design Considered Harmful. Then, in class, I presented them with the following brief: Using Adobe Photoshop, create a one-sheet explaining/describing the main principles of human-centered design to non-designers. Export the one-sheet as a PDF […]

Reading

James Baldwin is a wonderful writer. I’m working my way slowly through The Fire Next Time, and the following passage just punched me in the chest: Here was the South Side – a million in captivity – stretching from this doorstep as far as the eye could see. Ands they didn’t even read; depressed populations […]

Writing Personal, Authentic Text

I help lots of folks write personal statements, research statements, grant proposals, letters of intent, etc. I enjoy it quite a lot. But more often than not, the first draft that’s brought to me lacks personality and authenticity. If 500 submissions come in, this one is going to sound like 479 of ’em. There is a lot of writing […]

Demarcating Design Research

I’ve been thinking over these last few days about just what we mean when we say “design research.” Does saying we do design research or that we are design researchers imply that we do a different kind of research? Does it mean that as design researchers we make a unique intellectual contribution to the realms of […]

Knowledge Claims in Design Research

One of my summer research projects has to do with knowledge claims in design research publications. The question stems from an interest in understanding the similarities and differences between how knowledge claims are formulated in design research publications as opposed to natural and/or social scientific research. One would expect there to be some overlap as […]