Measuring usage with a Taguchi signal/noise ratio
Bob's been slowly schooling me in Taguchi methods over the last couple years. I'm starting to make some small steps towards applying them to software projects.
My favorite so far is the signal/noise metric. Here's how I understand it so far.
Shaping with pattern languages
I'm re-reading Battle by Christopher Alexander. It shows the exact steps he took to design and build the Eishin Campus in Japan.
I feel like a student in a master class when I'm reading this. The phases he went through map very well to Shape Up
Shaping on the demand side
One day, back in April, I was shaping some work for Basecamp 4 (the next version of Basecamp that we're planning to build next year).
At 4:00 p.m. I got an alert from Basecamp's Automated Check-in, asking: "What have you worked on?"
Unfolding the interrelationship diagram
A while back, I learned this technique from Bob.
Sometimes I'm working on a design problem, and there are too many things to solve. They all seem tangled together, and I don't know where to start. I'm afraid that if I start on the
Christopher Alexander: A Primer
Christopher Alexander’s work is hard to get into. He’s written over 15 books, and there isn't one that serves as a general intro or overview for the rest.
In this livestream, I gave an informal introduction to what I think are the most important ideas in
Interview with Adam Wathan
I interviewed Adam Wathan about how his team adopted Shape Up and answered some questions.
Analytics apps don't tell you much about usage behavior. You might be able to see how many users performed an event, or how many times they did it. But none of the analytics packages out there are good at showing you how often people do things. Are they
Products Are Functions
Products are easier to reason about when you think of them as functions. They transform an input situation into an output situation.
This lets you describe what the product does as a transformation of the user's circumstance instead of a bundle of features.
How a product is like
Mind the Product, SF: Product Development Tools
A first look at breadboarding and decomposing a project into scopes. It was a blast to share the stage with Kathy Sierra.
Vital Elements of the Product Design Process
Product design can look like magic. When I started doing it ten years ago, the small team I worked on made decisions intuitively. There was no system and it worked fine. But as the company grew, I found myself unblocking teams and diagnosing problems. When I saw patterns repeating themselves
What UI really is (and how UX confuses matters)
People mix the terms UI and UX together. UX is tricky because it doesn’t refer to any one thing. Interface design, visual styling, code performance, uptime, and feature set all contribute to the user’s “experience.” Books on UX further complicate matters by including research methods and development methodologies.
UI and Capability
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with details when you’re designing a UI. That’s why I try to keep hold of which things “really matter” and continually come back to them. In a software tool, the important things are the capabilities you give your users.
People use your
Managing Product Development by Integrating Around Concerns
I’ve been asked to explain my approach to managing product development. This topic applies to individual designers and programmers as much as managers. The goal is not to take what we already do and do it faster or more efficiently. The goal is to have more information and flexibility
Thinking of interfaces as sets of jobs
What is at the core of an interface design? I think of the design not as a collection of screens or buttons or pixels, but as a collection of jobs that the user wants to do. In this article I want to give you a feeling for how to think
Future of Web Apps, London
Here's a talk I gave at Future of Web Apps 2010 in London. I I walk through the steps of creating a web app including modeling, sketching, HTML, Photoshop explorations, and moving from static mockups to live running code. Each step is illustrated with a real example, including
Designing with Forces: How to Apply Christopher Alexander in Everyday Work
I gave this talk at the School of Visual Arts in NYC as part of the MFA Interaction Design program.
An Introduction to Using Patterns in Web Design
The biggest challenge for web designers is the unthinkably huge number of possible ways to solve any given problem. We usually don't think of this because we have our habits and traditions to fall back on, but there are literally billions of possible pixel combinations for each page