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Design

Our observations and strategies for effective product design.

June 15, 2016

8 Tech Company Postmortems & How to Avoid the Same Fate

Poor business or product strategy can affect all types of companies. It's not just limited to starry-eyed startups, nor are tried-and-true brands safe from it. The reality is that, across all industries, somewhere between 25 and 45 percent of products fail. Of course, it’s tough for business leaders to foresee every snag their company might encounter. While hindsight is 20/20, some of these missteps may have been avoidable. Here are eight instances where some very well-funded products were forced to shutter.

May 26, 2016

10 Tips for Successful Design Sprints

How do you shop for coffee? That’s the question Blue Bottle Coffee — a portfolio company of Google Ventures — began its design sprint with. While the micro-roasting startup had made a name for itself in the California and New York coffee scenes by 2013, its web presence needed work. To sprint its way to a better site, it brought in Google Ventures and Montreal-based design agency Dynamo. Blue Bottle’s most interesting finding? Contrary to expectations, the sprint helped it realize consumers don’t purchase coffee based on its origin; consumers care about preparation. In just five days, the consultants helped Blue Bottle prototype a beautiful new website engineered to help customers decide on coffee suited to their brewing preferences.

May 16, 2016

Hey Siri, What's a Conversational User Interface?

“What’s the best steakhouse in Chicago? Could you make me a reservation for a date this evening?” “Certainly. I’ll find a great steakhouse near you and get a table for two.” This conversation was not between an out-of-town visitor and a hotel concierge, it was a conversation with a computer. Welcome to the future of product design: the conversational user interface.

March 22, 2016

Paper or Plastic — Google Cardboard & Oculus Rift

As a product designer focused on user experience, I've had the ability to witness the evolution of two of the newest virtual reality devices: Google Cardboard and Oculus Rift. The verdict? Both offer engaging VR experiences that highlight key differences in product design from parent companies Google and Facebook.

February 08, 2016

The Secret to Knowing What a Client Is Thinking? Empathy Maps

No matter how innovative or delightful a product is, it's useless without users. Unless the entire team understands how and why users might want the app, it won't get much traction among its audience.