How Getting Out of the Building Expands our Perspective

“A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world.” So wrote John le Carré, the famed British spy novelist, in his 1977 novel The Honourable Schoolboy. It’s a sentiment that applies to international espionage, certainly—and also to a product team’s work as managers, makers, and designers of great digital products. A product team can be tempted to make decisions about priorities and functionality from the comfort of…

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The Web is Written

Think of the verbs we use when describing the work we do on digital products: develop, design, code, manage, test, release, launch, support. You’ll note, though, that we don’t often say that we write web sites or apps.  “I write web sites” isn’t a sentence we hear nearly as often as, say, “I design web sites.” But writing well—that is, carefully choosing and assembling the words in our UI—is one…

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Sketching as Work

Earlier this week I led a group of Product, Technology, and Experience pros through a lengthy session to plan some challenging work to unify a diverse product portfolio. Several weeks ago, another group and I planned ways to improve an important business challenge: increasing renewals for a critical product line. In both sessions, I asked the teams to do something that might have seemed frivolous: I asked them to draw…

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