Just like consumers, employees ask questions and need answers to keep moving forward.

Like all companies this past year, our company suddenly became fully remote. Previously, we had offices in various geographies but this felt different. As a result of the the sudden shift in place, we lost the environments for organic knowledge transfer companies typically rely on for business continuity like conference rooms, water coolers and coffee breaks, lunch walks, and desk-to-desk dialog.

Meanwhile, we onboarded some new leadership which brought new perspectives to reconcile with the existing—now seemingly dated—organizational working models. The new perspectives brought new strategies as well as updates to existing strategies that 175 people were eager to learn…

Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels

How design connects sales and product teams to capitalize on market signal

Most product management articles describe how to improve product experiences in a business-to-consumer (B2C) context where there is a clear line of site and access to the end customer. But for many software companies, customer experiences are delivered in partnership with their clients and often as part of a larger service design experience. In those cases, access to the users is often limited for contractual or regulatory reasons and building trust to gain access to this type of information takes time. …

As perfect as your home set up may be, remote collaboration takes effort to stay engaged.

Remote meetings have become an essential part of a workflow for many enterprises over the past decade. But for some large traditional ones, although they have started to support and leverage remote meetings, there is still a strong onsite contingent.

Over the next few weeks to months, we will all be thrust into remote meetings as opposed to in person ones. Given the traditionally high volume of meetings that run big organizations and the possible network congestion they could result when going full remote, I wanted to offer some practices to consider for running the effective remote meetings.

The Anatomy of a Meeting

The best…

Agora Excavation (1973 and 1975) sections with grid lines in sections by John Travlos (1953–4)
Agora Excavation (1973 and 1975) sections with grid lines in sections by John Travlos (1953–4)
Agora Excavation (1973 and 1975) sections with grid lines in sections by John Travlos (1953–4)

Archeologists have a fascinating job. Their goal is to surface historical relics that help us learn something about culture and humanity.

To do this, they study the world in search of potential sites, prioritize them based on the value they might hold, and then set a course for the destination. On arrival, they methodically dig, clean, catalog, and ultimately present what they’ve found to an eager audience. And when they finish at one site, they go back to their list, find the next one, and go do it again.

If we imagine the evolving digital landscape as a museum for…

Every customer is on a journey. Understanding where you fit is critical to creating something they value. Photo by slon_dot_pics from Pexels

As consumerism grows and consumer technology advances in parallel, user expectations of the services in their lives continue to increase. For large institutions with significant investments in people, processes, procedures of a former era, turning the corner towards a human centered enterprise can prove challenging.

From as far back as the formation of IDEO and frogdesign, design thinking has been a strategic tool to help teams better understand the nature of the problem to be solved and the value a solution could bring. …

The largest gap between designers and developers acting as a single team has been at the intersections where “specifications become solutions”. The reason is that the two disciplines have not always had a shared understanding of key factors and constraints that drive the work. This incongruity between views and approaches further exacerbated retrenchment and distrust as each side has struggled with whether they were valued by “the other side.” We discovered that in order to fully embrace an integrated team framework, design teams and development teams needed a shared understanding of the new model of digital product delivery. …

Over the past couple decades, digital departments inside large organizations have steadily and organically grown. As the digital capabilities and platforms for information delivery expanded, these departments assembled by organizing the individuals initially recruited to handle the increasing requests for digital things to flank traditional campaign strategies into a cohesive team.

To support the ever-increasing intake, teams organized like agencies — creating project request forms, running programs, and delivering assets according to program timelines. …

User Centered Design (UCD) has had challenges integrating with agile development in a large corporate environment. I’ve found that this is due to a few things. First, projects often start with both designers and developers trying to begin work at the same time. Second, designers have trouble splitting time between building up the vision and locking down the details needed to implement the product in support of that vision. And third, designers struggle to adopt the agile philosophy because they see it as competitive or conflicting to their UCD training.

In The Definitive Guide to Integrating UX & Agile, UX…

The journey has become a fairly significant idea in corporations in the past few years. Many argue that the masterful use of the concept is what has resulted in the extreme growth of some of the worlds best corporations. While big organizations work to migrate from a world of traditional IT infrastructure built on capital expenditures, risk mitigation, and homogenous technology delivery to technology customer centered experiences, the journey of the customer has come squarely into focus as the way to do it. …

Originally published in interactions January + February 2008.
Reposted with permission.

Creativity is a leap of faith into unknown territory, and the key attribute of a creative problem solver is the ability to make the appropriate leaps. It is through a methodology — whether implicit or explicit — that a creative mind can navigate a problem space, know when to make a leap, and determine how that leap will aid in delivering a richer solution. But as defined, this event is a singular creative process. One person collects information, synthesizes it, and produces a creative result. …

Paul Burke

Chief Product & Technology Officer @ Sapphire Digital— focused on agility, iteration, and measurement to deliver better customer experiences.

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