Notes From the Future Desk - October


Natalie Miller

on 11/1/2016

This month we’re circling back to our digital strategists, Ben and Corinne, for tools of the trade, some advice about priorities, and an overview of this year’s Midwest UX Conference.



Week 1: Balsamiq, but not the kind that will taste good on your salad

When it comes to initial collaboration on wireframes, nothing beats a big ol’ white board. However, those aren’t very easy to share with the dev and design teams, or the client for that matter. That’s when we turn to

Week 2: Priorities!

If there is a trick that I have that consistently works when doing project management or product design – it’s to set things in order by priority. This seems like a small and obvious thing, but I guarantee the next argument you see when designing something is because the team doesn’t have it’s priorities in sync. This could be goals by importance, users by revenue, functionality by difficulty, tasks by need-for-focus, whatever. If you don’t know what’s important, nothing is important. Decisions are way easier after this is done. –

Week 3: SEMrush

Week 4: Midwest UX Conference in Louisville! (#MWUX16)

This last weekend (Oct 20-22), Louisville hosted

  • Laban Movement for Designers was a physical workshop by Scott Sullivan and Erik Dahl opened my eyes to a great framework to describe interactions – you know, like “this button seems too heavy” or “the scroll action on this is too touchy.” Laban Movement Analysis gives you a framework to explain this.
  • Janice Fraser’s Keynote on lean startup hit me when she said “Pivotal Labs has zero project managers” – only client managers, UX/creative folks and devs. It’s a self-organizing team structure.
  • The Human-Centered Design Panel at Forest Giant not only made me jealous of their amazing office space but struck home these important points:
    • Empathy in design is critical (you are not your user)
    • Care less about user preference, care more about user performance
    • If they do their task correctly they will be happy and they will use the app more
  • I need to take a closer look at the work that Chris Avore and NASDAQ are doing for user research here:
  • And finally: I’m never going to another conference that does not give me access to a Slack channel for the conference.



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Joe: “I hang up on the Red Cross because they always call me about blood at the most inconvenient times.” Mark: “Things a secret vampire would say.”

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