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Sticky Notes, Walls and Whiteboards: When to Use Low-Fi Methods

In the age of hi-fi tools, low-fi tools still have their place and a very important place. But when should you go with low-fi? Here are some insights. Team Involvement When team participation is needed low-fi methods are almost always the best. Everyone can relate to and use a whiteboard, markers and sticky notes. Also, with low-fi tools people can easily work together or in teams. This creates a productive chemistry
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Two Types of Design Thinking You Need

Most design thinking can be thought of as either Top Down or Bottom Up. But what’s the difference? Why is each important? And what are the strengths and weaknesses of each approach? Top Down thinking is goal driven. For example, if you were designing a house, a Top Down approach would be to consider the number of rooms, the type of rooms and the overall style. Top Down thinking deals with solving the critical side of
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Agile in FDA Regulated Medical Software – Functional Testing vs Technical Testing

Testing is a crucial part of all software development. If you don’t believe this you are likely just starting your career or haven’t had to support an application in production with users.  It becomes doubly important in regulated environments like the ones for medical devices. This is because testing for regulated software serves multiple purposes. There is the usual software product development reasons
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A Simple Way to Use Aspirational Thinking to Elevate Your Product Design

Your desire is to make a great product. Or take an existing product to the next level. It’s great to have the intention, but how do you put that intention into motion? Here is a simple exercise that you can try. Instead of thinking of the details of what might improve your product, simply consider your product as an “environment” or a place people go to get some kind of value. Try filling in the following sentences:
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Use “Made to Stick” Principles to Improve Your Product Design

For anyone involved in product design, I highly recommend the book Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. The book does a great job of explaining 6 principles that characterize products that “stick” in the minds of customers. The principles are: Simple Unexpected Concrete Credible Emotional Stories For product designers, these principles are great tools for improving your product design. Much of what makes a desi
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Designing Mobile Apps Using Quick Scale Prototypes

Mobile apps need to be designed and tested to scale to avoid surprises when actual human hands start operating the app. Designs crafted or presented on large monitors can be deceiving, because it’s hard to think in terms of two scales at the same time. Better to work at scale, and if possible even view key screens and simple prototypes on the device itself. Following are some simple techniques for designing and testi
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Quick and Realistic Lauching of Mobile Apps

photo credit: Robert Bejil Photography Those who are out there designing and building mobile apps know there are certain tenants that are uniquely mobile. Successful mobile apps need to be user task centered, make allowances for users who are distracted and they need to be engaging. This requires considerable skill and effort from a designer. In addition, you will need a team of developers who can make the design rea
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Help Restaurants Create Better Websites!

[note: when you see a painful restaurant website, can you please send them a link to this post or copy and email this to them? It is in all of our best interests that we get better restaurant sites. Thanks!] Dear Restauranteur, We realize that as an entrepreneur you wear a lot of hats, but you probably aren’t a web professional. So, we would like to humbly give you some advice to improve the web experience for
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If You Want to Create Great Products, Get Inside Steve's Brain

If you want to create and innovate like Steve Jobs, Leander Kahney’s book Inside Steve’s Brain is a must read. Jobs’ vision and passion is iconic in the design and technology industry, but this book delves into aspects of design and the technology industry that are often not talked about in concrete terms. For example, one chapter covers where innovation comes from. For Jobs it grows from a passion
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Designing for Touch: The Science of Tap vs. Click

We know intuitively designing for a touch interface is different than a mouse driven interface. But why are they different? Let’s wrap a little bit of science around these two worlds. Both interfaces, tap or click, use the same three basic cognitive functions. Seeing, locating and acting. In the mouse world, a user sees an item of interest on the screen, locates the mouse to that item and then clicks. In the touch wo
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