Unleash Your Visual Superpower!

From start-ups to banks, design has never been more central to business. Yet at conference after conference, I meet designers at firms talking about their struggle for influence. Why is that fabled “seat at the table” so hard to find, and how can designers get a chair? Designers yearn for a world where companies depend on their ideas but usually work in a world where design is just one voice. In-house designers often have to advocate for design priorities versus

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Plateaus are Harder Than Mountains

Bold claims have been made about applying “big data” to solve the world’s problems, from health (Fitbit) to saving energy (Nest). Data is all around us, appearing in slick devices and colorful dashboards, yet focusing on the technology can cause us to miss the people who have to use it. Our job as designers is to communicate information. A clean design with big numbers and charts looks good, but how can we make sure people actually understand the data? Designing

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Building the In-house Design Agency

The first article discussed the pros and cons of different UX team structures. For companies that depend on user experience for business success, a strong internal team is essential. But how do you get there from here? Having built one UX group from scratch and managed another 230+ person internal UX groups, I’ve learned a few tips, often the hard way, that can help. Making the case The hardest part of building an in-house design agency is answering the basic

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Soldiers & Hessians, Ronin & Ninja

When UX’ers talk, they tend to talk about process, but the ability to deliver an innovative user experience starts before kickoff and lasts after the launch. Repeatable success in UX depends on the right culture. This is particularly important in enterprise scale organizations, with long-lasting relationships. Having worked as a consultant, at an agency and in-house, I’ve observed that the organizational location and economics of the user experience team can make or break them. When should you bring in an

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