Photo from my colleague Yasmine Molavi’s sketching workshop
You’re starting a company. You’re so full of ideas that you have three PowerPoint decks! Wowza! You have a couple co-founders or maybe even an employee. If only your team had some engineers to build the product…
There are many, many important things you can do to give your product momentum before you build any software. Even if you have engineers, your team can (and should) do some of these activities in parallel to engage your audience, strengthen your product and beat out competitors. It’s important that the founders lead these activities because no one cares about the success of your company more than you.
This post covers finding customers, getting your brand and web presence started and how to get your product off the ground. The two most important things a founder can do is find their customers and establish channels for them to find you. I’ve helped to launch over forty websites and apps in my career. The ones that are successful had a growing list of interested customers (or an existing customer database) before launch. Continue reading …
Great communication is at the heart of a great team with the free and clear exchange of ideas flowing between design, development, and product. However, we’ve all had moments where the team gets “blocked” on a design; some members struggling putting their thoughts into words, others feel they have to provide high quality comps, while others remain silent feeling they don’t have the skill or place to contribute.
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Silicon Beach Fest is coming up next week! If you’re in Los Angeles or can travel there, get your tickets before they’re gone. (Note: open the design guide for a special discount) Carbon Five is involved in the Design Track and we’d love to see you there. The Design Track takes place next Friday, June 26th at the Marina del Rey Hotel.
For those of you who haven’t been, Silicon Beach Fest (SBF) is a conference based in LA focused on entrepreneurship and technology. The last few years it has drawn more than 2,000 attendees and media attention, most notably from the New York Times and TechCrunch. SBF has helped countless founders, designers and technologists find support in the form of advice, teams and services.
Join us for the Design Track on Friday for: Continue reading …
I gave this talk at Kluge’s Evenings at the Loft on March 20, 2015. The theme of the event was Aesthetics. Skot Carruth and Jeremy Mumenthaler also spoke. Video is forthcoming. Special thanks to Arturo and Cameron at Kluge and to David and Courtney at Carbon Five for helping me shape this.
My background is in filmic set design. I started in film school, ended with a degree in Visual Art and Art History and spent a brief period of time in architecture school. Given my background in physical design, when I started thinking about the theme of aesthetics, I couldn’t restrict myself to screens.
This is my vision for user experience design, leaping off from aesthetics as a starting point.
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A couple of months ago I did a lightning talk at Kluge’s Evenings at the Loft sharing my ideal design process checklist. Here are my hand-drawn slides and notes:
In an ideal world all of these steps would happen on every project. Realistically, there is usually only time for some of them. The key is to be adaptable: realistic with the time given to you, and strategic about your choices.
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The gateway to a more uniform experience
For those of you that make decisions based on hierarchy, composition, and usability (read Designers) Apple gave us a great tool without even knowing it.
tl;dr: Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Grayscale: On. Continue reading …
Chris Egy Rose and Patty Chang came to Carbon Five in spring of 2012 with an exciting new concept around facilitating human interaction and connected learning. The idea was to allow young people to connect with their friends, classmates and families through face-to-face interactions and a shared canvas. The interactive canvas overlay allows participants to use simple tools to create and draw with one another. The initial ten-week engagement happily turned into a rewarding long term partnership that shepherded the product and team through many iterations over many months, resulting in an outstanding, feature rich set of products.
Scoot & Doodle’s Scoodle Jam is featured in the Education section of the app store.
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All the programmers around me seem to have very strong opinions about functional programming. The Internet certainly loves to talk about it. Some of the concepts are interesting – but many of them (at first) don’t seem to apply for those of us writing database-fronting web applications. What can we apply from a world in which side effects are shunned if the majority of what our application is doing is getting stuff out of a database for display on a web page?
In this article, I’ll share some of the lessons I’ve learned writing programs in a functional style using other languages and how these lessons apply to problems of testability, predictability, and parallelism in the regular ‘ole web application code we’re writing today. I’ll show you how you can increase the quality of your existing application by introducing stateless functions that interact with the state-manipulating stuff you’re already familiar with (and have already written). This article is geared towards web application development in the real world; don’t fret, the word “monad” does not appear anywhere on this page. Continue reading …
Last night I had the opportunity to do a dry run of my talk for the Flowcon conference coming up this November 1st at the Lean UX SF Meetup. The event was hosted at WeWork which has a beautiful office conveniently right around the corner from ours. Thanks to great promotion by Mike Long and Niley Barros, we had a sell-out crowd which at one point resulted in a line out the door. The folks from WeWork and the Flowcon conference, which was sponsoring the Meetup, were incredibly helpful and accommodating and we packed everyone in that we could fit.
Getting in front of a room that crowded had me battling quite a few nervous jitters but the friendly, enthusiastic faces in the crowd brought a ton of great energy. By the end of the night I realized how inspiring it can be just sharing stories with people about the work that we are all doing. I know that personally it always serves to refocus my efforts and ensure I’m on top of my discipline going into work the next day.
The slides for the talk are up on the Carbon Five Slideshare account:
Mixing Lean UX & Agile Development
Thanks to everyone that came and for all of your questions and helpful feedback. Really excited for the FlowCon conference on November 1st followed up by Balanced Team November 2nd and 3rd.