Experiment-Driven Design Process

By on in Design, Process

So you want to grow your product? That’s super awesome. Growth is often a goal that startups rush towards. 

“We need 100,000 monthly active users yesterday.” – random startup person 

Growth can mean a lot of things. Maybe you’re trying to grow the number of users, or increase time spent using your product. Whatever it is, growth usually means moving metrics. But meeting your growth goal takes a very meticulous and strategic design process. You need to try out ideas and see what actually works. In this article, I am going to share how to set up a successful experiment-driven design process that can help you identify the features and changes to grow your product. Let’s grow!

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Approaching Gender in Software Products

By on in Design, Everything Else, User Research

It is a delight to use software that seems to really ‘get’ you as a person! To achieve this, it requires that the software has been built by people who sought out to understand their users. When software isn’t built with its users in mind, it has the potential to leave its users feeling alienated. In this post, we’ll be exploring a seemingly simple item we often put on forms that is very easy to get wrong: the gender field.

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Adjusting to TypeScript 101

By on in Development

Super Simple Hacks While You’re Figuring Out Your Workflow

There are a lot of really great reasons to use TypeScript, but we’ve occasionally encountered some hesitancy from programmers not sure how much of an adjustment it will be. Learning Typescript is not as complicated as say learning Elm and I’d argue it’s more enjoyable to use than Flow. But the hesitancy is understandable. Many front-end developers have learned JavaScript and Ruby or Python, but have not had to dig into typed languages. Learning to program with types and think about your type system in advance can elevate your programming style and eventually be easier than not using types. However, there are many different ways to be good at programming, and I have seen a range of programming styles that might make the learning curve of TypeScript steeper. Everyone eventually adjusts to TypeScript on their own and most come to love it. From those of us who have already made the change, here are some super simple tips and hacks while you’re getting your sea legs in TypeScript.

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Build Trust and Confidence with Frequent Demos

By on in Development

Part of our approach to software development at Carbon Five is to ensure everyone is playing with the same dictionary. The start-of-project questions we all ask are common: What are the success metrics for our stakeholders? Will our customers dislike our product? But words like “success” and “dislike,” “good” and “bad” are all personal words. What they mean will change project-to-project, and even person-to-person.

It’s a common assumption that users and stakeholders know their needs, and can easily voice them. But if a stakeholder has gone through the daunting process of signing with a new team, they may well be looking to that team to define those needs for them. How do we do that?

While it’s not a match for every project, consider adding a demo to the end of your iterations — a scary proposition, but that’s the point. When done right, the benefits of regular demos are massive.

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How to Be Data Driven with Product – SF Talk Night Recap

By on in Events, Product Management, San Francisco

Carbon Five San Francisco hosted Product Talk Night to discuss the importance of being data-driven in software development and product management.

Allie O’Connell, Senior Product Manager from Carbon Five Chattanooga, discussed her personal experiences with product analytics and shared insights on how to effectively align product success metrics with overall business goals.

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Taming Technical Debt

By on in Development

You, fellow software engineer, have probably felt the same as I have: while coding some big feature, you find a thing that is inefficient, unreadable, deprecated, confusing, or just buggy. Maybe it’s not bad code at all — you just realize that several packages are out of date, or your framework needs to be upgraded. You roll your eyes, you sigh, and you think, “Ugh, this has got to be fixed.” It’s technical debt.

You may also have experienced this: you go to your manager, or your project manager, and complain about the Technical Debt. “We really need to upgrade to Rails 5!”  Yet you can’t seem to get the go-ahead to fix it. “We have a hard deadline!” “We don’t have time for that!” they say.

Those in charge insist you have more important things to do. How do we convince them otherwise?

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NYC Design Mentor Night Recap

By on in Design, Events

On Wednesday night, designers and design lovers from all over NYC gathered at Carbon Five SoHo to receive career guidance, feedback, and insights from five senior designers. The evening kicked off with a Q&A with our panelists:

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