Issue #14

This week has been mental! Making connections, talking to people and generating new ideas (while also
Issue #14
By Ross Chapman • Issue #14
This week has been mental! Making connections, talking to people and generating new ideas (while also challenging the old ones!). Design leadership and developing a strong design culture has been on my agenda this week, and judging by the articles I’ve read below, it has been on everyone elses!
“If the status quo came carbonated in a can, I’d shake things up.” - Jarod Kintz
UX designers, in fact any one in a business, has a responsibility to question the status quo. Otherwise, we’ll stagnate.  Design leadership is completely changing how businesses operate. Designers can be at the heart of a companies success.
Here’s to challenging the status quo!

UX Design
IBM have recognised that a strong design culture will strengthen their business. While its revenues are huge, the company’s quarterly reports have shown them steadily declining in the last two years. To get back on course, IBM is hiring more than 1,000 professional designers, and much of its management work force is being trained in design thinking. Design is now the strategy. Will it work?
Andrew Crow, previously Head of Design at Uber, says that there’s no such thing as minimal viable quality. Coming from the team that redesigned a global player, his thoughts resonate with me. Deliver small, but deliver quality - and keep delivering it!
Designers shouldn’t code. They should study business
Another design leadership article - yeah, it is a thing! When a company has a strong design culture, they are really understanding and improving how a business works. Look at Slack, Pocket and hotjar - these are the businesses that have put design at the heart of their mission statement. Here’s one view from Joshua Taylor. 
All About User Experience with Digital Hampshire Speaker Ross Chapman
I’m speaking at Digital Hampshire next week, sharing my UX design hacks that people can start using to establish more of a user-centred design culture in their respective companies. Organisers themediaflow asked me what attendees can expect next Wednesday. 
Design leaders answer: what’s the biggest problem in our industry?
Challenging the status-quo with our industry! InVision have started a design leadership series on their blog. With this post, they ask key people in the design industry what we could do better. Diversity is still an issue. Hire for fit and not just for skills. Good views here.
Andy Budd is on it this year! His latest article recognises that, while businesses have increasingly understood that user experience is important, the budgets haven’t changed. My experience of this is that some businesses want it, but don’t understand it and are then unwilling to accommodate it. It can sometimes be a box-ticking exercise! We’re half-way there and there’s more work to do. The problem, as Andy puts it, is “we need to up our effort getting that message across to the people commissioning digital services and setting budgets”.
User Research
Userzoom’s open research study reveals how and why customers make key decisions when using smartphones. Serena Mombelli talks about Research Goals, Methodologies and Key Findings. The full study can be downloaded here.
Chrissie Brodigan on user research at GitHub
Chrissie Brodigan, manager of user experience research at GitHub, talks about user research and product development and the blindspots in product development and organizational development. “I think the thing that people find the most interesting about how we do user research at GitHub is we, our team, our research team, uses GitHub to research.” “Dogfooding” ultimately leads to a better product, and I’m finding a number of companies do this, including hotjar.
UX in eCommerce
Plenty of ideas to test with here. Some of the biggest names are the worst offenders. From not knowing if anything is in the cart (Apple), to overwhelming the user with promotions (Target). As designers, we have to convince the powers-that-be to try these things and measure the result. I leave that challenge to you!
Shopping cart design and usability
I’ve said it before. Cart abandonment is the biggest issue facing online retailers and it usually starts falling at the shopping cart. Letting users easily remove items might sound mad, but making it easier to buy at least something is more important than not at all. The number 1 issue on the shopping cart is that customers get a surprise (usually the cost of all their items). Make it easier!
Improving conversion rates with better A/B tests
Conversion optimization with A/B testing requires a methodology and a repeatable process. UX Strategist Craig Kistler explains how to do it.
Slack as a Platform is growing. Loving this plugin to Slack. Standup Bot makes Standups happen over Slack. Watch the video for more.
A UX Designer’s Review of iPad Pro
“Steve Jobs once said if you see a stylus they blew it. Yeah they blew it… right out of the water.” I think the iPad Pro could be a great tool for user experience design. My birthday is in July. kthanxbi.
The Inside Story of Uber's Radical Rebranding
I mentioned Uber earlier. Here’s the Wired article about how the redesign came about, about the bits and the atoms. What I find fascinating is that, when they put out the call to design agencies, none of the “got” what they were trying to achieve. I thought we were past the point of agencies doing what they wanted for their portfolio and instead understanding the client! Hay-ho - a good read. Inspiration can come from anywhere - and in Uber’s case, one of the designer’s bathrooms!
We need to talk about Linkedin
I use LinkedIn. Not so much for job hunting, but for conversations. But there’s an awful lot of rubbish on there - the photo with the path, the MVP illustration using the car - it’s sending out the wrong signals. Mat Venn shares his experience of trying (and failing), to find a job on LinkedIn.
Thanks for reading!
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Ross Chapman
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