Issue #22

Apple famously doesn't use focus groups. Why? Probably because focus groups tell you what you want to
Issue #22
By Ross Chapman • Issue #22
Apple famously doesn’t use focus groups. Why? Probably because focus groups tell you what you want to hear. Steve Jobs said “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Journalists were quick to say that he didn’t listen to customers and even Apple’s own team said that they didn’t test. 
So what do they do instead? They’re bold. They cut features and iterate on what’s core to a product or service. 
This issue is about how design can be bold and how widely-held notions can be flipped - I hope you enjoy it.
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UX Design
UX designers need to be bold
UX designers need to be bold
“The best advice I can give to UX designers is to make bold choices. Make choices for your users. Leave lots of stuff out, and don’t be afraid of reading an angry review demanding feature X to be added to your product ASAP. You want your product to be user-friendly and pleasant to use? Make bold choices, and believe in them.” Really useful (against the trend) advice from Bram Bos. Delivering less and improving rapidly also help.
Design doesn't deserve a seat at the table
Jon Schlossberg takes the subject of business and discusses the role of design within it. “We have to be reminded that business is about creating value. Because most of us are doing it wrong.”
WeWork UX
The vision of WeWork’s UX group is to become the leader in design thinking for work and living communities. Follow as their story unfolds on their YouTube channel!
User Research
To understand user needs, it is useful to define their experiences. In people’s minds, services exist and take form in specific clusters. Once we understand those needs, we can backwards engineer solutions that meet them. Livework Intelligence, a service design company, share their insights on designing for experiences.
How to do user research the right way
Most businesses know they should be doing user research, so what’s stopping them? Maybe they don’t know what to ask, how to conduct and what to do with that information. Amit Somani talks about how to get user research done. A key takeaway: Ask open-ended, non-leading questions.
How a non-intuitive user interface can create a great user experience
Following the be bold theme, David Ismailov talks about how learning experiences can move us forward. “Finding the right balance between the familiar and the unique is part art and part science. Objective testing methods can help you find the right balance.”
UX in eCommerce
With Shopify, Magento and other platforms, setting up a shop today is easy, but when the barrier to entry is so low, it means that the market can clutter very quickly. That’s where customer acquisition and retention comes in, leading to understanding their motives and needs. A really useful piece from Nic Haralambous, founder of Nic Harry.
Best advice I ever got about eCommerce that changed everything
Another Medium post! “I met this man, who was in his late 50s, accidentally while visiting San Francisco. It turned out that he is a super experienced eCommerce professional who owns now 19 online stores across the US and 6 stores in the UK.” Anthony Baksys, co-founder @Apter_io and @SearchNode shares the tips he learned from an un-named entrepreneur. TL:DR Be patient, listen to your customers and share a story.
Ecommerce drives House of Fraser sales growth
While fashion house Burberry is feeling the pressure, House of Fraser shows that eCommerce is the driving force behind sales growth of 4.5% in its latest financial year. The relationship between online and bricks and mortar stores typifies this success.
I like this post for a number of reasons. Tim LeRoy brings back the magic of working with other businesses by dismissing the bad and working on the good. Acronyms be damned. Great businesses want to change the world. Reputation is everything. Great advice! If you like this, you should also check his post Known, Known and Be Known.
If work is digital, why do we still go to the office?
“We like seeing people, even if it’s inefficient.” That’s the findings from Carlo Ratti and Matthew Claudel in the Harvard Business Review. I personally think a mix is healthy. Hat tip to Tom Frame for this share!
Man accidentally 'deletes his entire company' with one line of bad code
With great power comes great responsibility. Uncle Ben knew it. This guy didn’t. “This is not bad luck: it’s astonishingly bad design reinforced by complete carelessness.”
Here's to being bolder next week!
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Ross Chapman
A weekly collection of product design, user research, cycling and coolness from @rosschapman of @etchuk
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