Issue #30 - Focus

Putting the hours of work in is important, but they need to be focused hours, otherwise you're going
Issue #30 - Focus
By Ross Chapman • Issue #30
Putting the hours of work in is important, but they need to be focused hours, otherwise you’re going nowhere. 
Over the past few weeks I’ve been working later into the night to get the important stuff done. Saying goodnight to my children, putting my headphones on and cranking out a few hours of computer time means that I know I’m on track.
As ever, thank you for supporting this issue.

UX Design
Want to improve your design portfolio? This handbook is for you. It includes 36 articles worth of content into one, easy to digest book. Useful time to read this as I’m going through my own!
Staying lean and evading icebergs (for now)
Or, How to use Calendly to get to a product MVP. Hanno talk about icebergs, those features that sound good at the beginning, but end up being such a huge time sucker that it delays the learning of an MVP. In this case, the creation of a calendar feature was replaced by using one that they could integrate with - much leaner with an acceptable experience. An MVP is designed to test the validity of a product or service and this is a good example of how to do so.
The Ideal Design Workflow — Prototyping: From UX to Front End
Tools and processes to create products people love. Love the approach of this post - it’s not quite what you expect!
User Research
The service’s recent experiments with images reveal some surprising and useful takeaways about why people click what they do. This is why A-B testing is so important. You have to try things to learn what does and what doesn’t work with you users.
Why Talking to Customers is the Most Important Thing a Product Manager Can Do
The extraordinary value that’s created when you talk to people who use your product. Key takeaway: “Money doesn’t buy empathy. You have to earn it by getting out there in your customer’s environment, even if it seems similar to the stand-up desk you’re at right now.”
Psychologists grow increasingly dependent on online research subjects
Scientists are making greater use of online workers from Amazon Mechanical Turk (a crowdsourcing service), but practice raises concerns about the participants. Although Amazon may have 500,000 users of the platform, studies suggest far fewer participate and they are less diverse than original hoped, which can bias results. Interesting read and shows that quality rather than quantity really matters.
UX in eCommerce
“Designers play a key role in the success of online retailers.” Key insights from Unite, Shopify’s first partner and developer conference. Watch the video from product manager Kevin Ochal who talks about exceptional eCommerce design.
MailChimp Product Recommendations
This is huge. Integrations for retailers with Shopify, Magento and Bigcommerce (with WooCommerce following shortly). Learn what your customers are purchasing, then send them better email.
6 ways to endear your site to your customers
In today’s crowded online market place, it’s often the little things that endear us to a site, and in turn to a brand. Whether it be the tone of voice, a clever animation, or the way in which you can interact with the products being displayed, merchants are dreaming up innovative ways to endear themselves to their customers. The ability to set yourself apart from your competitors, especially if you are selling the same products, can help build brand loyalty and have your customers coming back time and time again.
It’s Father’s Day coming up and though I’ll be at Eroica Britannia, here’s a few gifts that caught my eye. Recently having the joy of getting a bike for my Dad, I hope to ride local trails with him soon. Love you Dad.
This simple trick could help you win more clients
No-one’s replying to your emails? Here’s a quick tip for designers to take the lead on winning business in email correspondence.
Getting less done
“Running real fast is no good if it’s into a brick wall.” Love this quote from DHH. Throwing hours at something is fine as long as you’ve got direction. I’ll be working on that a lot this summer - great tips!
Thanks for reading!
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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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