How a hidden product could be their post-pandemic secret weapon

If you’ve been lost in the leaderboards and political debates around covid-19 you probably might’ve missed the carnage that AirBnb hosts have been facing. Long story short, the world went into lockdown and AirBnb rightfully didn’t enforce cancellation fees on guests. They had to pick between pushing hosts or guests out of the way of certain disaster. They chose the people that pay.

Since then city planners, renters, anti-gentrification advocates, and even landlords have started debating whether this is the end of AirBnb.

Anthony Breach, a researcher from the Centre…


“What’s the ROI of not making your users lives miserable?”

Bug fixes and usability improvements aren’t sexy. They won’t win you accolades. You probably won’t brag to your friends about them unless they improve some metric by 10,000%. That’s probably why less experienced product people hate working on them.

You know who hates them more? Your users. They encounter them regularly and it degrades the experience of using your service.

What’s worse is that they are usually small. By themselves they are teeny, tiny pain points that don’t happen all the time. But there can be hundreds, thousands, and even tens of thousands of them depending on the complexity of…


How to choose your tools and get your platform dashboard setup

Pinstripe is currently in Beta and will be free for the length of the Beta.

The goal of this guide is to help you set up your first pinstripe project and pick the tools you’ll use to launch your idea.


How Sway?!?!

Since the early 19th Century, artists, philosophers and citizens alike have dreamed of flying in carriage or automobile-like apparatuses out of the chaos of the city streets below, speeding to their destination from city to city, country to country, continent to continent, sea to shining sea. Yet still, to this day, this dream has never been fully realized.

Many hours have been spent pontificating, theorizing, and developing various machines to achieve this goal but no one has been able to bring one to the masses. …


Image originally from EliteGamer: https://elitegamer.co/top-5-game-controllers-time/

There’s a control for every electronic. Your TV, Apple TV, speakers, Xbox, PS4, Nintendo Wii, Switch, ChromeCast, Parrot Drone, Nest, Smart Fridge, Samsung Gear, Oculus, Roku, Tesla, Ford, GM, robot vacuum, your dog’s treat dispenser.

Every. Damn. One.


Knowing where to look for the help to level up your design skills can be daunting when you’re just starting out. Here are some popular websites, videos, thought leaders, and tools to give you a jumpstart.

News

Inspiration


Since my first week teaching UX design at RED Academy there’s one question I keep hearing from my students, how do I become more efficient in Sketch? So I decided to put together a collection of simple templates to help them digitize their paper sketches faster, with a more presentable final result that they’d be proud to put in their portfolio.

It’s worked so well for my students that I thought I’d share that list of templates for anyone that’s just started in UX design and needs some help to speed up their workflow.

1) Bootstrap Grids

2) TETHR UI Kit by Invision

3) Desktop + mobile userflow icons by Nate Shulte

4) Mobile wireframe by Fol Studio

5) Subtle Devices by Hanson Wu

6) Illustrated Avatars by Freepik

7) CompassCons by Danny Saltaren

8) Font Awesome icons for Sketch by Boltmade

9) Material Design Wireframe Kit V2 by Dan Shipley


The first time I heard about Foursquare was from a friend who’s a social media junkie. She loved the game-like mechanics, the leveling up, the competition, and the exploration of new places. Slowly yet surely Foursquare was building up a steady amount of user data and playing the long game of getting customers in the door at brick and mortar businesses.

Since its limited release last week in just a few countries, Pokémon Go has leapfrogged Foursquare in almost every aspect. It might be only a matter of time before Foursquare becomes completely irrelevant. Let’s look at the tape.

1…


Kickstarter’s shopping display for successful projects.

If you’ve been monitoring the headlines recently you’ve probably noticed that the buzz around crowdfunding has died down in the press. This may lead you to believe that the industry has lost some of its pull among customers. If you’re currently sleeping on Kickstarter I’ve got two words for you. Get Excited.

Over the past year the platform has slowly transformed from the place where potato salad gets funded to the best online store for highly anticipated new products. From connected air conditioners to album releases from hip hop legends, it’s begun to outshine even Amazon. …


A few years ago I was debating a friend of mine who’s obsessed with cars. I wanted to know why no car company made all of their vehicles, including the lower price range models, beautifully designed. Wouldn’t they sell more cars and cannibalize their competitors in that category I asked?

His answer was that car companies needed to maintain a stark distinction between their premium models and their models for everyone else. I asked another friend more recently and he gave the same answer. This has probably been the prevailing business model in the car industry for a very long…

James McNab

Design @ forethought. Formerly @ thistle. Side project https://pinstripelabs.com. Former lead UX Instructor @RedAcademy Toronto. OCAD Alum.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store