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It’s Time to Get Serious

The ‘Design Sprint’, made extremely popular by Google Ventures is a highly problematic approach to innovation. At best, it’s a glorified ‘team-building’ exercise that has made its way into thousands of massive corporations, startups, and company workshops. Due to its adoption and promotion by Google, it has spread like absolute wildfire, but even on its’ best days shouldn’t be really be taken seriously in any organization, big or small. The reasons are simple.

First, it lacks any scientific rigor. Second, it creates social tension, leading to hurt egos and learned helplessness. Lastly, it is just too hasty and rudimentary for massive, multi-million dollar decisions to be made. Moreover, design sprints are an exercise better suited for social conferences— not high stakes development decisions. …


(It’s Not About the Likes)

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Source: Jeff Davidson

Have you ever looked up an old partner, potential boss, employer, or long lost friend on Google? Congratulations, you’re a voyeur.

There exists an extremely powerful, borderline perverse, and highly profitable ‘feature’ in many of the social media applications we use. Companies make billions off this feature, and it’s a behavioral phenomenon that has its roots in evolution. …


It’s Time to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Software applications don’t directly give you food, water, shelter, affection, or sex — the only thing they do is disseminate information that may lead to all these more basic human needs. Thus, graphic, UX, and software design is really about the selection and organization of information, through time. Information is everything, and you need to know what it is, what it means, and how to represent it in an honest and functional way to be a true asset to a company or society at large.

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Choropleth Visualization of Different Urban Planning Metrics Using Excel and Illustrator—Source: Jeff Davidson Design

Designers aren’t scientists, mathematicians, economists, or even very rigorous researchers—and that’s fine. That in mind, most of them probably haven’t seen an Excel spreadsheet since their high school accounting class, and this is a big problem that’s plaguing the industry. In most of the shops or companies I’ve seen, and dozens of products I’ve worked or consulted-on, designers are either spoon-fed metrics they are supposed to visualize, or they simply assume what a particular bar graph or chart should read. As someone who has extensive experience both pulling, calculating, and visually representing data—I can tell you that the basic lack of statistical knowledge is detrimental to good product design, especially in the information age. This fear, ignorance, or oversight is especially apparent in the plethora of digital products that have functionless dashboards. …

About

Jeff Davidson

I help companies convert and retain more users · Get free design + strategy lessons on my site: http://jeffdavidsondesign.com/

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