Image for post
Image for post
7:30 AM in my office before all those seats are filled

Exactly one year ago, Grand Studio became an independent company. Without going too much into the details here, 366 days ago we were part of a design group called Moment. And now we’re not.

From a business standpoint, the last year was a rousing success. We exceeded every target we established for hiring, new business, and project work. Our company now feels more mature in a way that it certainly didn’t last year. I’m not sure what the dog-years equivalent is for businesses, but I think this one calendar year translates into 11 business years for Grand Studio. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

At Grand Studio, we’ve worked as design consultants for years. Over that time, we’ve developed a pretty clear sense of our typical client. The people we work with are usually some flavor of product manager employed by large, matrixed organizations. Those organizations typically have well-established digital product management and product design practices, and they generally come to us for a little bit of outside, expert support. Our client organizations are typically in the business of providing a service (like financial services or healthcare services) to individuals or other companies. …


Image for post
Image for post
One of these things is not like the others…

Whether it’s generative or evaluative, we do some form of user testing on just about every project we do. Most times, we’ve planned a round of testing from the beginning, and we have ample time to prepare testing protocols, stimuli, and capture frameworks. But…sometimes, we don’t! And sometimes, we discover we need to do a bit of testing but we don’t have the time or budget to do a traditional usability study.

Enter InformedUX

We had a little between-project time in our Chicago office, so we decided to look for alternatives to traditional lab-based and/or formal-recruit usability testing. We eventually arrived at…


Image for post
Image for post

When I was planning my trip to Brazil as part of Institute of Design’s Strategy World Tour series, the option to spend two days at a working coffee plantation a few hours outside of Sao Paulo had obvious appeal. Indeed, Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza has a lot to offer to any visitor: fresh, amazing food in a beautiful, mountainous landscape with the best coffee I’ve ever had. What was a bit more surprising was the extent to which the business practices of one of the local farmers we met is similar to my everyday life as a designer and consultant.

João…


(I wrote this last year on one of Moment’s other blogs — reposting here since it’s still true.)

Image for post
Image for post
Just doing a little sprint planning…

Last year, one of our clients decided to make the move to Agile. This was a big deal: the organization had a long history of working waterfall with all of the meetings, documentation and planning practices that come along with it. The big motivator was speeding up the release cycle, and our clients reorganized many of their employees and redefined many of their processes to ship product improvements more frequently.

“Big company makes big changes to make production more efficient,” is a…


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

A few things to consider before jumping into an Agile methodology.

Last year, one of our clients decided to make the move to Agile. This was a big deal: the organization had a long history of working waterfall with all of the meetings, documentation and planning practices that come along with it. The big motivator was speeding up the release cycle, and our clients reorganized many of their employees and redefined many of their processes to ship product improvements more frequently.

“Big company makes big changes to make production more efficient,” is a pretty familiar story these days. Agile has…


Moment designs a lot of digital products for clients, including products targeted toward millennials. Frequently, the organizations that hire us describe the particular product we’re working on as “insurance/banking/ app/whatever for millennials.” By now, we should all know what this means—the product needs to be appealing to savvy young people who are critical of tradition and open to disrupting norms.

The “X for millennials” description is really seductive because it communicates the nature a product so succinctly and so appealingly, to the effect that everyone wants to imagine that their target audience is all 80 million Americans under the age…


Two months ago, I packed up my apartment in Brooklyn and moved to Chicago. I asked two of our really talented senior designers, Daniel and Steven, to come with me. The move was a big one for us personally and a big one for Moment.

Image for post
Image for post
This is the kitchen in our New York office. It’s pretty sweet.

For more than 13 years, Moment has worked on Crosby Street in SoHo. In that time, we’ve developed deep relationships and expertise in the industries that make New York home. Of the five financial services companies based in New York in the Fortune 100, we’ve worked for four to create tools for traders and products…


Last year, one of our clients decided to make the move to agile. This was a big deal: the organization had a long history of working waterfall with all of the meetings, documentation and planning practices that come along with it. The big motivator was speeding up the release cycle, and our clients reorganized many of their employees and redefined many of their processes so as to ship product improvements more frequently.

Image for post
Image for post

“Big company makes big changes to make production more efficient,” is a pretty familiar story these days. Agile has become a very common way to achieve that efficiency…

Josh Lucas-Falk

I’m the CEO of Grand Studio, a Chicago-based digital product design consultancy that used to be called Moment.

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