Runner’s World ran a great article in their March edition about the therapeutic effects of exercise:
Joe Henningsen, who runs the Massachusetts Chapter of Team Red White Blue (RWB) and is a Desert Storm Marine Corps veteran, is pictured on the right. There is a lot of crossover between Team Rubicon and Team RWB, in terms of our mission to integrate veterans, our vision of veteran empowerment, our members, and the dedicated people that run the organizations. We both want veterans to see what they can achieve if they tapped into the same sense of service and drive they took to war, back here at home.
Thanks to Joe and the Team RWB organization for continuing to serve veterans.
Listened to a good Lean UX webinar by @LauraKlein along with @spcohn of @ProdThink. Here are a few notes:
Core of lean is to learn.
She referenced @reiinamoto’s “Hacker Hustler Hipster” metaphor for the ideal team composition. You can read more at this Forbes article. It feels a little simplistic but it’s a fun read.
Teams used to an agency model struggle with Lean principles: they simply don’t work well together.
Agile doesn’t have a strong opinion on what you are building. You can use agile to build the wrong product. Lean is oriented on product-market fit, it’s sole purpose is the build the right thing.
Laura called out Alistair Croll’s and Ben Yoskovitz’s Lean Analytics book, which I’ve read parts of but I really haven’t made a proper study of. There is a good overview on slideshare and my favorite line is:
Analytics is the measurement of movement towards your business goal.
Laura also mentioned the importance of a style guide as a UX deliverable. It’s been a big help at PatientsLikeMe. We have a huge site with lots of disparate experiences due to many years of hypothesis testing without a lot of trimming. We passed a big milestone last year with a significant visual language upgrade, made possible in large part by a focus on defining common style elements. Our goal going forward is to consider enhancements to the site in the context of the style guide FIRST.
Overall, great webinar and I liked the free-flow question and answer format.
I’m in the middle of a home remodeling project (which I should probably write a little more about) and I’m keeping track of most of the designs and decisions in Evernote. I was looking for some notes on light switches and I was surprised to see that they indexed a handwritten note that I took a photo of a couple of weeks ago.
I’m sure this capability is on one of their product feature lists but I never would have thought that it actually worked. Kudos to the Evernote team on seamlessly integrating this; felt like magic.
Great podcast by Scott Harrison, founder of charity:water, who has taken a startup approach to a service organization.
Three big elements to what he wanted to do differently with charity: water
Lots of great stories of how he got organizations like Saks Fifth Avenue and Macallan to engage with their customers to raise millions of dollars. He started a campaign where people gave up their birthdays, everything from a 7 year old raising $12k to Will Smith raising $100k+.
In the last seven years, they’ve raised on $100M+, 500k supporters, 3.3 million people access to clean water.
Fascinating study by Facebook, UMich and the Genonme Institutue of Singapore: Evolution of memes.
Lots to digest here but a very important UX point can be found right at the end:
As it turns out, for a period of time (roughly from April 2009 until the share button was introduced), Facebook was the perfect petri dish to observe the evolution of transmitted information. Why does the share button impede observation of evolution? It doesn’t allow for the modification (mutation) of the original text. What about prior to April 2009? Well, until then, Facebook status updates had a 160 character limit, and it seems that catchy ideas need a bit more room than that
I’d love to see the data behind that piece I bolded.
Interesting piece by the LA Times:
I’ve always felt a sense of total shock when I hear the stat that 22 veterans kill themselves a day; it’s a horrific number. Like every other statistic, there is a lot more to that number than just its absolute value. Through some analysis of the data, the LA Times concludes that about 530 young veterans (under 29) take their lives each year, about 1.5 a day.
To understand veteran numbers in a broader context, take a look at Suicide Awareness Voices in Education's site and you'll see about 100 people take their lives every day in the US (~30k/year) and men are four times more likely to commit suicide over women. The CDC has a site dedicated to Suicide and lists suicide as the 10th leading cause of death among persons over 10 years old.
Great teardown by @UserOnBoard of OK Cupid:
I like this as one of the goals of @PatientsLikeMe is to connect people with others than can help them with their health issues. We’ve done some work in 2013 to update our user onboarding process (what we call QuickStart) and we plan to continue that in 2014.
I’m a big fan of Samuel’s teardowns as they cover the right details in each step and highlight the emotions generated by the experience.
Hippocrates once said, “It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has.”