It's been a while since my last post. Sorry, guys. Been super busy with "life." :-)
I attended a talk a while ago by Janice Fraser called, "Kill Your Darlings." It was at a LeanLA Meetup. The full slides are at the bottom of this post, and below are my takeaways from the presentation. Janice was really fun and showed she has a lot of great experience helping start-ups really focus on getting UX right from a lean angle.
Janice is the founder of Adaptive Path, a product design firm. She coined the terms "blog" and "AJAX" and started the field of lean UI design.
Her main claim is that a start-up is like a garden, not a cute bunny. You have to remove weeds and be ready to replant it, not nurture it like a pet.
She mentioned the main heroes of the lean movement: Eric Ries and Steve Blank (and my friend Patrick, the organizer of the event, is quite its hero too). Lean encompasses customer development (make products people actually want) with agile development (incremental releases).
She went through a great example of split testing of home page conversions and how a start-up learned some non-intuitive lessons of how to significantly boost conversions with small changes. Even when you feel strongly about something, it still pays to do experiments.
Lean also refers to the Toyota Production System, which emphasizes reducing inventory, risk, and waste. In this context, waste is time spent between making a decision and knowing if it works. In order to reduce waste, she recommends following three types of cycles:
She also went through certain main facets of lean UX design:
Finally, she referenced several texts she recommends:
At the recommendation of several people, I read The Millionaire Next Door, a book debunking a lot of myths around who millionaires are and how they live their lives.
I found the book interesting, and a lot of the data the authors gathered definitely surprised me (they surveyed over 11,000 millionaires). I thought, however, the the book was too focused on data and statistics; listening to the audio version made it painfully clear how many numbers and statistics were in the text.
I also was disappointed that the authors didn't spend much (if any) time in their text going into the question of the purpose of wealth accumulation. A lot of focus was on how people accumulate wealth and how not to get carried away consuming, but there was little or no discussion of the happiness that results from consumption and how short-term happiness can or should be traded off against long-term financial security and wealth accumulation. I understand this is something very personal that everyone decides, but it would've been nice for the authors to talk about how such a decision can be made.
Finally, it would be nice if the book were updated for any changes that might have happened in recent years in buying habits, incomes, etc.
Below are some of my main takeaways/notes on the book.