Designing MVPs for Data Products and Decision Support Tools

Author’s Note: This article was originally published to my mailing list, hence the reference to previous emails and published podcast episodes.   Before I jump into this week’s article on MVPs for custom data products, just wanted to address one listener’s response to the new podcast in case others had the same experience. Re: the audio … Read moreDesigning MVPs for Data Products and Decision Support Tools

Does your data product enable surgery, or healing?

Scalpels for surgery

I recently started playing percussion in a new Celtic ensemble in Boston called Ishna, and we were recently invited to be a guest artist with Symphony NH (New Hampshire). After our concerts concluded, the executive director invited Ishna to a dinner with some of the symphony staff and  board members. This is pretty typical: board members … Read moreDoes your data product enable surgery, or healing?

Reasons your next sprint, product, or project might fail

Good design happens at the intersection of discovering real user needs/wants and business goals that are ACTIONABLE (by design and engineering). Yes, there’s a little magic/instinct that creeps into good design too, but you can get far without a lot of this magic. It’s really more about nailing the problem set, and having really clear … Read moreReasons your next sprint, product, or project might fail

Design KPIs – what improvement did you celebrate in your last analytics software release?

I know to a lot of software teams, getting features/fixes/releases out the door feels like improvement. However, did you actually create or improve the value of your service? To to that, you have to understand what your users actually value, so you can align your efforts accordingly. Most of the time, these nuggets of useful … Read moreDesign KPIs – what improvement did you celebrate in your last analytics software release?

From a data scientist on Medium: “It’s easy to not understand your customer’s needs.”

So a guy walks into a bar and starts talking about unsupervised learning… Ok, not quite. Well actually, where I live in Cambridge, MA, that’s not really so improbable 😉 I found this article on Medium interesting, written by a data scientist talking in part about why data science projects may not be working, and one of … Read moreFrom a data scientist on Medium: “It’s easy to not understand your customer’s needs.”

How to solicit *real* needs from users via UX research interviews

Readers of DFA know that I’m big on not immediately giving customers what they asked for, and instead asking the question “why” to learn what the real latent customer needs are. And for you internal analytics folks, remember your employees, vendors, etc. are your “customers” whether you think of them that way or not! Anyhow, … Read moreHow to solicit *real* needs from users via UX research interviews

Here are (5) dashboard design suggestions you can start to apply today

If you’re in the analytics space, then you almost certainly have at least one “dashboard” customers use.  I generally define dashboards as the landing page for your product when people log in, and so keep that in mind as you browse today’s design suggestions: Your dashboard is probably too low on information density.  Dashboards with … Read moreHere are (5) dashboard design suggestions you can start to apply today

Here’s a fast way to evaluate the utility of your dashboard design

Here’s a super easy thing you can do today to evaluate your data product’s dashboard. If you’re displaying quantitative data of any sort, especially trends, then this will probably help you come up with opportunities to improve your design. Of course, testing the design with real users is always the best way to evaluate your … Read moreHere’s a fast way to evaluate the utility of your dashboard design

What can McDonald’s teach you about prototyping?

As both a musician, and a product designer, I loved a scene in the recent movie, The Founder.  This film discusses the rise of McDonalds restaurants, and how the restaurant focused on its design and operations to enable speedy service to customers. In this scene, the restauranteurs chalked (designed) a speed-optimized layout for a kitchen on a tennis … Read moreWhat can McDonald’s teach you about prototyping?

How can good design help you avoid product bloat and drift?

Let’s talk about your product’s drift and keeping it in check. As your product evolves, it will likely grow in size, and get more complex over time. You’ll listen to customers, adapt to their needs, and over time will begin to encounter situations where different segments’ needs are in conflict, and you either dissatisfy one … Read moreHow can good design help you avoid product bloat and drift?