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Recent Articles by Brian

Reasons your next sprint, product, or project might fail

By Brian O'Neill

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 … Read moreReasons your next sprint, product, or project might fail

Why the difference between design and Design may make or break your data product.

By Brian O'Neill

Good Design–what I sometimes call—”Capital D Design”—has the power to make your data sing, delight customers/users, bring new/better ROI to your organization, provide inspiration to teams, reduce complexity, reduce engineering cost, save time for users, and expose new value in your existing service. However, the big gains usually don’t come from focusing on the surface level alone. Better data visualization cannot fix every data product and analytics problem.

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

By Brian O'Neill

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, … Read moreDesign KPIs – what improvement did you celebrate in your last analytics software release?

Dashboard Design: Is Maximum Simplicity the Goal?

By Brian O'Neill

Should maximum simplicity dictate success? We all love usability these days right? “User experience is important.” Of course it is! But, it doesn’t mean that every user you show the design to is going to, or should immediately be able … Read moreDashboard Design: Is Maximum Simplicity the Goal?

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

By Brian O'Neill

…or not. Really: you can spend a little more time, and probably a lot less money, doing these things before committing the resources to implementation of something that may have zero value to anyone.

It’s the translation that makes your data sing – what song are you singing?

By Brian O'Neill

Some of you probably know by now that I’m also a musician, and this includes composing for my instrumental jazz/chamber music quintet. What does this have to do with translation of your data? When I talk about data in on … Read moreIt’s the translation that makes your data sing – what song are you singing?

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

By Brian O'Neill

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, … Read moreHow to solicit *real* needs from users via UX research interviews

The Easiest Way to Simplify Your Product or Solution’s Design

By Brian O'Neill

Ok, you probably know this one, but let’s dig in a little farther. I recently started to explore using the TORBrowser when surfing on public wi-fi for more security (later finding out that using a VPN, and not TOR, is … Read moreThe Easiest Way to Simplify Your Product or Solution’s Design

(8) invisible design problems that are business problems

By Brian O'Neill

Today’s insight was originally inspired by a newsletter I read from Stephen Anderson on designing for comprehension, and I felt like this could be expanded on for analytics practitioners and people working on data products. One of the recurring themes … Read more(8) invisible design problems that are business problems