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Recent Articles by Brian

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

By Brian O'Neill

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 … Read moreHere’s a fast way to evaluate the utility of your dashboard design

Stop giving customers what they ask for. Yup, you heard me right!

By Brian O'Neill

Yup, I said it. Just say, “no” to customer requests for features. Or rather, say, “why do you need that?” Today’s design tip is simple: build the word “why” into your vocabulary when talking to your customers. Be incessant until you “ladder … Read moreStop giving customers what they ask for. Yup, you heard me right!

Do you need an “analytics translator” or just better design?

By Brian O'Neill

“Marketing analytics can have substantial impact on a company’s growth. But if companies cannot figure out how to make the best use of it, in the end, it’s just another expense.”–McKinsey As most of you know by now, I’m particularly … Read moreDo you need an “analytics translator” or just better design?

What can McDonald’s teach you about prototyping?

By Brian O'Neill

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. … Read moreWhat can McDonald’s teach you about prototyping?

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

By Brian O'Neill

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 … Read moreHow can good design help you avoid product bloat and drift?

What’s the #1 way you can simplify your service?

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 moreWhat’s the #1 way you can simplify your service?

(3) ways to use your analytics to simplify form field entry

By Brian O'Neill

Do you have some good analytics that could be helping customers out….if they gave you the right inputs up front? Today’s lesson is about using your analytics to facilitate the process of completing a form that requires users to type … Read more(3) ways to use your analytics to simplify form field entry

(4) Reasons reverse-engineering data into use cases for data products is costly and risky

By Brian O'Neill

On a lot of analytics-driven projects, I am told by my clients that there are many possible use cases or user stories that the design needs to support. Why so many? I think it stems from the fact that products and … Read more(4) Reasons reverse-engineering data into use cases for data products is costly and risky

Beware the dreaded “reporting section” in your analytics service

By Brian O'Neill

“That stuff probably belongs in the reporting section.” I’ve heard that one before. There’s probably a better approach. Remember: it’s not really about “analytics” — it’s about providing information to help your customers make better decisions. Shoveling your analytics into … Read moreBeware the dreaded “reporting section” in your analytics service