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Recent Articles by Brian
My teapot, or rather the water heater, helps me make great tea, based on the type of tea I want to drink. It also was a reminder for me about how good design means translating quantitative values into qualitative values … Read moreWhat can my teapot teach you about designing for analytics?
Agile software development is everywhere. You’re probably using some form of it yourself. And, that’s probably good, assuming you’re actually delivering value with agility. These days, I constantly hear about how “shipping working code” sooner trumps everything else. When it comes … Read moreWant a Silver-quality analytics product? Use Agile. Want Gold? Read on.
When it comes to analytics products that need to show data to customers, one of the biggest misconceptions I see with clients is the believe that their trove of data is actually information, by default. Your data is not informative until … Read moreThe #1 problem I see with clients trying to design good analytics products
It’s homework time! Let’s talk about NEST (Thermostat) for a minute. In particular, their monthly report. I have a thermostat and hot water radiators in my house (no central air). Each month, the NEST device sends me a report of … Read moreWhat’s wrong with the analytics in the NEST thermostat’s monthly report?
Ah, fluff. It’s a great word, and it was actually born in its marshmallow form just a mile away in Somerville, MA. There’s even a fluff festival. A few weeks ago, we talked about the various levels of maturity that an … Read moreIs your product producing automated insights/recommendations based on…fluff?
This design “no-no” appears almost every time a new client [with a product that displays analytics] asks me to review their UI/UX. More often than not, I’m not provided with any relevant user tasks/usage contexts by which I can do my … Read moreHere’s one of the simplest ways to simplify complex analytics
I hear it all the time on Quora, in real life, and from clients: “What BI tool should we use to visualize our data? Is there a good dashboard template you know of?” When it comes to designing analytics products … Read moreWhat happens when you use templates for dashboards and analytics products?
We’ve all heard about information overload, and the paradox of choice. Don’t you love those thai menus with every type of sauce, noodle, and protein, all written out as separate dishes? “I’ll have item D132 with no water chestnuts….no, I … Read moreMaybe your product’s problem is information *underload*
When I work on products that primarily exist to display analytics information, I find most of them fall into roughly four different levels of design maturity: The best analytics-driven products give actionable recommendations or predictions written in prose telling a user what … Read moreDo you have a metrics toilet on your hand?