Process Archives – Sarah Doody - Sarah Doody
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Process Archives – Sarah Doody

Experiments: Why You Shouldn’t Focus On The Right Or Wrong

By: Sarah Doody // Get my weekly UX newsletter

On 30, Mar 2016 | No Comments | In Process, User Experience | By Sarah Doody

When was the last time you decided to run an experiment? If you’re like me, it was probably a long time ago.

I’m the type of person who has a ton of ideas, but I often don’t make time to act on my ideas. And they get tucked away in a notebook and left there. That is … until I stumble upon someone else on the Internet who’s done my idea! Then, I beat myself up and think, “if I’d only started 6 months ago, think of where I’d be.” 

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The Power Of A Plan And Accountability

By: Sarah Doody // Get my weekly UX newsletter

A few weeks ago I decided to train for another marathon. In November 2015, I ran my first marathon – the NYC marathon – and it was a great experience. I was able to do it only 15 weeks after having surgery. Crazy, I know.

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2 Simple Ways To Bring More Clarity To Communication

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On 02, Feb 2016 | No Comments | In Business, Process, Teams | By Sarah Doody

This week I read a great article in Wired about the concept of simplicity and how in design, simplicity is overrated. I loved this part of the article:

… a major factor in screaming matches between people is the lack of a shared definition of a key term. ‘Clean’ for example, can be measured in degrees. Then there’s the word ‘simple’. Two people can have very different definitions of a word like that.

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Designing Anticipatory Experiences & Why Designers Need To Be Business Literate

By: Sarah Doody // Get my weekly UX newsletter

The start of any year is a great time to think about the direction UX might be going. UX is an ever changing area and one that can be different one week to the next. Here I share some of my thoughts on where I think UX might be steering towards in the coming year.

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The Danger of Habituation in UX & 3 Tips For Avoiding It

By: Sarah Doody // Get my weekly UX newsletter

For product designers, success is all about seeing the details. Every detail is an opportunity to shape the experience that someone will have when they engage in your product. But before you can design the details, you first have to see the details.

With the rise in our use of technology, our brains are simply overwhelmed with information, and though I don’t have data on this, my guess is that it makes our brains really tired. And as a result, we easily fail to see the details that actually matter. Keep Reading >

Five Websites For User Experience Inspiration

By: Sarah Doody // Get my weekly UX newsletter

On 20, Jun 2014 | One Comment | In Process, User Experience | By Sarah Doody

A lot of people ask me where I get user experience inspirations.

A blank whiteboard can be really daunting and a lot of times I too feel lost when I am first working on a project. But, the more projects you work on, the more ideas and inspirations you’ll have in your brain.

I’ve found that it’s critical to organize all your user experience inspirations. So,  I always have an inspiration folder on Dropbox for each project I work on. In that folder, I put whiteboard drawings and paper sketches, screenshots from sites and apps I find helpful, articles, and any other artifacts that I find inspirational. Then, when I feel stuck, I just browse through my inspiration folder to see if something sparks an idea. Keep Reading >

Why The Pre-Product Phase Matters To Product Development

By: Sarah Doody // Get my weekly UX newsletter

On 07, Feb 2014 | No Comments | In Process, User Experience | By Sarah Doody

Recently Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures wrote a post called “The Pre-Product Phase” in which he outlined a key weakness he says he has, mainly the inability to fully understand a product and it’s potential when that product is presented through wireframes, sketches, fully designed screens, etc.

As a result, he says that he prefers to invest in products that are created in code — products that actually function so he can try them out and have them come to life for him as a user. He goes on to say that he has “pretty much given up investing in products that aren’t ready for public use.”

For the record, Fred is not saying that wireframes, sketches, and designs don’t have value. He’s just saying that for him, he has a hard time grasping a product and understanding it’s viability without experiencing the product in real time —  fully coded and fully functioning. Keep Reading >

My EXECUTE Book Review

By: Sarah Doody // Get my weekly UX newsletter

Sometime last year, I saw a tweet about a “must read” book called Execute. So, I went and immediately purchased it. Then, I never read it. Failure to execute. I feel like I do this a lot. I’m not sure I should admit that …

One caveat is that this doesn’t refer to my business at all. Ask any of my clients, I execute! It only applies to things pertaining to me.

Last week, I took a look at the domains I own, and I realized that if I had executed on some of the ideas, I would probably have an amazing business from at least one of them.

Nearly 10 years ago, when I was living in Portland, Oregon my girlfriends and I always went to happy hour. One night, we had the idea to create a happy hour review blog. No one was doing it. Had we executed on it, we probably could have started with a happy hour focus and then moved into other lifestyle categories.  Keep Reading >

Getting Started In User Experience: A Usability Research Example

By: Sarah Doody // Get my weekly UX newsletter

For people who are just getting started in user experience, I think one area that can seem daunting is usability research. To put it simply, usability research is the process of evaluating how people perceive and use a product — drawing insights from observing them interact with it.

It doesn’t have to be a overly complicated, time consuming, or expensive process. However, I don’t advocate the “coffee shop” method that some people talk about. Sitting in a Starbucks and asking random people what they think of your product is not taking into account the most important factor of all — who that person is and whether or not they are the intended type of person for your product.

Sure, if you want a quick gut reaction or a set of fresh eyes, I suppose the coffee shop method is good. But please, please, please consider the context of that feedback! I’ve seen a few bad ideas be validated or good ideas be ruined by this exercise! Keep Reading >

Moving From Perfection To Purpose

By: Sarah Doody // Get my weekly UX newsletter

On 21, Nov 2013 | No Comments | In Process, User Experience | By Sarah Doody

A very important lesson I’ve learned throughout my career is this:  it will never be perfect. 

Yes, it’s hard for me to admit that! But, over time I’ve learned this is best for the business and user.

Earlier in my career, I remember the temptation to hold a design or feature launch until it was perfect. I remember sitting with a founder and reviewing designs in Photoshop with him pointing out every little pixel to perfect. The truth is, many of the changes were so subtle that they wouldn’t even matter once the design got to the browser. Many of the designs were purely form and had nothing to do with function.

I can’t believe I just typed that because I believe in beautiful design. But it’s not enough to look nice. Design must perform. Design must inform. Design must transform someone from being an acquaintance to an actual user and ideally an ambassador.

Purposeful design trumps beautiful design. Keep Reading >