A Lesson From Shark Tank: What happens when you don’t have a great product story

I’m a huge fan of Shark Tank (and the Canadian version called Dragon’s Den). Apart from the interesting product and business ideas, what I find more fascinating is the quality of the pitches. It’s clear that some people really have a clear vision of why their product exists — the promise to their customers — and how it delivers on that promise.

But, every now and then, there’s a entrepreneur who simply cannot articulate their business or idea. I find this truly amazing!!! I’m sure part of it has to do with casting, and for entertainment value they need to have a few entrepreneurs who the sharks might just attack! But, there’s a lot that can be learned from these ill prepared individuals.Continue reading

Getting Started In User Experience: It Will Never Be Perfect

One of the biggest mistakes that we made at my first company was that we tried to get it perfect on the first try. Countless months were spent trying to make every single interaction, page, and pixel just p-e-r-f-e-c-t. If we’d only known! This was before MVP became a term people used on a daily basis. I’ll never forget a moment when I was talking with a former team member and they said “I wish we’d just started this as an iPhone app and then built a full product.”

The hard truth is that when you have an idea, it’s easy for it to just build and build and build in your mind. It’s just like when you are telling a story and you keep adding to the story with “and then, and then, and then”.

Continue reading

Getting Started In User Experience: Change up your routine

In this week’s post on Getting Started In User Experience, I’m writing to you from lovely California. Give me the ocean or a mountain and I’m a happy girl!! I love to travel and one of the benefits of working for myself is that I can travel much more because I can work from anywhere.

Travel is great because it makes you break your current routine. It helps you slow time down and see things in a different lens. This is particularly true if you live in New York City. My grandmother used to ask me how life in the “the bubble” was. It’s true. NYC is a bubble … and I love it. But, it’s important to get away and remember what life is like for most people.Continue reading

7 Must Read Non-UX Books For UX Designers

When I first started my career, I didn’t even know there was a field called user experience. Once I discovered it, I did read a lot of books on user experience. However, there are already tons of reading lists for user experience professionals. So instead of creating another one of those lists, I wanted to create a reading list of my top non user experience books for user experience designers.

As I’ve said before, I think it’s really important to draw insight, inspiration, and ideas from other disciplines. If you are going to design solutions holistically, your mind must be curious and able to connect the dots between seemingly unrelated things.Continue reading

Getting Started In User Experience: How To Gain Experience

One of the top questions people ask my is how they can get a job in the user experience design field when they don’t have any experience? It’s a classic problem that most people early in their industry face. To be honest, I think this question is lazy talk.

By asking this question, you’re missing the point of what “experience” in a field really is. People think that having experience in a field equals having a job to demonstrate experience. This approach is completely wrong!Continue reading

Startup Lessons: 25 Things I’ve Learned From Working At Startups

* This is part of a new weekly series I’m doing on Getting Started In User Experience.

My entry into working in startups was quick, unplanned, and very naive to say the least! I was looking for an exit from my corporate job and though working for myself was an option, I didn’t believe it was possible and so I never made it happen (more on that later).

So naturally, when a friend approached me and said he was starting a company in NYC and wanted me to join him, I said yes. I literally quit my job, sold my car, packed up my condo in Portland, and got on a red-eye to New York City all within two weeks.Continue reading

The Danger Of Comfortable & How I Left My Corporate Job

* This is part of a new weekly series I’m doing on Getting Started In User Experience.

Like most people, I couldn’t stand my corporate job. It was routine. It lacked challenge. It didn’t have any soul — didn’t align with my passions. It wasn’t very creative. And, I definitely didn’t fit the culture. But, I had a window office all to myself, there was a conference budget, the campus was immaculately groomed, they gym had trainers and yoga, and at 2pm every day a lady came around with a snack cart. After initially thinking that at 21 I had somehow achieved some big “I’ve made it” milestone, I realized I was very wrong.  Continue reading

Getting Started In User Experience Design: How I Got Started

Looking to for help with you UX portfolio? Get my free UX Portfolio E-Book.

The number one thing people ask me is how they can get started in UX.

I’m always surprised at the volume of requests I get because I thought that there were a lot of resources already out there about getting started in UX. But when I commented about this to a friend, she just laughed and said there really aren’t enough resources because it’s all about voice and approachability. I guess it makes sense, sometimes five people can tell you the same thing and it isn’t until the fifth one that things make sense and you actually “get” it.Continue reading