My Favorite Articles of 2019

I spend a lot of time reading, researching, and trying to sort out what articles will truely be relevant long term. This year my focus was read into UX strategy or business model change and service design. This collection of articles is a good sample of ideas I kept revisiting, so I hopefully worth tracking.

An Introduction to DesignOps

As the team I manage grows in size and the problems we solve grows in complexity, we’ve been more seriously turning our attention to improved operations, obviously a never-ending quest. This simple introduction to DesignOps is a great way to introduce non-design project managers to the topic.

DesignOps 101 on Nielson Norman Group

Decisions are Largely Emotional

People feel before they think. Often what people frame as logical decision making is post-decision rationalization. As design work gets more and more data-driven, this is a powerful reminder to consider the emotional impact of the front and center of our design work.

Decisions are largely emotional, not logical on The Big Think

How Leaders Build Trust

Basecamp did an extensive survey looking at the best ways leaders build trust with their teams. I found the stats quoted quite revealing.

48% of employees believed that the company has been all talk and no action on something lately — and 28% of employees said their manager has been all talk and no action. Similarly, 61% of managers believed that their direct reports had been all talk and no action on something lately.

The 3 most effective ways to build trust as a leader on Signal vs. Noise

Making the Most of Your Time

Spawned from a response on Quora, this article by Edmond Lau gives some concrete ways to best leverage your time on a growing digital product team.

I’ve come to learn that working more hours isn’t the most effective way of producing more output … your leverage, and hence productivity, can be increased in three ways:
1. By reducing the time it takes to complete a certain activity.
2. By increasing the impact of a particular activity.
3. By shifting to higher leverage activities.

The Single, Most Valuable Lesson I’ve Learned in My Professional Life

What Happens In Aging Societies

I’ve been spending a lot of time with my lovely grandmother, who’s been retired for 42 years. This article from the Washington Post has some thought starters for financing a system where more people can retire for longer.

Long lives are not the problem. The problem is living in cultures designed for lives half as long as the ones we have.

We need a major redesign of life by Laura L. Carstensen

Two Takes on Agile Teams

We’ve been moving more of our teams into Agile development practices for a few years. We’ve seen it roll out in dozens of team varieties with different consultants. Overall it’s a fantastic change, some projects launched with significant effect and ROI, but some spent a lot of money but never launched. I’ve found myself referring to a couple of articles throughout the year why some projects didn’t pan out.

Marty Cagan explains how building a real Product Team can be challenging in Product vs. Feature Teams

While Charles Lambdin calls out some frustrations with the Agile Consulting Industry in Dear Agile, I’m Tired of Pretending

CX, UX, What’s what?

Our company hired a new CMO this year. Naturally, that leads to a lot of interest in the definition of Customer Experience and User Experience. There’s more in common than different, and this article by Jared Spool can give you a hit of why.

We’ve looked closely at high-performance CX and UX teams in dozens of organizations. What we learned was they uniformly work towards an identical goal. They all want the organization to deliver the best experience for anyone who interacts with their organization’s products or services.

The difference between the CX and UX team is not their mission, but their origin. Because of that difference, they achieve the goal quite differently.

UX and CX: Same Language; Different Dialects by Jared M. Spool

Design Leader, Sporadic Writer.

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