podcast, agile, user experience, Donald Fagen

Podcasts for modern design

The bright side of a one- to two-hour commute: I now bundle a set of podcasts on modern design to my commute and learn an incredible amount to and from work. Until recently my digital community of interest did not include podcasts. Perhaps my hesitance was the preferred immediacy of reading, clicking, and browsing that has delayed my entry into the podcast community, but reality podcasts are very distant from blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other community of interest engagement to share, learn, collaborate. That has changed with new commuting, habits: see drive time. Design in Context Design is key to organization, marketing, product, and projects. The past year or so, some might assume this blog has migrated to Agile and away from other objectives. Not so, intrepid reader: Agile is a management technique more than a simple project method and Scrum is a …

user story, requirement, design

User story, no requirement needed

Good design meets end-user need. Bad design wastes time and money. The difference is not about requirements. Requirements are your great, grandparent’s design directive. Effective design is about empathy and to understand empathy you need to understand the user story requirement. Before development, every project team needs to understand what to build. In project management requirements gathering provides that essential view of what the project delivers. Good requirements assumes what the build is what the end-user requires. This up-front effort to understand user need is shared across many professions: In communications, start with know your audience; In product management, starts with know your market; In software development, start with user requirements; and Is digital marketing, start with know your persona Whether the user had to sit through a presentation, scour documentation, search software, or fumble through a webpage on their smart phone, bad design creates bad feelings. A requirements document is not a …

Agile example, Scrum design, Toby Elwin, Lord Business

An Agile example of Scrum by design

From startups to corporate leviathans the business directive is be more Agile. The most often employed project method is a Scrum design, an Agile framework for projects. Without Agile management adoption the executive call to “be more Agile” really means: Get faster results, in less time, and with less resources. Forbes touts Agile, The World’s Most Popular Innovation Engine, Agile expectation does not align to Agile implementation and adoption. In practice Agile is more a fragile mismanagement mindset of misplaced expectation that others do Agile while management retains control. Scrum is the most popular Agile adoption of a lean mind. Scrum, itself, unfortunately, becomes a confusion multiplier for organizations looking to adopt an Agile organization or team design, without shared understanding of Agile. Agile Example for Some What, however, is Agile? Agile works as a: Project management framework, Business management tool, Manufacturing discipline, and Cost control Yes. Agile is about lower cost and faster response. Agile gets talked about, planned, trained, …

community persona, change management, Toby Elwin, blog

Community persona for change management

With the on-going game focused on more of less, our organizations are expected to not only run lean(er), but to lean further into the winds of constant change and constant constraints.

Change is no longer an event to manage and move on, organizations must realize change is the only constant. This operating climate highlights change management as a competitive advantage to those that figure it out, pivot, and to maintain an engaged workforce.

The stakeholders and the voice they have remains a stronger voice for change than any amount of company flyers, magnets, and town halls. Adopt a community persona strategy to improve organization, change management capability.

eddie obeng, TED, talk, fast changing world, Toby Elwin, blog

Fast Start — Smart failure for a fast-changing world

Fast Start conversation: The pace of change overtakes the pace of learning. In a short list of continually inspiring sites TED, stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, devotes themselves to ideas worth spreading. In this, I want to spread an inspiring talk and introduce you to someone I, before TED, was not aware of: Eddie Obeng. Mr. Obeng’s 12-minute presentation talks us through the world we learned that has transformed into a 21st century world of rules we have not yet grasped. Or, as he puts it other ways: “We spend our time responding rationally to a world which we understand and recognize, but which no longer exists.” “If you haven’t understood the world your living in, it’s almost impossible to be absolutely certain on what you are going to deliver fits” — Eddie Obeng Today, Mr. Obeng rightfully points out, our …

agile ux, book, cover, Toby Elwin, blog

Agile Experience Design by the book

This year I have found software, hardware, and product design fascinating for my Organization Development professional development.  The reality is we are all designers:  we design emails, PowerPoint presentations, facilitation, training programs, change management initiative, just as a minute sample. The constant challenge remains what is our audience need and how do we answer an audience’s mental model in a battle to understand:  What’s In It For Them? (WIIFT?).  To design for this is the key to muster their motivation. This book delivers insight into Agile project management methodology that integrates customer involvement far earlier, as well as constant iteration process that provides maximum value in minimum time, who wouldn’t gain?  Think change management as you read this excerpt: [designers need to] … check every decision, every action, and process throughout the product development life cycle and ask, “Where’s the value?” We need to …

3d view, three dimension, design, community persona, functional, Toby Elwin, blog

Community persona reaction for functional design

We design constantly. Our emails, training courses, project plans, policies, programs, surveys, business cases, strategies, facilitations, we are in a constant state of craft, create, model, test, build, and repair.

Whatever the intent, to take a concept from intention to adoption relies less on what you design and more on how you design.

A community persona perspective measures functional communication design success and reaction to how you design is the feedback loop of how people accept your design.

SharePoint, intranets, change management, Toby Elwin

5 ways SharePoint intranets improve change management

Constant change relies on constant sharing and I have found Microsoft’s SharePoint application, a powerful enterprise, change management tool.

SharePoint provides multiple ways to build a portal where your organization can not only see latest announcements but participates in discussions and contribute to shared learning. more flexible than formal training and more widely available.

In the last 12 months SharePoint, has radically altered the way I design any change management effort I roll out. Good intranet design with change management efforts to link communication change principles, provide a host of change management options.

sharepoint, community persona, intranet, design, Toby Elwin, blog

Community persona for SharePoint intranet design

SharePoint intranet site design that leaves out understanding user need offers little more than propaganda for what you hope sells.

Hope for a community to buy-in is not much of a strategy.

Conversely, community commitment happens when people return to seek value, exchange value, and contribute value with, and for, each other.

Can you build that? Yes, particularly when you start with a community persona strategy to identify end-user motivations and the transparency to contribute to their need.

web design, small business, content, seo, internet, search engine, Toby Elwin

Small business web design review, principles to meet promise

I interact with lots of folks who ask that I review their website and suggest changes.  Many people are well-intentioned to join social media or build a site as a marketing outlet to promote themselves, their business, their thoughts, their organization, or their community.  This does not always meet web design need:  the need to meet other’s objectives. There are many tools available to launch an manage a quick website. There are many companies that offer to build you a site. However, I get many site owners tell me they unsatisfied with the look of their site or the results of their efforts.  Form follows function, not the other way around. Do I Know Web Design? Since the mid-90s I’ve designed websites and portals.  To learn the basics to build a site my boss had me write web pages with a …

Fast Start, conversation

Fast Start — Is Your Organization Design Ready?

Fast start conversation:  What does it mean for an organization to be design ready?  What do you need to know to find out if you need to care if your is organization design ready? Insight from design pioneer Alan Cooper’s design team. A series of questions: Are the right people in the organization listening? Is the infrastructure in place to deliver the message? Can your organization evaluate design? Implement design? Measure design? Ultimately, in this post, and their eight questions to evaluate if you are design resistant or design ready. The difference may just come down to your company relevance. What would you do?

design, tools, persona, Toby Elwin, blog

4 design tools to meet persona context

In business we constantly design. By design I include that we design meetings, we design strategy, we design communication, we design training, and we design projects and programs.

Some design efforts, such as strategy, business process re-engineering, or talent engagement initiatives, may result in new processes, new standards, or new tasks, but the design goal remains: adoption and utility.

About Face, Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, David Cronin, Toby Elwin, community persona, blog

About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design by the book

Originally written in 1995, About Face 3 is the 2007, third edition of this book by authors, Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, and David Cronin. For decades these three think, work, and advocate “knowing what the user wants” as they advocate interaction design form, function, content, and behavior concepts. Interaction design, is many times limited to hardware and software application and interface design; look to Apple as a recent beacon for intuitive interaction design. My research on buyer and community persona for organization strategy and development blog series led discovery of other design-thinking strategies pioneers: David Meerman Scott for web site marketing and design; Adele Revella for organization marketing and sales, and Lene Nielsen for user experience and buyer persona development. However, there were a set of other perspectives, generally thought of from the software, developer, hardware side of the fence. Most notable of these proponents was Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, and David Cronin. Goal-oriented …