Dave Rael has been podcasting about software development since June 2015. In our chat, the key turning point was when he said, “algorithms are neutral.” I explained how they’re not, starting around eleven minutes in. Developer on Fire Podcast Episode 265 … just two transposed digits away from episode 256! (transcript coming soon) Transcript below Read More

This webinar builds awareness of cognitive bias when it comes to being “data-driven,” and clarifies the differences between the problem space and the solution space. I introduce mental model diagrams, Read More

In the design and creation of products, services, or software, most organizations follow a cyclical approach. The idea is that past work informs future work. The cycle goes by many names Read More

developing valid personas


Well-crafted personas are actually behavioral audience segments with names and faces attached (demographics attached). Behavioral audience segments are differentiated based on the way people tend to reason their way toward a specific purpose, like “lose weight,” “decide which/whether college might be right for me,” or “run my department without loss.”  Read More

Some people believe so fervently in their idea; the thought of spending time on anything else than building it is inconceivable. So these people focus 200% of their energy breathing life into their idea, staying up late, working when everyone else is taking a break. I wrote the foreword for Marcin Treder‘s free book released in 2013, UX Design for Startups. Reprinted below. Read More

intro to mental model diagrams

cartoon figure in grocery store looking into freezer

A mental model diagram is one way to collect and curate person-focused research, so you can focus on what people are trying to accomplish and create solutions that match. Brad Colbow created this comic for Indi to introduce mental model diagrams. Read More

Somehow, in the quest for confidence, qualitative knowledge ended up positioned as the opposite of quantitative knowledge. In this JohnnyHolland post, Qualitative Is Not the Opposite of Quantitative Data, I give you a definition and a reference to help educate those around you. Reprinted below.

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This article originally appeared in the inaugural edition of Scroll magazine in September 2008. Reprinted below.

“You can­not develop a good solu­tion for some­one with­out empathis­ing with that per­son. Maybe you know the facts. For example, a cus­tomer needs to be able to transfer their money from account to account. But why is that person trans­fer­ring those funds?” Read More

This article originally appeared in issue 267 of A List Apart in September 2008. Reprinted below.

“Before you can solve a user’s problems, you must see them as that user sees them. Once you understand what drives people’s behavior, not only do new ideas flow freely, but the ideas that flow are appropriate and useful.”
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