This is my first attendance to Mind The Product but definitely not the last one. The one-day programme is full of quality content presented by top-notch speakers. Here are my notes taken during the conference.
Jake Knapp, author of the Sprint book
Jake shares his journey from early days at Microsoft working on Encarta to lately helping numerous portfolio companies of Google Ventures using the Sprint methodology.
Having a live presentation of the essence of the Sprint book by Jake himself is brilliant. If you have not read the ‘Sprint’ book yet, watch this:
Big news for me today: I’m leaving Google to do something a little crazy.https://t.co/i14L5DbGZk
— Jake Knapp (@jakek) May 9, 2017
Blade Kotelly, Experience Strategy Lead at Sonos
Blade takes an academic look on product design and emphasises on the importance of centrelining experiences to make sure the design addresses well enduring human needs.
Teresa Torres, Product Discovery Coach
Teresa’s theme is ‘Critical Thinking for product Teams’. She tells us to avoid ‘Whether or not’ decisions and calls for ‘Compare and Contrast’ decisions; then she introduces ‘The Opportunity Solution Tree’ for teams to facilitate Compare and Contrast decisions. Here’s how to build an opportunity solution tree:
Jane Austin, Director of Design and UX at Print Company Moo
Jane starts with a list of signs of a bad design team and goes on to share their successful experience on revamping the journalists’ publishing tool for Telegraph and explains how her happy team is constructed and how it functions to build the right thing right by shaping the problem space, understanding and defining the problem, exploring and creating solutions before shipping; ethnographic research is used to identify unmet needs, generative research to define the problem, and summative research and MVT are also involved.
Jane is joyful and she insists on the importance of the happiness of the team. We cannot agree more, can we?
Scott Berkun, Best-Selling Author
Scott’s original perspectives are:
Ideas are made of other ideas — study the history of a problem to find new ideas for solving it
Great ideas often look weird (at first) — all masterpieces begin as experiments
Our minds are naturally creative — when suitably motivated by a hard problem, creativity is unavoidable
Amber Case, Fellow Harvard Berkman Klein Centre, MIT Media Lab
Amber tries to calm us down at this overwhelming age of connected anythings — an era of interruptive technology.
She strongly recommends the article of Mark Weiser and Jon Seely Brown from the Xerox PARC ‘The Coming Age of Calm Technology’ and gives us advices on how to design calm technology:
- Technology shouldn’t require all of our attention, just som of it, and only when necessary.
- Technology should empower the periphery.
- Technology should inform and encalm.
- Technology should amplify the best of technology and the best of humanity: machines shouldn’t act like humans; humans shouldn’t act like machines.
- Technology can communicate, but it doesn’t need to speak.
- Technology should consider social norms.
- The right amount of technology is the minimum amount to solve the problem.
- Technology should make use of the near and the far.
- Technology should work even when it fails.
- Good design allows people to accomplish their goals in the least amount of move.
- Calm technology allows people to accomplish the same goals with the least amount of mental cost.
- A person’s primary task should not be computing, but being human.
Sarah Nelson, Program Architect from IBM Studios
Spaces shape culture; culture shapes spaces. Sarah shares 5 habits to built creative spaces that work:
Say Yes to new ideas and proposals
Prototype (oh yes, even workspace can/should be prototyped and even A/B tested!)
Josh Clark, Big Medium Founder
Josh talks about design in the era of the algorithm. Because the machines make mistakes, we should anticipate weirdness. The design and presentation of data is as important as the underlying algorithm.
- Embrace uncertainty: our answer machines have an over confidence problem; build systems smart enough to know when they’re not smart enough; signal uncertainty and ask for help.
- Improve the data: the machines know only what we feed them; garbage in, garbage out
- Responsible data gathering: this is UX research at massive scale; make it easy to contribute(accurate) data; we are the product, we are the training data; data we believe to be under our control is not; be loyal to the user, take responsibility.
Well to remember: be kind to each other!
Lea Hickman, Partner, Silicon Valley Product Group
Lea talks about ‘Transforming to a product Culture’.
The right people: prioritise personality, soft vs. hard skills
Look for: intellectual curiosity, natural collaborator, grit
Most critical shift: from tasks to goals, from output to outcome
Be transparent: not just good news, establish trust
Source of disconnect: competing goals, different motivations, varied historic context
Building credibility: autonomy -> accountability, integrity
Sustainable teams: shared values, empowered teams, results driven product
Barry O’Reilly, ExecCamp Founder and Author of Lean Enterprise
Barry finishes up the day with a talk on how high performance organisations innovate at scale.
He explains the power of purpose, how to get alignment at scale and the principle of mission.
Transformational target conditions:
we believe that (performing this initiative)
then we will (achieve this result)
we will know this is true when (measurable outcomes not outputs)
Big change starts small — outcomes are realised by designing the behaviours to achieve them.
BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits:
After (this event)
I will (take this tiny action)
Transform ourself not others — grow a highly aligned, high velocity organisation by creating a culture of experimentation and learning.
MTP London, Barbican Centre, 8 Sept. 2017.