Nils Gilman

An effective interdisciplinary team doesn’t come into being simply by putting the best biologist, the best engineer, and the best painter (say) into a room together, and expecting that they will magically find a way to work with one another. Rather, one needs to find excellent people in each of these disciplines who also have an inclination to and knowledge of how collaborate with experts from disciplines other than their own.

October 28, 2022

Opinions and Arguing

Patrick Stokes, lecturer in philosophy at Deakin Uni:

You are not entitled to your opinion. You are only entitled to what you can argue for.

Stokes also notes that there’s a difference between losing an argument and losing the right to argue.

Something to consider in client critiques, I think.

October 26, 2022

It’s not how good the experiment is, it’s how good you are at experimenting

— John Cutler

October 23, 2022

The ISO on Usability

ISO 9241-210:

  • The design is based upon an explicit understanding of users, tasks and environments.
  • Users are involved throughout design and development.
  • The design is driven and refined by user-centred evaluation.
  • The process is iterative.
  • The design addresses the whole user experience.
  • The design team includes multidisciplinary skills and perspectives.

Huh. Good for talking with clients.

October 23, 2022

Top Tasks

not 50! 400!

The why

You will be able to say: These are the customers’ top tasks. Here’s how they’re performing. Here’s what we need to do to make things better. LOCATION: 183

The what

Length of final shortlist A maximum of 100 tasks is recommended (though we have had lists that worked with up to 150 tasks). A minimum of 30 tasks is recommended. 50-80 is the typical length of a final task-list. LOCATION: 1179

Practically every time we start Top Tasks, the organization will say: Our organization is very complicated. It is unique. And our customers are particularly unique. We predict huge differences in tasks between customer categories.” And when the results roll in we nearly always find far more similarities in top tasks across customer categories than was expected. LOCATION: 1274

How to recruit?

When creating the invitation text to take the survey, do not make the common mistake of asking people to take a survey. Take our survey” or Help us improve our website” is a very organization-centric message and unlikely to yield a good response. LOCATION: 1388

Frame the message from the point of view of the customer. Here are some examples: What are your tasks when you are managing a network? Tell us so we can make things better for you. What’s most important to you when dealing with your health? Let us know so that we can better serve you. When buying a car, what matters most to you? LOCATION: 1391

How many, Gerry?

400 people are required to vote on the task-list to deliver reliable data. However, you can get also good results with about 200 people, and even 100 people will give you a strong indication of what the top three tasks are. LOCATION: 1395

For a sub-category, you need at least about 50 people. Certainly, you should aim for a minimum of 25, though I have seen useful data emerge from as few as 15 participants. LOCATION: 1400

October 21, 2022

Friends don’t let friends listen to tech podcasts

Adam Rogers, listened to 40 hours of tech-bro podcasts for Insider:

I could feel my intuitive map getting rewritten. Government is always bad, the market solves everything, clever investment is a real job even if you don’t produce anything except money. I should start a company, grow fast, get a big exit, buy a house in Atherton and spend my leisure time urging people not to go to college and fighting the construction of protected bike lanes and multifamily housing.

October 9, 2022