Musings and Bloviations

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A graphic illustrating two figures planting together.

The Collaborative Organization

During the height of the pandemic, organizations were struggling to adjust to a completely different way of working together. But the pandemic merely highlighted a slew of longstanding questions about collaboration in the workplace. In this presentation I distinguish among a variety of ways of working together, most of which…
A photograph of group of people chatting in an open office area

Random Collisions in the Workplace: The Role of Serendipity in Innovation

Organizations, and their leaders, are struggling in the years after the pandemic to define their return-to-office playbook. What is the right narrative that will bring people back into the office? What are the benefits of working in a collocated space that outweigh the costs of the commute and loss of…
A few casually dressed office workers, some of whom are chatting in a hallway
Random Collisions in the workplace Produced with Midjourney

Random Collisions in the Workplace: a driver of innovation

One of the workplace activities we rarely notice—bumping into people in the hall on our way to and from other places—turns out to be an unsung hero of innovation. As we find ourselves coming back to the office, many of us are rediscovering the delightful serendipity of this seemingly insignificant…
UXPlaybook Game Board illustrating the full double-diamond in context

Digging Into a Design Thinking Playbook

this second article on the UX Playbook (published on productcraft.com), I highlight each of the four Mega-plays and decompose one into its constituent micro-plays. 
A "bird's eye view" of Lab furnishings

Shifts in the Workplace: COVID, Design Thinking and the Future of Work

COVID and the global pandemic’s impact on working norms continue to raise questions about the nature of work and the “new normal.” How much time should employees be “in the office?” What is the impact of a fully remote workforce on an organization’s productivity, innovation and culture? By shifting work…
The twelve potential activities associated with a UX engagement

Design Thinking as the Foundation for Design Operations

Design Operations - the optimization of people, processes and tools in service of design benefits from applying Design Thinking frameworks.
UXPlaybook Game Board illustrating the full double-diamond in context
UX Game Board

Delivering Better Products Using a Design Thinking Playbook

How can UX, Product and Engineering work together better if our frameworks aren't aligned?
An example of an estimate from Phase II

Crafting a Transparent Approach to UX Services

In a series of articles I've written for UXMatters, I describe an approach to writing proposals for services that distinguish your value proposition from your competition by leveraging three key principles: 1. Bill by "piece work" 2. Be transparent 3. Put your customer in control of the scope of effort
A nine-piece jigsaw puzzle: the four corners labeled "stakeholders," the top-middle Principles, right-side-middle, Qualities, bottom-middle, References, left-side middle, Standards, the center: The Experience
Completed puzzle piece

Architecture and User Experience, Part 11: The PQRS Model

Finally, after almost a dozen articles, I'm prepared to discuss a framework for a UX architecture, what I've called the PQRS Model, or Puzzle-piece Framework. To review, I've been mining Architecture (as in bricks-and-mortar) in the hopes of discovering ways to discuss UX architecture. Architecture has historically been strategic, no…
Scanned image of Boullee's proposed royal library from 1795.

Architecture and User Experience, Part 10: A Model for UX Architecture

In this installment I propose a need for, and an example of, a model for UX architecture. Models allow us to discuss a system without specifying particularities about the system. This is important if we want to understand how the system can be put to good (or better) use. Models also…
Image of front cover of book, Presumptive Design: Design Provocations for Innovation

Architecture and User Experience, Part 9: Communicating with Stakeholders

Throughout this series, I've been using Architecture (bricks-and-mortar Architecture, capitalized) as an analogy for UX architecture (lower-case). Because Architecture has "had a seat at the table" for hundreds of years, perhaps we can learn from its success and apply those lessons to UX architecture, thereby increasing UX architecture's strategic value. In…
Photo of woman wearing straw hat bent close to the ground inspecting the soil using a jeweler's loop

Architecture and User Experience, Part 8: Exploring Ecosystems of Use

I argue, in the initial articles of this series, that a UX architecture exists. I argue that it is akin to Architecture itself even if UX architecture doesn't share the strategic position of its older and more established relation. I've also suggested that UX architecture will eventually get a seat at…
A reproduction of a wood engraving showing the use of an Edison wax cylinder recorder in both recording and playback mode.

Architecture and User Experience, Part 7: An Ecosystem Approach

Continuing the thoughts from the most recent article, I dig deeper into how UX architecture pervades the entire enterprise, assuming the enterprise has anything to do with people. World-class UX architecture is world-class systems design. It takes an ecosystem approach to considering the users' experience of the enterprise's products and services.…
Photo of several tables of people chatting, drinking at a restaurant

Architecture and User Experience, Part 6: It’s People, People

In the first set of articles, I’ve argued that Architecture is both strategic and political. These are two ways in which it differs from design. I suggested Architecture isn't just design on steroids: it's a broader activity, extending beyond the brief to which any specific design responds. Architecture is both the context…
Photo of a horseshoe and four-leaf clover, signifying good fortunie

Architecture and User Experience, Part 5: Preparing for Success

We'd like to think we're successful because we do good work. But it's a little more complicated than that. To be successful, our good work has to be recognized as good, and that means the people we work with and for understand what we do. For UX architecture to enable…
Image of front cover of Volume 1 of the UX Architecture: Architecting the Experience.

Architecture and User Experience, Part 4: The UX Vision

The point of these blogs is to sketch out the notion of  "UX architecture," something that many people talk about (or at least they post job descriptions for UX architects; I assume those people will be working on UX architectures...) but for which there is little documentation. I've been thinking…
The double-diamond diagram as a representation of UX architecture - UX architecture bridges from the start to finish of the design cycles.
UX architecture and the Double Diamond Diagram

Architecture and User Experience, Part 3: A Sustainable Process Of Design

In the first few installments of this commentary, I propose Architecture is (by definition) a political act and an essential strategic element of business. Within the corporate cubicles, whether as employees or as creative consultants,  user experience professionals advocate for users—their agendas, their needs and their emotional experiences. We promote…
Image of multiple arrows pointing to the top of an enclosed circle with icons of factories, targets and bar graphs

Architecture and User Experience, Part 2: Architecture and Strategy

In this continuation of a series of articles about UX Architecture, I suggest that Architecture, by definition, is a strategic asset. Its strategic impact makes Architecture different from other types of design.
Image of architect Lebbeus Woods with his quote about architecture: Architecture is a political act, by nature. It has to do with the relationships between people and how they decide to change their conditions of living.

Architecture and User Experience, Part 1: The Politics of Architecture

About eight years ago I published a series of articles on CHIFOO (the Oregon and SW Washington chapter of the ACM's SIGCHI) having to do with UX Architecture. I've re-discovered those articles and made them current, but as it turns out, not so much has changed in the ensuing years. For…
Photo of Leo, in hat and sport coat, screwing up his face as he's offering a critique

Season Premier of Expose UX (2016 2nd Season)

Season 2 Episode 1 - the premier episode for the season - in Portland, featuring Leo as one of the judges. A fun little exercise in helping startups get better acquainted with the ways in which UX can help them attract more customers, investors and improve their revenue.
Frontispiece to InteractLondon16 keynote address

Artifacts From the Future: The Impact of Time Travel on Design

In this keynote address closing the first day of Interact London 16, I offer persuasive and cautionary tales of time travel and its odd effect on the artifacts we design. 
Image of a rainbow colored unicorn

Avoiding the Elusive Unicorn

A 30 minute presentation to UX recruiters, helping them help ::us.:: In this short video, I suggest ways to write UX job reqs that avoid attracting mythical beasts.
UXPA Webinar on Presumptive Design with Leo and Charles

UXPA Webinar: Presumptive Design

In which Frishberg and Lambdin present Presumptive Design in a webinar format, specifically in the context of Agile, comparing and contrasting it to Lean UX.
Diagram depicting levels of usability in the form of a pyramid: from lowest to highest: usable, useful, desirable, delightful. MTU happens somewhere in "useful"

Forget About MVP. It’s All About the MTU

In which I suggest the MVP has been misunderstood. It's about user stories, right? Enter the MTU.
Equation: s is proportional to satisfaction divided by effort

How I’ve Let Go of Delight

In which I suggest that UX's responsibility for delivering emotional experiences may be more than most organizations are ready for.
Photo of young boy confused by camera

Create First, Research Later

In which I suggest we should fail intelligently as early as possible to avoid costly failures down the road.