There seems to be a common misunderstanding of user research and user-centered design. Too many people believe that user centered design involves asking users what they want and then building exactly what they asked for. This is far from the truth. Most of the time users are poor at expressing what they really want. They may be able to tell you what they don’t like about their current situation, but users are typically not skilled at envisioning the future. Users will never make for you all of the myriad decisions that go into developing a product or service. The hard work of building the future is your job! (more…)
Archive for August, 2011
Each year at least 1.7 million U.S. workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica ─ a basic component of soil, sand, granite, and many other minerals in the air (Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2011). The most severe exposures to silica generally occur during abrasive sandblasting to remove paint and rust from bridges, tanks, concrete structures and other surfaces (OSHA 2003). However, exposure to silica dust, especially respirable silica dust, can occur in a wide variety of trades, including roofing, masonry, tile and even home siding replacement.
Workers exposed to respirable silica dust over a long period of time have an increased risk of contracting silicosis, a debilitating disease which can cause lung cancer, pulmonary tuberculosis, airway diseases, autoimmune disorders and chronic renal diseases (Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2011). (more…)
Simple products are often the most challenging to innovate. Imagine being the product manager tasked with developing new innovations in the marshmallow market. Marshmallows are used in a variety of applications (recipes). They’ve been around nearly 60 years, and most people have already tried just about every size, shape and color. Despite this, the candy hasn’t seen a significant increase in demand since the mini marshmallow was introduced years ago. Just when it seems marshmallow has reached its point of stagnation, Kraft Foods comes up with a true innovation, the Stacker ─ a marshmallow made specifically for smores.
How did Kraft do it? It’s likely they used a combination of tactics. Use the 5 steps below to “reinvent” your own simple or maturing product. (more…)