Monday, July 16, 2018

Success and Your Comfort Zone



Success happens when you are willing to step outside your comfort zone—just for a little while.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Thursday, July 12, 2018

User Design Lesson From XM Radio



They always list the band name over the song title but, to remove any ambiguity, they also put a human icon next to the band name and a musical note icon next to the song title.

Simplicity + No Ambiguity = Good User Design  #design

My July "Chicago Business Journal" Column: How one innovative bookstore competes with Amazon


My July 2018 "Chicago Business Journal"column is out:

https://www.bizjournals.com/chicago/news/2018/07/11/how-one-innovative-bookstore-competes-with-amazon.html

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

ServiceNow: Another Example of the Link Between Simplicity and Innovation


Forbes magazine recently had a list of the most innovative companies in the world.  One of the companies it profiled was ServiceNow.

They offer a work flow system that makes it easy for employees to easily request IT services.

As Forbes says:

"The special sauce—the thing that gives ServiceNow the fat 'innovation premium' that drives our ranking—comes from two product traits with the potential to scale: simplicity and customizability.

ServiceNow's IT tools don't require the IT department to set them up.  Once running, they offer a single collection center for requests, data points and checkpoints, all of which in turn can be analyzed by algorithms to predict needs, flag concerns, and measure efficiency."


Now that ServiceNow has gotten into many large companies, they can leverage their IT service platform to move into other areas—to compete with other vendors such as  Salesforce by offering the same process (simplicity, customizability) to other content areas.

As ServiceNow CEO John Donahue (former CEO of eBay) is quoted in Forbes on the "need to make complex processes simple and elegant":

"Millennials say, Why can I reset my PayPal password in 20 seconds, but to reset my work email takes 20 minutes and a phone call? Consumers want a seamless experience, and employees are the same way."

This last point is something that I've noticed in many of my clients:  They focus on the user experience for customers (user simplicity), but they tolerate clunky interfaces for internal apps (affecting operational simplicity).  I tell my customers that user simplicity is also part of operational simplicity, because your employees are important users also.

On Delegation




"Delegation is not a binary thing. There are shades of gray between dictatorship and anarchy" 

- Jurgen Appelo




"Don't tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with the results." 

- George S. Patton