Failing Fast & Learning Along the Way – Big Design 2013

Jeremy Johnson @ Big Design

Jeremy Johnson @ Big Design

A couple weeks ago I gave a presentation to a crowd at the Big Design Conference around how we can quickly learn from our customers using a variety of different methods. In the past when I’ve worked with a number of large organizations, moving fast has always been an issue – but many organizations today have cracked the code, and despite their size they move quickly to learn and adjust to make better products for their customers. Products that they truly find value in and enjoy.

If you missed Big Design, it’s a great Dallas area conference, you can see the recap of the conference here via seen.co.

Jeremy Johnson @ Big Design

Jeremy Johnson @ Big Design

The title of the presentation comes from the mantras of startups: “Fail Fast”, “Move Fast & Break Things”, “Keep Shipping” – these are all great slogans, but unknown to many – these are really all about learning. It’s about getting things in front of your customers early, and often. Watching – and learning. Finding what ideas were not quite as brilliant as you once thought – and finding this out as fast and cheap as possible.

With my background in User Experience and customer research, I’m always curious with how they fit in this model. Taking from Agile, Lean, and User Centered Design I went over the build-measure-learn process, and how you can start to shape your organization to move fast, without leaving your customers behind.

Here’s the presentation hosted on slideshare:

@philiplikens took some notes during my talk which you can find here: Failing Fast & Learning Along the Way Notes.

During the presentation I asked a series of questions around how often and how close everyone gets to their end customer. Unfortunately not enough, but there was enough discussion at the end to show that everyone wants to learn from their customers in meaningful ways – we just need to find ways to break down these barriers to do so.

It’s neither expensive or slow to learn something from your customers – so start learning today!

Designing for Google Glass

During SXSW I was able to attend Timothy Jordan’s talk on designing and developing for Google Glass. I’m somewhere in here – a photo taken directly from Jordan’s Glass:

SXSW Crowd for Google Glass

Two things struck me from the videos that I’ve seen from Google’s promotional videos:

1) The 100% hands off view is not totally accurate, as you’re touching, taping and swiping the side of the Glass often, and 2) the “augmented view” is also not 100% what has been imagined from the movies or other early phone based, or game based augmented reality experiences.

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A couple weeks with the pebble

pebble watch

pebble watch
I got my pebble a day before SXSW Interactive. Good timing. It was a snap to setup, and with a single charge I was on my way.

There has been a lot about the “iWatch” recently – from Samsung confirming they’re launching a watch to recent posts around what we’d want out of a “iWatch” to current “smart” watch providers like Sony adding features as fast as they can.
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Fail Fast, Learn Fast, Move Fast: My UX journey to move faster

Today’s Dallas Digital Summit started with Alexis Ohanian (reddit and hipmunk fame) talking about how the internet is changing everything. And in his talks he touched on some aspects of product development – things like shipping, getting a MVP product out the door, and making sure customers find value in what you’re creating.

It’s good to get a startup vibe to start off the day – and I’m really passionate about bringing this vibe to other organizations. I think as User Experience Designers we’re in the right place to help change organizations – so it makes sense that things like the Lean UX mirrors elements of the Lean Startup movement and Agile Development.

So lets make things, great things, well designed things – build/measure/test – and may you ship as often as possible.

Here’s my presentation from today’s UX session @ Dallas Digital Summit:

#DDSUM12

I’m speaking @ the Dallas Digital Summit tomorrow

Tomorrow I will be speaking at the Dallas Digital Summit in the User Experience & Design track @ 4:10.



I’ll be speaking about Lean UX (and related topics) – dubbed: Fail Fast, Learn Fast, Move Fast: My UX journey to move faster. I’ll post my slides right after the talk (because you know I’ll be editing them until I’m on stage ;-)

The tickets are currently sold out, but if you’re there be sure to say hello! And if you’re not, you can follow along #DDSum12.

Game On! Gamification @ Big Design 2011

Game On Blog Post

I’m a little behind on this, but it’s always interesting to look back. In 2011 I gave a talk to a couple local groups and at the Big Design Conference on Gamification. We were hot off the heals of SXSW, where we had a great many talks, startups, and guests from the gaming world. But after more than a year, it’s still gaining ground, and we’ve yet to see the hockey stick growth in adoption – but I think it’s still coming.
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Big Design 2011 – bigger, better, and ready for 2012

Year three. Really? Yes! The team from Big Design put on another great year – and I was glad I could help in some small way. From bringing in top talent to Dallas – to being the one big event each year where all Dallas area designers can meet and mingle – Big Design is great at providing a low cost way to become inspired and network with like minded designers, developers, and social media mavens. Check out my cameo in the above video, and for more check out this year’s photo gallery.