“Out of the Box is a simple yet effective solution for cell phone users who have difficulties with learning to use their new handset. For older people, this experience can be particularly frustrating as they apply analogue modes of learning to the digital experience – looking in the box for help that simply is not there.” – via Out of the Box — Special Projects.
“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole”
– Theodore Levitt
Alright, serious for a minute.
I’ll admit, I haven’t read it just yet – but I have no doubt that it will be up there with Cluetrain as one of the most influential books on technology. I’m recommending that you pick this book up.
I met Steve, back in, it must have been, 2001. The new lease on our corporate building was up, and we were moving to a swanky new office. A jungle of beige-blue cubicles, but as a newly-minted member of the workforce, I was impressed.
My cubicle neighbour was the new guy. Steve Sammartino was his name. Like the energiser bunny. He was always popping his head over the partition to quiz me on the names of rock drummers, or woo me with an obscure 80’s sitcom reference. Hilarious. I could never get a thing done.
Steve once stole an expensive trophy from the annual sales conference gala event, and presented it with me in the morning. I still have it, somewhere.
He wasn’t like everyone else there. He challenged me to challenge the mediocre work that you inevitably do at a multinational corporation. And made me a better marketer for it.
Hsuen turned up not long after, and they were the two smartest people in the building. By a long shot.
We went our own ways for a year or so, but a catch up in London in 2005 got us into a conversational orgasm about the internet, trackbacks, and the like. Steve and I got into blogging at around this time, and – living on the other side of the world – it’s how we kept in touch. Obviously, Steve took his blog a bit further than i did mine.
I worked with Steve on the MVP for Rentoid, but again he went the full distance with that one, too. There’s not many people I know who have written a book and sold a .com business. The fact that he’s also launched a Lego rocketship into space, and somewhere along the way, learned to breakdance, makes him an even rarer gem.
His blog has always been something I read regularly, and a breakfast meeting with Steve fills you with more knowledge that you’d otherwise receive in a month.
His a terrific fellow, a great friend, and I’ve no doubt that this will be a bestseller. So get out there and buy a copy of his book.
I promised someone last week that I’d give them a list of good web, ux & product design blogs and links.
So I thought I’d share the list here too.
These days, I find most of what I read via twitter and medium, but I do still use RSS, and even visit blogs that are no longer updated. This is my list below of great places to go.
A List Apart
A List Apart covers not just UX, but all things web design, content, code, and the web industry in general. “For People Who Make Websites”, as is their tagline.
UX Mag really deep-dive into topics around user experience. Some great UX #longreads here.
Creating Passionate Users
Creating Passionate Users was Kathy Sierra’s incredible blog that she wrote back in the naughties, that’s well ahead of it’s time. I constantly go back to posts from this blog.
Good UI is the brain-child of Jakub Linowski – it’s a great blog with regular UI/UX design tips and tricks. I get this one by email, and never miss an issue.
Seth Godin’s Blog
Seth Godin is a marketer, and ultimately this is a marketing blog. But like no other marketer, Seth understands that the product and the marketing is the experience. Nuggets of wisdom here for us UXers, too.
52 Weeks of UX
While no longer active, 52 weeks of UX is a fantastic read for anyone who wants to learn more about UX.
Zurb are an amazing product design company that are incredibly prolific. Their University sub-site has a tonne of great UX / Product resources. Sign up for their newsletter.
My fiends at UX Mastery have a great site around UX training, and getting into UX as a profession. Lots of great advice, even if you’ve been in User Experience for some time.
Boxes and Arrows
Boxes and Arrows has been around for over 10 years, and was one of the first design blogs that i began to read.
Boxes and Arrows led me to Christina Wodtke, who is one of the industries greatest writers. ElegantHack is Christina’s personal blog. Well worth a visit.
For a user experience blog, I’m astounded by how ugly this site is – but some great articles here nonetheless.
Bokardo is Josh Porter’s excellent journal of ux and product design. Never a dull post.
Little Big Details
If you haven’t come across this Little Big Details before, it’s well worth exploring. A great round-up of examples of surface delight elements in websites and applications.