There are no shortcuts to become a leader.
Yesterday at work I had the opportunity to play a board game I had not heard about before: Playing Lean. It was one of the most entertaining days at work I’ve ever had.
Last week I had the chance to try the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, in 13 and 15 inches, and I got a better experience with it than I was expecting to have. Continue reading “I tried the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and it’s better than I expected”
Last week I got certified as a Splunk Power User! I took the online test after doing all the pre-required courses and passed it.
For those interested in getting certified, here are some tips:
Inceptions suffer from the same problems that affect long meetings full of people:
- Having a lot of people in a room like your stakeholders, your team, your boss and your boss’s boss means only one thing: long discussions about opinions and points of view, without real hard data to back those opinions, which make discussions even longer. This of course means you can’t obtain much value for your product after these discussions.
- It’s normal to also have people connected via video-conference like Skype or Google Hangouts. It’s 2016 but we still have issues with these types of virtual meetings, specially with internet connections not being as good as they should be. This means you’ll probably have to repeat something many times in order for everyone on the other side of the screen to understand what you’re trying to communicate.
- Since there are so many people invited to this event, there’s probably more than one that will be late and you’ll have to do a summary of what has been discussed up to that point, only for that person, but wasting everyone else’s time.
- The Inceptions I’ve been to have lasted 5 consecutive days. 5 days! 5 days, with at least 10 people in the room, for 8 hours a day… that’s 400 hours of engineers, designers, project managers and executives. Are you sure you need that much capacity in order to know what product to build and set your initial backlog? Do you really need these really expensive 400 hours?
2 weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the 7th anual Splunk Conference – .conf2016 in Orlando, Florida. In this post I want to briefly share my experience with you.
It’s no wonder that the Kindle Paperwhite is one of the best Kindles ever created by Amazon. And you can go to its official page to read all the specifications and features. In this brief post I want to share my experience with it and the reasons why I like it so much over the previous versions.
The Paperwhite is my third Kindle. I previously owned a Kindle Keyboard and a Kindle 4. This one is the best by far. Here’s why:
- It has a backlight so you can read at night. With all the previous Kindles you needed a lamp and that was very uncomfortable.
- It has no buttons and has a touch screen. This makes it so much easier to use. Turning pages by touching the screen and highlighting text with your finger instead of touching buttons is great. After using the Paperwhite it’s easy to think that it was so tedious to use the buttons with the other Kindles, especially typing or highlighting text.
- Because of the 2 reasons above, you can really focus on your reading and not on the device you’re holding. With the other Kindles I was still aware of the device so it distracted me a bit. The Paperwhite makes you forget about the Kindle itself and focus on the content 100%.
- It’s light, slim and easy to hold.
- The battery runs for weeks! It’s been more than 2 weeks since I bought it and I haven’t charged it yet.
I highly recommend The Kindle Paperwhite to anyone who loves reading. I still like to have physical books on my shelf, but the practicality that the Kindle Paperwhite brings just beats real paper.
Have you seen the latest product Apple launched? The Smart Battery Case. If not, here it is:
As you can see, it’s very very ugly. If you asked 100 designers to come up with a battery case, I don’t think this design would have been the winner.
Something happened at Apple, and not just with this product, but with the ones released before like the new Magic Mouse 2 and the iPad Pro.
Look at how you have to charge the Magic Mouse 2. You can’t use the mouse while charging it. The previous version used 2 AA batteries that could be replaced in 10 seconds so you can continue using the device.
And look at how you have to charge the new Apple Pencil for the iPad Pro
That looks fragile. The slightest bad move on the pencil and it looks it’s going to break.
Apple lost its common sense. It’s like if Apple decided to fire the guy that made the last check before releasing a product. The guy that said “no we can’t launch that, it’s too ugly” or “that doesn’t make sense” or “the usability of that product does not exist” is not working for Apple anymore. Or maybe… was that guy Steve Jobs?
In his biography written by Walter Isaacson, it is mentioned that he always did that kind of things. Even if a product was ready to be released or in its final stages, he would look at it or use it and he would say it was too ugly, dumb or unusable and the product would be discarded.
If Apple wants us to feel that their products are special and carefully thought out again, they need a guy that makes that final check. They need a guy with a lot of common sense. Releasing a product just because it works good enough is a thing for Samsung or other competitors.
I have to start this post saying I’m not a UX expert by any means. UX is not my professional field. These are just some thoughts I’ve had while seeing and experiencing how UX happens from the designer and user perspective across different systems, websites and companies.
I think the two most important skills a UX designer needs are common sense and empathy.
You need empathy because as a designer, you need to be on the user’s feet. You have to be looking through their eyes. You have to think of yourself as the final user of whatever your are designing. This way you’ll have a closer look at what the user is expecting from your product.
With this in mind, you will also need common sense. When designing experiences, you can’t do fool things. Fools things often happen when business needs or technology constraints are given more importance than what they really deserve. Business will come with good UX first. Not the other way around.
Avoid complicated and sofisticated and go with simple and usable. Always ask yourself if you’d be happy using what you are designing.
I’ve seen that without these basic concepts, results are often mediocre.
Even though I’ve been a WordPress user for a very long time (about 10 years) I had never installed a beta version. Until today.
I noticed WordPress 4.4 beta 1 was released just a couple of hours before writing this post and it came with a really good looking new theme: Twenty Sixteen. So I decided to install 4.4 beta 1 to try the new theme as it doesn’t work with 4.3.
So how do you install the beta version?
Well, you have 2 options. You can download the zip, extract it and install it like any other WordPress version or you can go with the fast and easy way which is installing the WordPress Beta Tester plugin first, and then using the plugin to install the beta version of WP. I went with the latter. It all happens in the WordPress Dashboard so it’s very convenient.
After you install and activate the plugin, you have to go to Tools and then Beta Testing.
Here you have 2 options: Point release nightlies and Bleeding edge nightlies. You have to choose Bleeding edge nightlies to get the most recent version of WordPress, in this case 4.4 beta 1.
After that is done, you have to click on the link that invites you to upgrade and voilà, the latest and greatest version of WordPress will be installed. Although, maybe not the greatest because it warns you it’s a bit unstable, but I haven’t had any issues with it yet. The good thing is you’ll get the latest features and will be able to install the newest themes.