Design for Entrepreneurs and Hackers

I did a great course 'Design for Entrepreneurs and Hackers' at General Assembly when I first arrived in NYC. The course was run by Jack Cheng and David Cole from Disrupto and I have finally got around to doing a write up on it.

They have got a solid framework on what makes good design. The basis of their theory is that good design is making and breaking patterns to achieve desired outcomes. A large portion of the course was talking about patterns. Patterns are recurring solutions that solve common design problems. They are shortcuts that people understand, similar to schemas. They had a number of great resources on patterns for mobile and web;

Mobile UI Patterns

Pattern Tap
Welie (User need patterns)
Yahoo's Patterns

Here is a great site on Dark Patterns, they are patterns that deceive the user, if you have ever had that feeling that a design is being tricky, then there is probably a case study on this site of where it has hurt a company online.

When designing anything for online they suggested there were three layers that designers needed to think about - Product Strategy, Product User Interface and Visual Design, within these you want one of these objects to be remarkable and then the others to be patterns that people are familiar with.

On a side not, on a scale of 1 to mind blowing how good is the K-Swiss/Kenny Powers entertainment????

Digital Strategy Training Guide - Using Social for Insights Mining

This is the second chapter of my MacGyver Digital Strategy Handbook

One of the oldest forms of Marketing Research is Discourse Analysis, the study of the written word. With the advent of Social Media it has given marketers, the opportunity to capture real time conversations. Understanding how people will talk about your brand/product/category can be very insightful and help to uncover new territories for the brand.

Tools to be used
Keywords Discovery

List all the names for the product and the category, using Google Search Insights (Similar Search) you will also uncover other words that people use to search for you product. Create a list of these words.

Social Media Mining
Once you have worked out your keywords it is now time to mine Social Media sites to find out what people are saying around these topics. The important thing here is to look out for common themes, start transferring all the data to an excel spreadsheet, using common theme tags to highlight the theme.

There are a number of great tools that you can use to do this.

OpenFacebook - Allows you to see what people have been writing in their Facebook Status Updates, it is estimated that about 3% of the FB population have open accounts, this still gives a good idea of how people are speaking about the product.

Example – Pens

Twiter Search - Check the search terms in twitter, the great thing about Twitter is that it shows the most tweeted tweets using those key terms. This will help uncover the common themes.

Example – Pens

Facebook Search - One of the great things about Facebook is that anyone can set up a Page/Group, what has happened is that a number of people have set up what is called 'Statement Pages' which are small everyday truths. Understanding what people agree on around a topic can be very insightful. Use the search bar and then narrow the search by looking at ‘Groups and Pages’ for those keywords.

Example – Pens