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Designer striving for a little more delight in digital products // Product Designer & Design Ops Manager @XING // #UX #IxD // cat guy // www.kiekeben.de

How I try to be more pragmatic and experimental.

I guess you all know the situation in our job as knowledge workers: we face a problem and pretty quickly we are able to come up with a first solution or a concept how to solve it. Quite often, however, after some time we end up in a chaotic situation where we don’t make any real progress anymore. In some cases it even comes to a complete standstill, because the problem we started with has been joined by a colorful bouquet of other problems. …


A setup where you have to collaborate to make progress.

Sequel 3 of ‘Looking for lean UX processes? Change your environment

As I described in the previous articles titled ‘preparing initiatives’ and ‘starting together’, some of the logical measures we introduce to our processes lead to undesired effects. The principles of how and where we optimise sometimes call for counterintuitive action to become leaner and more collaborative as a product team.

The third area involves discussing how we operate within the team during a project. Fixed time and variable scope are again best illustrated with our football analogy. A game lasts for 90 minutes and the rules are defined. …


Harnessing the team’s creativity and motivation.

Sequel 2 of “Looking for lean UX processes? Change your environment

In the previous article I discussed how and where we should focus our attention when preparing initiatives. I described some measures that lead to unwanted consequences and emphasise the shift in mindset towards investing in initiatives. Another area where teams optimise their processes is linked to how they kick off an initiative and the boundaries they put in place to achieve their planned outcomes. This area is basically the aftermath of the preparation phase and, again, teams tend to introduce measures that look conclusive, but do in fact cause unwanted effects.

The core concept of starting together is a term…


Would you bet your money on it?

Sequel 1 of ‘Looking for lean UX processes? Change your environment

In the first chapter I pointed out the problem and the three areas for which we tend to optimise our processes. In this and the following articles, I’d like to address some areas where we should consider new approaches to become leaner. It should be noted that these three areas are far from being an ideal solution or the only areas in need of improvement.

As Marc Twain said:

The secret of getting ahead is getting started

Let’s have a look at how we prepare initiatives. When you read the first article, you may have got the impression that I…


Learning what slows us down to help speed us up.

Imagine a football coach talking to one of his players: “It’s time to hit the training pitch and prepare for our next game. Think of all the scenarios that might occur and come up with creative ways to master them. Oh, and don’t forget to think of some strategies to beat our rival next Sunday.” To top it off, the player has to do this while his teammates are in the middle of playing another game.

Sounds ridiculous? Of course it does!

If you were this football player, you’d immediately think this is a crazy way to prepare for your…


Lessons learned via experimentation and a will to be excellent

Discussing design is a vital part of our job as User Experience Designers. This discussion is necessary to improve our designs, to learn what we don’t know and to iterate towards a better user experience.

So, talking about design and arguing about design is not a strange thing to us. We, as designers love to discuss design — especially when it’s work done by others. Seeing designs immediately triggers a thought process: what’s going on and what are the pitfalls? We naturally identify the shortcomings of a particular design in seconds. …

Jan Kiekeben

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