12 9 / 2013

The Relative Value of a Feature - Spotify & Songkick

Long-time, no-post but here is a quickie when it comes to UX and the value of certain features.

Little Big Details

So I find myself on Spotify jamming out to the Wood Bros in preparation for what will be a fantastic concert tonight when I came across this lil promo:


At first glance, this is a nice little feature promoting live music of the band I’m listening to, but at closer look, it needs some definite adjustments. 

#1: View upcoming concerts in your country

Seriously? My country? The whole USA? I can’t imagine a time where I’m able to travel freely across the country to see a band play.

An easy, location-agnostic alternative could read, “Hey - The Wood Brother are currently on tour. Check out their schedule.”

And if they are truly playing in my area, it could read, “View upcoming concerts in your area.” This could incorporate the Wood Bros and similar bands.

Or best yet because they are playing TONIGHT, it could read, “Whoa! These guys are playing in your city TONIGHT. Find Tickets.”

That would be awesome.

#2: SEP 13

Today is September 12th, and as I noted above, there is a concert near me TONIGHT.

I can see the argument that most likely my day’s plans are already baked-in, so why not promote the future. HOWEVER, when I click on the promo, it shows tonight’s concert at the Fine Line. Odd.


Assuming the Best

Now for a couple caveats because I like what Spotify and SongKick are trying to do.

Technically, Madison is close(ish) to me in Minneapolis. Wisconsin is next to Minnesota, correct, but 273 miles isn’t quite close. Maybe they need to change ‘country’ to ‘area’ and adjust their location filters. (NOTE: Relative location services could be a whole topic in itself.)

This promo is an integration with SongKick, so I don’t truly know who has control of this feature.

Moral of the Story 

Read the labels you write out loud to yourself and vett out the relative values that the data presented brings to your end user.

06 5 / 2013

"While Airbnb is data driven, they don’t let data push them around. Instead of developing reactively to metrics, the team often starts with a creative hypothesis, implements a change, reviews how it impacts the business and then repeats that process."

How design thinking transformed Airbnb from a failing startup to a billion dollar business (via sprmario)

Lesson learned here is that data and creative problem solving need to work as a team. The attached article is a solid read as well.

21 4 / 2013

"If you’re hiring for a creative position, this means creating an environment where good work can exist. This is obviously a complex topic in itself, but it touches on things like process, workspace, responsibility, and the kind of projects they’ll work on. If projects consistently don’t ship, don’t get implemented properly, or get watered down to nothing, this will quickly lead to disillusionment. Don’t think that pay or hiding behind perks or good company “culture” can even this out."

09 4 / 2013


Would like this to instantly pop-up and play when someone asks me “What do you do?”… My reply of “cartwheels” isnt working. And replying with “I’m a UX Designer” is even worse.

a different breed indeed!

(Source: huuugo)

09 4 / 2013

Having Fun with Emails

I’m sure this has been done before, but this is the first I’ve seen it.

Rather than the typical info@, hello@, support@ for their generic email, Medium decided to have a some fun with it.

This may seem simple or even unprofessional to some, but it made me smile. Smiling users will never be bad for your brand.

So before I steal it in one way or another, I want to give a shout-out for a job well done!

19 3 / 2013

The Art of Designing for People

I just listened to a fantastic podcast/interview by Dorm Room Tycoon featuring Ryan Singer, from 37Signals.

Ryan talks about the importance of solving the human problem first (the interaction and the UI) and finding a way to make it work on the back-end.

On building something intuitive for new users, he asks, “How [as a designer] do you make things familiar even though it is new?”

Living in the software and UX space, solving this type of problem is what gets me excited for work each day.

When you have a spare 38 minutes, you can find it here: http://www.dormroomtycoon.com/ryan-singer-37signals-interview-the-art-of-designing-for-people/