What we all can learn from them

We see a screenshot of a miro board exploring scenario mapping, customer goals, customer action, and process ownership.
We see a screenshot of a miro board exploring scenario mapping, customer goals, customer action, and process ownership.
Source: https://miro.com/online-canvas-for-design/

In 2018, Miro was hardly a blip on the radar in the Design world. Fast forward two years, and suddenly Miro is solidly the number one tool for brainstorming and ideation. What led to this sudden spike in awareness and engagement? While the rapid shift to remote work certainly didn’t hurt, Miro’s relentless focus on thoughtful design and customers’ needs helped them build relevant and intuitive products, putting them in position to capitalize on changing work trends.

Recognizing that teams within the same company often speak different languages, Miro enables people to develop a shared understanding. …


What organizations, leaders, and UX hopefuls need to consider

A women sits expectantly across the table as her male and female peers deliberate.
A women sits expectantly across the table as her male and female peers deliberate.
Photo by Edmond Dantès from Pexels

Last spring as COVID-19 set in, many tech companies panicked and laid off significant numbers of employees. Bird laid off 40% of employees, Airbnb laid off 25%, and Lyft laid off 17% while furloughing even more. UX professionals were impacted by these layoffs, and Airbnb even developed a talent directory of departing staff in hopes of connecting them with other roles.

Fast forward a year, and we’re seeing a hiring bonanza. It seems every time I open LinkedIn, my newsfeed is full of people posting about open Design, Research, Product, and Engineering roles. Today, a quick job search on LinkedIn


Using thoughtful design and new technologies to redefine the relationship between people and their homes

How will tomorrow’s technologies redefine the way we live at home? We see a bird’s eye view of an apartment floor plan, with red and blue ink projecting from some of the walls.
How will tomorrow’s technologies redefine the way we live at home? We see a bird’s eye view of an apartment floor plan, with red and blue ink projecting from some of the walls.
https://www.everydayexperiments.com/all-experiments

We’re rapidly developing and expanding new technologies, from augmented reality to machine learning to blockchain to object recognition. While we typically apply these technologies to complex commercial problems, what if we explored more personal applications? How might we use these technologies to educate, enable, and delight people in their own homes?

Everyday Experiments is a collaboration between Space 10, a research and design lab focusing on people and the planet, and IKEA aiming to “take the everyday and make it extraordinary.” …


Immersing ourselves in other cultures can cultivate creativity, connection, and compassion

A landscape view of a tropical mountain in the distance surrounded by clouds and the ocean.
A landscape view of a tropical mountain in the distance surrounded by clouds and the ocean.
Photo by author in Tahiti

Traveling can be an incredibly rewarding and enriching experience. Meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, and appreciating new aesthetics can help us grow both personally and professionally.

Travel invites us to break out of our routines and observe and learn about the world around us. New experiences challenge us to take on new perspectives and spur creativity, while learning about new cultures, customs, and languages builds empathy and understanding.

Breaking out of day to day routines enables a mental reset and reduces burnout

With COVID-19, we’ve experienced lockdowns, uncertainty, and stress. The line between work and home is increasingly blurred, and employee burnout is on the rise. …


Why we should all care about privacy (before it’s too late)

A brick wall is filled with rows and rows of security cameras.
A brick wall is filled with rows and rows of security cameras.
Photo by Lianhao Qu on Unsplash

When technology, data, and privacy have come up in conversation with friends and family, I’m often surprised by how little people know and care about them. During a stint in the adtech world, I was horrified to discover the true extent of how much time, money, and effort organizations spend to collect and sell personal data. While privacy is becoming a more prominent topic, I’m still generally met with some version of “Well I’m not doing anything wrong, so I don’t care about privacy”.

This is very short-sighted.

After witnessing how much personal data companies are collecting every instant of…


Does a crowdsourced network justify the privacy concerns?

Branding sketch of Amazon’s new sidewalk functionality.
Branding sketch of Amazon’s new sidewalk functionality.
https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Sidewalk/b?node=21328123011

On June 8, Amazon is rolling out Sidewalk, its mesh network designed to amplify its hardware ecosystem by improving device setup, range, and wi-fi reliability. Amazon device owners will be automatically enrolled. While they can opt out, privacy advocates worry the default opted-in approach will push people into an untested network.

What is Amazon’s Sidewalk Network?

Amazon Sidewalk creates a low-bandwidth network that pools a small portion of your internet bandwidth to increase connectivity and range. This allows smart home devices to create a bridge between your WiFi and one another. …


Research is worthless unless people care about it.

A group of professionals sit together in a conference room reviewing customer feedback.
A group of professionals sit together in a conference room reviewing customer feedback.
Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

You can conduct the most brilliant and insightful research, but if no one cares or uses it, it’s all for naught. While working at a Fortune 500 company followed by a variety of startups, I’ve experimented and iterated on how best to share research findings. I’ve found that small tweaks to the synthesis and shareout process can make them more engaging, effective, and impactful.

How research findings are typically shared

The standard research sharing protocol is often creating a slick PowerPoint deck and scheduling a research readout with the core stakeholders (often the Product Manager, Designer, and Engineers) after each study.

I’d walk through the deck…


What neuroscience tells us about the successful introduction and adoption of new ideas

A plate holds several pieces of a California sushi roll.
A plate holds several pieces of a California sushi roll.
Photo by douglas miller from Pexels

Crafting modern, captivating, and worthwhile products and services is challenging. Yet even after building something great, attracting and amassing customers can be arduous. As companies push to create the next big thing, they need to ground these next-gen innovations in our existing mental models so we’re willing to give them a chance. Does this limit the pace and scope of innovation though?

A lesson from sushi adoption in America

In the 1970s, few Americans ate sushi. Raw fish and seaweed were too far out for the average eater.

Then the California Roll was born, combining familiar ingredients in a new way. In Los Angeles, chefs used local…


Education, authenticity, and designing for both short and long term needs can make or break customer trust

A phone has the Robinhood app open with a graph of the GameStop stock price.
A phone has the Robinhood app open with a graph of the GameStop stock price.
Photo by Tech Daily on Unsplash

Robinhood is a Silicon Valley darling, pairing the bold mission of democratizing the financial system with a sleek design and explosive user growth. However, in the past year, we’ve seen some serious cracks in their public image.

Last summer, a 20-year-old took his own life believing he lost almost $750,000 through risky bets on Robinhood. Despite being young and completely inexperienced in trading, Alex Kearns was allowed to buy and sell options, opening himself up to increased risk and potential losses. …


Consolidation can stifle systemic disruption and disincentivize bold new ideas.

Pairs of similar looking leaves are arranged along a central line.
Pairs of similar looking leaves are arranged along a central line.
Photo by Tolga Ulkan on Unsplash

In the early days of Silicon Valley, innovation and disruption were king. Visionaries, optimists, and risk-takers focused on big, paradigm-shifting ideas. The internet was exciting new technology in the 1990s, and smartphones followed in the 2000s, ushering in an entirely new ecosystem of digital products, services, and markets.

However, as markets saturate, products mature, and companies consolidate, risky new ideas are less incentivized. Instead, we’re seeing homogeneous product portfolios and smaller, more iterative feature improvements proliferate.

Small, nimble startups succumb to tech behemoths

For decades, Silicon Valley was synonymous with startups, innovation, hustle, and opportunity. …

Meghan Wenzel

UX Researcher and Strategist — “It’s not the story you tell that matters, but the one others remember and repeat”

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