If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” is perhaps the most misused quote in the world (and was never said by Henry Ford by the way).

Painting of Echo watching Narcissus contemplating and falling in love with his own reflexion as told in the Greek mythology
Painting of Echo watching Narcissus contemplating and falling in love with his own reflexion as told in the Greek mythology
Echo and Narcissus by John William Waterhouse.

While its signification is quite clear (people wanted things to go faster, they expressed a clear need), it’s now used to justify any idea: “People wanted a faster horse, I gave them avocado-chocolate-syrup”.

People tend to fall in love with their idea, not with a problem to solve.

This fallacy leads to a lot of the problems we encounter today in Product Design. Often, when starting a…

The Design Sprint is a methodology made by Jake Knapp from Google Ventures that aims to develop and test an idea in the span of only four days. It’s a powerful tool used to directly confront your ideas with your users while avoiding wasting too many financial assets.

Having led many Design Sprints with diverse teams, I wanted to share some tips and tricks I found useful, things that require attention to be able to organize a successful Design Sprint, so watch out here they come!

Do you work, research before your Sprint

A Design Sprint can’t answer on its own about why and to whom your…

I wanted to take some time in this second part to present my pet peeve: The UMUX-Lite survey. It’s a short tool that I use to quantify the experience of my users with our app. I searched far and wide for a tool to quantify this experience as I needed a tool that was both accessible and where users could answer quickly.

What is it, how does it work?

The UMUX-Lite survey consists of two simple questions ranked on a scale of 1 to 7.

Does (this app) meets my needs?
Does (this app) is easy to use?

What I love with the UMUX-Lite system is that…

This will be the first post about some tools I use to track my users in my work as a UX designer & researcher. I met the Net Promoter Score years ago, as a way to (and I quote) “Track our users' satisfaction”. Since then, the NPS has been one of the tools I use not to track the global satisfaction of our users but for what it is meant to answer: Do our users recommend our app/service or not?

Some chemistry tools
Some chemistry tools

What is it, how does it work?

The NPS works with a simple question:

How likely are you to recommend our service to your friends, colleagues &…

This is just some thoughts written down while reading 21 lessons for the 21st century. I’ll update if needed, feel free to discuss.

Reading 21 lessons for the 21st century makes we wonder how we could develop ownership on our own data / digital identity. We tend to rely on states, but they can be quite slow to move, evolve, especially when we look at how fast the digital landscape is moving. Therefore there is perhaps a room for a personal digital identity system which would allow us to give / remove access to our personal data and to to keep those informations up to date.

First I thought about a blockchain solution, allowing us to secure our data, but then I realized…

This year a lot of my reading where going around the same subject : How not to give a fuck. It’s strange that nowadays we end up reading something that should really be natural, even spontaneous. It always felt strange that we slowly switched from a world where you had the right not to care about some subjects (not even in a violent way, just not to take position), to a world of constant shoutings, personal vendettas and small wars.

So it’s strange to say it this way, but I now reclaim the right not to care about some subjects…

It’s funny how this simple thing has eluded me for so many years (and still eludes me from time to time). Something as simple as saying “no”,“I won’t”, “I can’t”. I’ve spent so many years running after time, saying yes all the time, abiding to things I didn’t want to do, investing energy I didn’t have, forcing myself to be someone I wasn’t or to do things that only pulled me down further.

But I wouldn’t say it was a fear to say “no” in fact. I think it was going way deeper than not being able to say that…

For a decade now and with a surprising increase during the last years, I tend to encounter a lot of words used without any interest for their basic definition, thinking only about creating or increasing some “wow” factor. Those words I keep seeing? Exclusivity, Groundbreaking, Revolutionary, Unique, Innovation, … While at some point this tendency was limited to marketing (and which is part of well… their job), this spread to the general public (and I fell for this several time too).

Everytime it happens, it’s usually based on the fact that we don’t have a sufficient knowledge of the subjects…

Sometimes you encounter a book with which you realize a lot of things about yourself. This kind of epiphany moment was exactly what I had when reading Managing Oneself by Peter F. Drucker which shed a light on several things I encountered in my life and things I couldn’t do that everybody was at ease with and I couldn’t understand why.

When everybody’s listening to podcasts, watching endless YouTube video streams, when every recipe you can find is now presented in a video, when books are being listened too instead of read, … And that I couldn’t do any of…

One thing I’ve come to realize more and more in our society, is our tendency to intervene all the time in everything, for the sake of the intervention. Things are being changed, teams are being shuffled, plans are being remade, … all the time, especially with a new-comer. While sometimes those changes can be good, most of the time they end up being quite a waste of time, energy, and human resources, while they give the impression that something is accomplished (when it’s not).

It’s interesting to find examples everywhere that, sometimes, the act of non-doing is better than changing…

Simon Vandereecken

UX Designer & User Researcher • Human Jukebox • Book Eater • Human After All

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