Binary opposition: Hide vs Disable

When do you hide vs disable a control?

In a large stateful application, on every screen the user can be doing work and encounter functionality they do not have access to. There are two categories of functionality that is not available:

  1. The state of the data and controls on the screen is not ready
  2. The user’s role was not given access to the capability.

When creating the user interface the control should be disabled if the state is not ready. If the user or system can change the state of the user interface to get access to the control then it should only be disabled. This provides a little visual indicator to the user that the field is there if the state changes.

However, if the user does not have permissions to access the functionality it should not appear on the screen at all. Why have it there if the user cannot use it at all. The functionality just becomes visual noise.

By |February 28th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Innovation: manage the risk

Innovate or die, right?

You run your business line better than anyone else ever has. But you see it all the time. These little startups come from nowhere and eat your lunch.

Innovation is great in concept but you know that you cannot risk a big change and negatively impact your current business line.

What should you do? How do you manage the risk but still innovate?

Consider making many small bets.

This article gives five things to consider for each bet:

  1. Keep the teams small – 2 pizza party
  2. Time box each initial investment to determine if you will invest more or stop
  3. Pick a minimum amount to invest like 2k for the first round and 20k for the second
  4. Create milestones and metrics to achieve
  5. Set target success and failure rates

By |February 27th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Outperform your competitors by 2X with 5+types of innovation

Don’t just do product innovation. Anyone can do that. You can do ten types of innovation.

The Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs – by Larry Keeley is a fabulous book. It helps you and your organization reframe the scope of your effort to something that will provide the most impact.

Here are the ten types of innovation:

  1. Profit model
  2. Network
  3. Structure
  4. Process
  5. Product performance
  6. Product system
  7. Service
  8. Channel
  9. Brand
  10. Customer engagement

By |February 26th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Innovation fairy dust and innovation theater are not needed

Sprinkling a little innovation here and a little there is not going to do much unless you are lucky.

Creating innovation theater makes a lot of people feel good during the show but you are left only with memories when the show is done.

Creating a way to embed innovation into your organization with the means to execute is what you want and need.

You have the people who are experts in the business, you have the people who are experts at the operations, and now you need to find the people who are different from you who have deep expertise in other fields.

You also need to look beyond your products for innovation. Look to your business models, branding, networks and other customer touch points.

You have to be in it as a way of doing business. Innovation is part of the slow and steady march of organizational change that you need to do.

By |February 25th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Requirements are generated from the solution

… Not the other way around.

No matter whether the solution was done on the back of napkin in a bar or by an excellent optimized process, requirements come from a solution.

So what should you do?

Know your market.

Observe your customers and prospects.

Understand the problem.

Clearly state the problem.

Open the solution space.




Now create your requirements from the solution that solves the clearly defined problem customers in your target market have.

By |February 24th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Playing your Design Thinking cards right

Design thinking is the business’ acknowledgement that the users’ experience matters.

  • Take this time to show how having user empathy delivers more in tune solutions.
  • Bring everyone along.
  • Use the clear albeit rigid process.
  • Get people to draw, not talk about solutions.
  • Prototype immediately.
  • User test.
  • Do it rapidly to show results.
  • Rinse and repeat.

Remember you are not trying to make everyone designers.

You are using everyone’s expertise to drive better solutions.

By |February 23rd, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Designer/Maker Inspiration

Bad Chad

Hot rod designer/ maker
Wild cars

Uses his brain
Solves problems
Learns from others
Car shows
Passion for what he does
Simple explanations
Approach to problems is fantastic.
… Creates prototypes
… Creates patterns
… Reuses
… Makes big and whole then cuts back
… Does not look for perfect first, he works his way there
… Add layers to do finish work, fill and smooth, then paint

I love that he is sweet on his girl all the time.

And he has a great Canadian accent.

By |February 21st, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

If you love yourself then you need to setup shop

If I ever have a demo day for my start up, this is my entrance song.

Set Up Shop

Damian encourages us all to start a company and make our lives better. Entrepreneurship is not only for the rich, it is for the every person.

“If you love yourself then my suggestion unno fi setup shop” – Damian Marley

By |February 20th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Binary opposition: checkbox and radio buttons

Checkboxes and radio buttons should be used in very different ways in a user interface.

A checkbox is for selection. Checking demonstrates inclusion.

Radio buttons are for a mutually exclusive choice. When you have 2,3 or maybe 4 options to choose from, use radio buttons.

A checkmark should not be used for a selection where being unchecked is not obvious. For example, one product I reviewed had http as a checkbox. So if you checked it you got http and if unchecked? Https? Ftp? What?

Radio buttons should not be used if you have more than 4 items. In that case, use a drop-down list.

In structuralism, a binary opposition is seen as a fundamental organizer of human philosophy, culture, and language. -wikipedia

By |February 19th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments


Dry Bar

We all need to laugh every day.

By |February 15th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments