Internal Memos

I always watch for notable examples of internal asynchronous communications, including leadership Memos.

Windows Startup sound

I am old enough to remember hacking PC Speaker sounds to get louder midi music out of my then gaming setup, times before any dedicated sound cards such as Sound Blaser.

Pit Stop

I sometimes refer to my current platform team using pit stop visual metaphors in our internal communication. Speedy, clean, organized…the truth is that sometimes it looks more like this.

Czech❤️Slovakia

Country I was born in and live my life, as presented from Formula 1 cockpit.


Book Review — How Design Makes the World

How Design Makes the World by Scott Berkun

After years of practice in design field, it is never too late to read an introductory design book. This book was released in 2020 and contains a fresh new perspective on design fundamentals. A minimum amount of “thank you captain obvious” with timely relevant parallels with urbanism and social media make the book a worthy read.

In enterprise software platforms, the end consumer of the business benefits is different from the user, but it is always worth reminding simple four questions.

What are you trying to improve?
Who are you trying to improve it for?
How do you ensure you are…


Finding Microsoft’s next default font

Writing is thinking and form matters. One of the reasons I use Medium is its focus on content and great typography. At the same time, what bothers me with email is ugly formatting and typography. Excited to see Microsoft Design focusing on new default font, and I hold all fingers crossed for multi-platform world-wide-web compatibility.

🖖Team Bierstadt here.

Beyond Calibri: Finding Microsoft’s next default font

Touchscreen UI

It’s fascinating how long it takes to convince us this is a good idea.

How to Deal with Difficult People

The Executive Assistant, The Blueprinter and Hostage taker walks into a bar…

The following list of 48 archetypes attempts to describe the most common types of difficult people found on software projects.

Keyboard History

Thoughtful analysis of one bug led the team to examine full history of keyboards layout.


Metric Display

These days, I don’t always wear my design hat, but when I do, it is often about data, backlog, and other visualization. This was a great inspiration for one of our recent metrics dashboard.

Tim SheinerMetric Display Standards

When should you end a conversation?

This is fascinating research behind the perception of a conversation end. 69% of the participants said they wanted the conversation to end before it did. On average, people wanted their conversations to be 50% longer or shorter.

To see how good people were at intuiting their partners’ preferences, the researchers asked participants to guess what they thought their conversation partners had wanted and found that their…


PM and UX job responsibilities

This survey of people in user experience and product management shows that these professionals disagree on who should be responsible for many key tasks, like doing discoveries and early design.

This is an interesting insight into misalignment with modern roles of PM and UX that are increasingly overlapping. The overlap comes with the democratization of collaboration and UI design tools such as Miro or Figma, design systems, or widespread “design thinking” methods that are now used in all functions and domains. Questions related to customer knowledge highlight that study is mostly related to the consumer world. It does not touch…


Outlook UI

Web UI is slightly better, but still, it would be fascinating to learn about the design decisions behind the original outlook calendar invite and their “validated with users”.

Outlook Brings the Noise Jonathan Baker-Bates

Storyboard and Scenarios

Examples of movie and comics storyboards always reminds me how critical this technique is to the Human-Computer interaction design. Scenarios do not need to be illustration masterpieces, and just a written summary can do magic. At the same time, seeing how true artists are thinking about a scene’s flow is truly inspirational.


Products and Platforms

This paper highlights some aspects of platform operating model such as “governance model”, “agile funding,” or “single point of contact,” and it sparks more questions about how this can be applied to matrixed organization. It assumes a technology organization aligns product and platform roadmaps with the business’s priorities. The head of each business function should have a single point of contact within the tech organization, likely a product manager, who is responsible for understanding the function’s priorities and translating them into a set of desired technology features recorded on product backlogs. …


Growth vs Scale

I came across this trivial explanation of the difference between growth and scale. I am still wrapping up my head around how the market forces apply to the world of enterprise software and internal IT. We tend to use similar terminology — product, customer, value, etc. Sometimes we also adopt popular frameworks pioneered in the consumer world, OKRs, Scrum, or Spotify-like matrix organization.

But when there is no free market, what it really means to grow?

We approach most of new opportunities as growth opportunities, e.g., staffing a new team, assuming the team develops a new product generating revenue covering…


Excel

This is a fascinating story of Excel, starting with the early days and connecting the dots with the present no-code and low-code era of unbundled tools inspired by Excel. These new tools are used for programming, and Excel is still the most popular programming language on earth. It’s funny how most people don’t even realize this fact.

If there is a core product design lesson to learn from Excel, it’s that combining usability with flexibility is both incredibly difficult and incredibly rewarding.

The new space of low-code no-code tools is attracting a ton of investment dollars, but it’s still viewed…


Pick Predictably Irrational on GoodReads.

This was an entertaining read from the behavioral economic domain, and I was able to draw a few interesting parallels with the world of enterprise software and service management domain.

Why everything is relative

Several fascinating experiments lead Dan to conclusions applicable to marketing and sales. How we choose subscription options is predictably irrational, but it got me thinking. Can this be applied universally to the participatory product design and become one of the traps of much popular Design Sprints and designing complex system as high-fidelity screen-prototypes?

If we freely diverge in the design process without in-depth knowledge about the constraints, we might design…

Peter Zalman

I am crafting great ideas into working products and striving for balance between Design, Product and Engineering #UX. Views are my own.

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